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VND judged best daily newspaper in state |

VND judged best daily newspaper in state

Valley News Dispatch
| Sunday, May 19, 2002 12:00 a.m

The Valley News Dispatch has won the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association’s sweepstakes award for the best daily community newspaper in the state in its division.

Competing in the 20,000 to 35,000 circulation category for the Keystone Press Awards, the VND received five first-place awards, a second-place award and three honorable mentions.

The VND also took first place in a special category recognizing Sept. 11 coverage of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

The VND’s Sept. 12 front page titled, “Nation saw evil,” looked at the attack on American values and featured a photo of the Statue of Liberty with the ruins of the World Trade Center smoldering in the background.

The newspaper in each of the eight divisions with the most individual first- and second-place winners received the Sweepstakes Award.

The Centre Daily Times in State College tied with the VND and also was recognized as the state’s best daily community paper.

Other newspapers in the VND’s division include the Butler Eagle, the Daily News in McKeesport and the Herald-Standard in Uniontown.

The awards were announced Saturday at a banquet in State College.

VND Keystone Press Award winners:

  • Sports writer Rob Amen – first place for his “Letter of Discontent” sports story. The article examined the handling of a college scholarship letter of intent sent to a Valley High School running back. The letter was later rescinded when the college changed its head coach and offensive philosophy.

  • Outdoor sports columnist Karl Power – first-place for hiscolumn, “Media, outdoorsmen have different viewpoints,” in which he argued the news media often are biased when reporting gun-control issues.

  • Michelle Start, a former staff writer – first-place in the special project or series category for “Organ Transplants.” Start examined the problems with meeting the demand for organs, future possibilities, and related ethical questions.

  • Photographer Louis Ruediger – first-place for his sports photo of a BMX competitor crash-landing during a race.

  • Graphics artist E. Denise Shean – tied for first-place in the graphic/photo illustration category. Shean arranged actual food to create the title “Let’s Eat” for the cover of the VND Dining Guide.

  • Photographer Justin Merriman – second-place in the news photo category for his “Stuck in the Mud” photo of a boy being rescued from a mud-filled pit by fire fighters. Merriman also received an honorable mention for his photo story on Amish workers.

  • Lifestyles writer Rex Rutkoski – honorable mention for his features story, “Swallowing his pride.” Rutkoski allowed VND readers to follow his journey back onto the fitness bandwagon.

  • Photographer Jeff Swensen – honorable mention for his sports photo of Steeler Jason Gildon recovering a fumble.

    Jeff Domenick, managing editor of the Valley News Dispatch, said the joint efforts of the entire staff led to the paper’s recognition.

    “It’s a culmination of the fine efforts that our staff puts in every day, and that our editors recognize good stories and help refine them,” Domenick said. “We try to bring our readers the best local paper we can every day. I think if that’s your goal, that gets recognition.”

    Categories: News
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