Independent takes home 21 awards from regional newspaper contest

BOSTON — The New England Newspaper and Press Association honored the Addison County Independent with 21 awards at the regional organization’s annual convention in Boston this past weekend. In the Better Newspaper Contest, the Addy Indy won gold in four categories when judged against larger weekly publications of more than 6,000 circulation from around New England.
Independent photographer Trent Campbell added to his mounting list of NENPA awards with a first-place in the General News Photo category, along with a second in General News Photo and a third in Sports Photo.
The advertising and production departments teamed up to win first in the Best Use of a Small Space category. For the second year in a row, the staff of the publication was named first for Best Local Election Coverage.
Mobile Middlebury, the newspaper’s application for cell phones and other mobile devices, garnered a gold medal for Mobile Application Design; it also was third in the Mobile Application Overall category.
In the small weekly newspaper division, the Independent’s sister papers, The Reporter in Brandon and the Mountain Times in Killington, also made big splashes.
The three-person Reporter staff earned five editorial awards and three advertising nods. Editor and reporter Lee Kahrs won two first place awards for her coverage of Brandon businesses one year after the flood caused by Tropical Storm Irene — one for Business/Economic Reporting and one for Business/Economic Special Section. Graphic designer Mandy Davis got the top prize for Best Local Ad (Black and White) in her first year in the competition.
The Reporteralso earned three second-place awards (Local Personality Profile, Human Interest Feature and Local Ad-Color) and two thirds (History Reporting and Local Ad-Color).
Also in the first year competing in the contest, the Mountain Times garnered five awards: second for Most Creative Use of a Small Space; and third for Advertising Sales Media Kit, Overall Mobile Application and Overall Design and Presentation for the paper’s “Getaways” magazine.
“The awards we won were in several categories, which showed that we really were dependent on everyone to maintain a high standard of excellence,” said Angelo Lynn, publisher of all three newspapers. “This is true of the smaller papers as well as of the Independent. We all show incredible ownership of these publications.”
The Independent had multiple winners in two categories. In the running for Best Designer, Jennifer Sabourin and Sue Miller were second and third, respectively. For serious columnist, Andy Kirkaldy secured second and Eric Davis, a retired Middlebury College professor who writes the “Politically Thinking” column for the Independent every other week, took third.
Other prize winners for the Independent were:
•  Humor Columnist, Jessie Raymond, third place.
•  Human Interest Feature, John Flowers, third.
•  Advertiser Campaign, second.
•  Themed, Banner or Sponsored Ad Page, second.
•  Niche Publication, second for “Vermont Ski and Ride.”
•  Best Idea for Generating Ad Revenue, second.
•  Multimedia Campaign, third.
•  Advertising General Excellence, third.
•  Best Special Section, third for Where Are They Now/Graduation.
•  Advertising Supplement, third.
Fifty judges from all over the country were asked to assess more than 3,000 entries in this year’s contest.
“We do great work covering the news across dozens of Vermont towns and getting the word out about our advertisers to print readers, and we’re continuing to move beyond that with our websites and now mobile applications,” Lynn said. “I’m very proud of the work we do.”

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