Coverage of the Tamarack Fire that cited both the staff of The Record-Courier and Douglas County’s residents was recognized with the Nevada Press Foundation’s community service award on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
“Awesome coverage of a terrible tragedy,” judges from the Arizona Press Association said. “The notes from readers … really told the importance of the local media coverage.”
A combined Jan. 15 edition of the Nevada Appeal and The Record-Courier was cited in judge’s comments in naming the capital city paper the best rural publication in Nevada.
The sister publications, which have published a joint weekend edition since 2003, were named the first and second best rural publications in the state.
In awarding general excellence to the Appeal, judges cited the heft of the twice weekly paper.
“A big paper,” the judge said. “Lots of features, many comics (both color and black and white), and space for content, even a coloring page for kids. A prime example of what local newspapers should be.”
Judges specifically cited Letters to Santa and the July 22, 2021, Tamarack Fire coverage in awarding The R-C second place.
“The inclusion of readers’ photos of the fire is good thinking and well put together,” judges said. “Plentiful, good and relevant news content.”
Sister paper Lahontan Valley News took third place in the rural category rounding out the hat trick. The three newspapers compete against both daily and weekly newspapers in the rural category. They are operated by Nevada News Group owned by Peter Bernhard of Pacific Publishing Co.
Staff writer Sarah Drinkwine won second places for entertainment feature story for “Rex’s Exes” and explanatory journalism for her story on childcare for working families.
Assistant Publisher Tara Addeo won second place for advertising general excellence and third place for special event and magazine for the Best of Carson Valley.
For the second year in a row, The R-C won the rural award for best editorial pages, which listed its readers as a key contributor.
Editor Kurt Hildebrand’s photo of a cattle drive down Genoa Lane was named best rural feature photo.
Hildebrand also received the first rural award for coverage of underserved communities for his stories about the Minden siren.
Hildebrand’s Tamarack Fire coverage took second place for breaking news reporting. Hildebrand also won second place for best portrait.
The Carso Valley Almanac took third place for special section editorial.
Sportswriter Carter Eckl, who covers both Douglas and Carson City, won second and third place for best sports feature writing.
Hildebrand’s obituary for Virginia Henningsen, news photo of the Jacks Valley Fire and feature photo of the Parade of Lights all won third places.