CHAPEL HILL — The Bladen Journal brought home two awards from the annual News, Editorial & Photojournalism Contest by the North Carolina Press Association.
The awards banquet was held Thursday at the George Watts Hill Alumni Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina.
During the awards, W. Curt Vincent, general manager/editor of the Bladen Journal, was recognized with a first place in serious column writing and third place for sports coverage among community newspapers with a circulation of 3,600 or less.
“It’s humbling to be recognized by your peers for work I’ve done in the past year,” Vincent said. “I understand it’s a subjective process, but being chosen among the state’s best is certainly nice.”
The NCPA contest attracted more than 4,100 entries from 2015 and 113 newspapers across the state received awards. Judging for the contest was done by the press associations in Oklahoma, Mississippi and West Virginia.
“North Carolina has one of the largest press associations in the country, shown by the fact it took three states to judge our contest,” said Pat Taylor, president of the NCPA for 2016. “So anyone who received one, two, three or more awards should feel very proud of their work.”
Vincent’s first-place entry consisted of three columns titled “Bat no match for Batten,” “Pitt’s prose reaching new lows” and “A tragic July 3 memory.”
His entry for the sports coverage award included two March 2015 sports sections focusing on previews of the spring seasons for East Bladen and West Bladen, along with coverage of spring sports for the two schools.
“As pleased as I am about those entries, I am disheartened that our Community Service Project entry for ‘Roger’s Wish’ went unrecognized,” Vincent said. “But again, it’s subjective, and we know how important that project is and what kind of impact its had locally.”
Other award-winning newspapers in the region included: The Fayetteville Observer (the large newspapers division General Excellence winner); The News Reporter in Whiteville (second place in the General Excellence category); and the following Civitas Media newspapers: The Sampson Independent, The Laurinburg Exchange, Richmond County Times and The Robesonian.