R-C brings home Internet, photo honors
The Record-Courier’s Web site and “Running Commentary” blog have been named the best among community newspapers by the Nevada Press Association.
While The R-C’s Web site has been honored before, this is the first time the Gardnerville weekly has competed against small daily newspapers such as the Elko Daily Free Press and the Sparks Tribune.
The awards were announced Saturday at the press association’s annual banquet, held in Pahrump this year.
“The freshness of the content and the amount of reader interaction are what pushed this entry to the top,” judges said of the site.
Judges said the “Running Commentary” was an example of how rural newspapers could enter the digital age.
“Anyone who wants to see how old-fashioned smalltown news can be handled in the digital age should check out The Record-Courier’s ‘Running Commentary,'” the judge said. “I was fascinated – not only by the tidbits and folksy conversation, but how the newspaper staff explained on the fly what it was doing to check out tips and chase down facts.”
R-C photographer Shannon Litz dominated the photo categories, with seven awards including first and second places for both best news and best sports photos. She won second and honorable mentions in the best feature photo category and a second place for best multiple feature photos.
“Miracles happen. Becca Shines,” were the first four words of Scott Neuffer’s first-place feature story cited by judges.
“The first four words of the lead provide a rhythm that echoes through the rest of the story,” judges said. “The story could have been saccharin, but the careful use of quotes and retelling of the recovery made Becca and her mother real.”
Neuffer also won a third-place award for best business feature for his story about Valley firms coping with the economy.
Record-Courier Editor Kurt Hildebrand won for best information graphic, his fourth consecutive award in the category.
The Carson Valley Almanac won for best special section with judges focusing on the “Day in the Life,” where Valley residents take photos and submit them.
The newspaper’s advertising department won first place for best multi-color ad.
R-C Publisher Niki Gladys praised the newspaper’s staff for their work.
“The R-C is a great community newspaper,” she said. “Congratulations on another successful year.”
The newspaper won second place for general excellence, best overall design and best page one design.
The newspaper’s last general excellence first place was in 2008. It placed second in 2009, and has regularly placed in the top three newspapers in its category over the past decade.
News Editor Sheila Gardner won third place for best explanatory journalism for her story on illuminating Douglas stimulus spending.
Sports Editor Joey Crandall won second place for best local sports column.
The Record-Courier’s sister paper, the Sierra Sun in Truckee, received the top award for general excellence in the class. Another sister paper, the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza, won the general excellence award for small community newspapers.
The Nevada Appeal in Carson City won a sweepstakes award for best advertisement.