, Vermont’s free, independent newsweekly, won 11 first-place awards in this year’s New England Better Newspaper Competition
— including for general excellence and top honors for health, crime, government, arts and entertainment reporting, political columnist, infographic, personality profile and niche publication. The paper also won eight second-place and six third-place awards — 25 total.
The contest is organized by the New England Newspaper & Press Association
; winners were announced at NENPA’s annual convention this past weekend in Boston.
NENPA members submitted more than 3,000 entries, split among five categories: daily newspapers with circulation up to 25,000; daily newspapers with circulation more than 25,000; weekly newspapers with circulation up to 6,000; weekly newspapers with circulation more than 6,000; and specialty publications. Seven Days
— which circulates 36,000 copies every Wednesday — competed against numerous other large, New England weeklies.
Here’s what judges had to say about Seven Days’
11 first-place awards:
- General Excellence. “An alternative weekly that is exceptional! Seven Days is well-written throughout. The reporting is thorough and extensive. The layout is clean and advertising support is impressive.”
- Local Personality Profile, “Former Wall Street Maverick Sandy Lewis Is an Adirondack Agitator,” by James Bandler. “A delightful and deliciously irreverent profile… And the quotes – Wow!”
- Health Reporting, “Committed: A Son's Mental Illness, a Father's Fight,” by Katie Jickling. “This piece exhibited a great deal of compassion… and showed readers the depth and scope of an important public policy problem without drowning us with statistics or policy.”
- Government Reporting, “State of Need: How Vermont Tried and Failed to Cut Child Poverty in Half,” by Paul Heintz.
- Crime and Court Reporting, “'Til Death Do Us Part: Maidstone's Grisly Murder-Suicide Was Domestic Violence,” by Mark Davis. ”Article reads well. Interviews are solid, the lead-in is intriguing and the ending is strong.”
- Arts and Entertainment Reporting, “Reuben Jackson's Mysterious Friend Is a Facebook Hit,” by Dan Bolles. “A fascinating, charming, whimsical story.”
- Best Infographic, “Analysis: How Gun Votes Divided the Vermont House,” by Andrea Suozzo. “A textbook example of using data to tell a story.”
- Political Columnist, “Tradin' Paint” and “Into the Arena,” by John Walters. “John Walters takes political junkies into the middle of the action.”
- Two first place awards in the entertainment and feature video categories for two episodes of “Stuck in Vermont”: “A_Dog Day” and “Countryman Peony Farm” by senior multimedia producer Eva Sollberger and multimedia journalist James Buck. “A high-quality production. A+.”
- Niche Publication, What’s Good: A Seven Days Field Guide to Burlington. “This is absolutely a guide I would use and find helpful if I were in the area.”
received second-place honors for best overall website
, its investigative reporting series on the nonprofit sector, Give and Take
, and for Kids VT, Seven Days
’ monthly parenting magazine. Alicia Freese won second place for her education reporting on Saint Michael’s College
and health reporting on inmates and addiction.
Molly Walsh received second place for her human interest feature on Ryan McLaren
, who experienced a life-altering ski accident. Eva Sollberger brought home a second-place award for her video on the “March for our Lives”
in Vermont’s capital. Lastly, Kym Balthazar came in second place for her cover illustration on the March 21, 2018, issue.