The Rappahannock News received several top awards at last weekend’s annual Virginia Press Association convention near Richmond, including being the smallest newspaper in the state recognized with a “Best in Show” honor.
All of the awards were for projects done in collaboration with Foothills Forum, the local community supported nonprofit that has helped fund nonpartisan in-depth reporting efforts about Rappahannock County issues.
- Best in Show: Contributor Laura Stanton was honored for artwork in the non-daily category, which includes dozens of much larger weeklies. Stanton’s charts and informational graphics helped explain multi-part stories on the Foothills Forum survey and Rappahannock’s connectivity issues.
- First Place, In-Depth or Investigative Reporting: Reporter Randy Rieland and other contributors won in the non-daily category for the “Rappahannock’s Digital Dilemma” series, which examined the county’s cell phone and broadband challenges.
- First Place, Informational Graphics: Stanton won in the non-daily category for her work illustrating findings of the Foothills Forum Survey, which ran in a three-story series last spring.
Contest judges said the “Digital Dilemma” project “takes an effective look — broad and deep — at the kind of digital access so many people take for granted…The writing is detailed and clear; the voices do an able job at helping the reporter tell the story.
“We’re delighted to be recognized, of course, but even more proud to have been able to bring these in-depth examinations of key county issues to our readers,” Publisher Dennis Brack said. “The support of Foothills Forum and its group of community contributors has been critical to these ‘deep dive’ projects. We’re looking forward to more in the months ahead.”