CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Ohio Valley Publishing (OVP) was recently recognized for its work by the West Virginia Press Association (WVPA) which held its annual convention last weekend, virtually.
The Point Pleasant Register was awarded first place in its division for “Best Special Section” for the “Good News Edition” which comprised the annual community progress section for OVP in 2019. This edition featured work from OVP editorial staff, including Editor Beth Sergent, The Daily Sentinel Managing Editor Sarah Hawley, Staff Writer Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham, former Staff Writers Dean Wright and Erin (Perkins) Johnson, and freelancer Mindy Kearns.
Sergent and OVP Sports Editor Bryan Walters, also teamed up to take second place in the “Best Sports News and Feature Reporting” category for the story, “Hannan football helmets reportedly stolen… Wildcats tackling adversity.”
The story originated in OVP’s Register, Gallipolis Daily Tribune and The Daily Sentinel, but was later picked up by regional and even national news outlets, shining a light on the small school with a big heart, also resulting in offers to assist the football program.
The “Good News Edition” featured stories focused on “the good news” from Gallia, Meigs and Mason counties. The special section contained 23 original stories meant to uplift and shine a light on what was going right in the readership area. Also included were countless informational stories and advertisements featuring local supporters of not only the project but of their communities.
“Though our readers expect us to print all the news, in this edition, we focus on nothing but ‘good news’ and the good deeds being done by those who call this area ‘home,’” Sergent said at the time of publication. “We hope our readers will see the upside of life here in Gallia, Meigs and Mason counties, as we tell the stories of those who work behind the scenes to lend a helping hand on both sides of the river.”
The WVPA also announced the Bluefield Daily Telegraph as West Virginia’s Newspaper of the Year for 2020. A total of 16 newspapers earned General Excellence recognition for editorial and/or advertising work.
Each year, the WVPA convention is the largest gathering of newspaper professionals in the state. Acting on the Coronavirus information and advice featured in its newspapers in 2020, WVPA moved the 2020 Convention online with video, virtual and print presentations. It’s a change that reflects life during this pandemic.
Don Smith, executive director of WV Press, said, “It only makes sense the Coronavirus, which has changed almost every aspect of life this year, would dramatically impact the West Virginia Press Association annual celebration. This convention will be different,” said Smith. “The page features a mix of videos, articles, awards, comments, quotes, and chances to participate and have some fun. We are presenting the 2020 Convention for viewing at your convenience and comfort. You can enjoy it socially distanced on your schedule and in your own style.”
On the convention page, viewers can see the work of the newspapers that earned General Excellence recognition and the numerous newspaper employees who won individual honors.
“The West Virginia Press Association is extremely honored to recognize these newspapers and their employees,” said Smith. “We are thrilled our convention page allows us to share their awards and works with the public.”
Find more on the awards ceremony at https://wvpress.org
Beth Sergent contributed to this article. Additional information provided by WVPA.
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