InsideNoVa Wins Top Virginia Journalism Award | Securities
Prince William County’s InsideNoVa Weekly Newspaper received the Virginia Press Association’s Best Journalism Award.
The newspaper, InsideNoVa / Prince William, was named the winner of the VPA Award for Journalistic Integrity and Community Service on Thursday for its coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on northern Virginia.
The newspaper and website also won 21 journalism and publicity awards in the press association’s annual competition. The prizes were awarded virtually.
InsideNoVa’s coverage of the pandemic included daily online updates, in-depth data-driven reports on the impact on nursing homes and assisted living facilities as well as on minority communities, as well as characteristics and profiles of the people and organizations that have stepped up to help. InsideNoVa also hosted three virtual town halls last spring, focusing on issues related to the pandemic, including the effects on mental health.
“There are so many remarkable and exceptional aspects of COVID-19 pandemic coverage by [this paper] that it is actually difficult to know where to start, ”wrote the judge
The judge cited the fact that many advertisers canceled advertisements scheduled for March and April as the pandemic-related shutdowns began, hampering the newspaper’s business. “But somehow they found a way to move forward.”
The judge also praised the overall quality of the newspaper. “This is, frankly, the best weekly I’ve seen in a long time – maybe ever.”
The Woodbridge-based InsideNoVa / Prince William newspaper was launched in January 2013 and is owned by Rappahannock Media LLC, a local company. The newspaper reaches approximately 25,000 homes each week in Prince William County, with a few additional deliveries in southern Fairfax County. Online, InsideNoVa.com, which started in 2003, has approximately 800,000 unique visitors per month, over 100,000 Facebook fans and 80,000 email newsletter subscribers. The website covers news from Northern Virginia.
“It’s incredible recognition for all of the hard work of our team over the past year,” said Bruce Potter, editor of InsideNoVa. “Our main goal was to educate the community and shine a light on those who were helping us all through the pandemic, not to win prizes, so we are honored with this honor.”
InsideNoVa also received four first place prizes, 11 second place prizes and six third place prizes in individual competition categories. In these categories, InsideNoVa competes with the state’s largest non-daily newspapers. The winners of InsideNoVa were:
- Automotive: Connie Fields, Creative Staff – Top Shine Car Wash and Detail Center
- Member Self-Promotion: Nicky Marshok – Best of Prince William Promo
- Food and Drugs: Rick Bockes, Creative Staff – Effingham Winery
- Special Sections: Advertising Staff, Creative Staff – Best of Prince William 2020
- Informative Graphics: Dolly Johnson – Spaghetti Bowl
- General makeup: writing, creative team – October 22, October 29, November 12
- Special sections or special editions: editorial staff, creative team – Prince William Community Guide
- Sports Pages: Dolly Johnson, David Fawcett (selection of pages)
- Column writing: Al Alborn – Around the columns of Prince William (selection of columns)
- Feature Film Series or Continuing Story: Emily Sides, Jared Foretek, Kari Pugh, Dave Fawcett – Faces of a Crisis
- Government Editorial: Emily Sides – County Salary Increase, Colonial Downs License, Skateboard Park
- Health, Science and Environment Editorial Staff: Jared Foretek – Pandemic Fatigue, GMU Research, Election Night
- Sports Writing Portfolio: David Fawcett – Decision Time, Tom Worstell, High School Basketball Begins
- Slideshow or Gallery: Bill Kamenjar – Jake Payne XFL Home Debut
- Informative Graphics: Dolly Johnson – Presidential Election Results
- General news Photo: Paul Lara – Candlelight vigil
- Sports news photo: bill kamenjar – wrestling championship
- Editorial writing: Bruce Potter (selection of editorials)
- In-depth or investigative reports: Jared Foretek, Bruce Potter – COVID outbreaks in nursing homes
One of InsideNoVa’s sister publications, Rappahannock news, a weekly published in Rappahannock County, won the news contest prize and the raffle prize among the smallest group of non-daily newspapers in the state. Contest rewards are determined using a points system for rewards in individual categories. The Rappahannock News also won the Best in Show award for non-daily newspaper graphics and illustrations.