LVN garners 22 Nevada Press Association awards
October 1, 2018
LAS VEGAS — The Lahontan Valley News garnered 22 awards — including eight for first place — at Saturday's annual Nevada Press Association's annual dinner and convention in Las Vegas.
The LVN competed in the Intermediate division, which consisted of small daily and weekly newspapers, and submissions were judged by members of the Wyoming Press Association.
In the Sweepstakes awards, the LVN and Nevada Appeal shared the Freedom of the Press award for their stories promoting the passage of New Voices, a bipartisan bill approved by both the Nevada Assembly and State Senate in 2017 that provided protection for student journalists from unnecessary censorship.
The legislation established a standard in Nevada that clarifies schools' ability to limit articles by student journalists only if they create a danger of "substantial disruption" to education — the same free-speech standard applied to T-shirts or hats.
One incident that occurred in Churchill County in 2010 has become a national landmark case. High-school editor Lauren (McLean) Draper researched, wrote and published an article dealing with the selection of CCHS students for the state honor choir. The school administration supported her right to publish the article despite the objections of the Churchill County Education Association. Through a series of articles, columns and editorials, the Lahontan Valley News supported both the First Amendment right of McLean to exercise her right as a student journalist and the Churchill County School District — to include former Superintendent Carolyn Ross and former high-school principal Kevin Lords.
First place awards:
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Best Local Column, Steve Ranson. Judge's comment: "Great argument against the censorship of yearbooks."
Sports Spot News Story: Steve Ranson, Lady Wave wins 2nd straight basketball title. Judge's comment: "Good job weaving in the game story with the larger implications of the win."
Sports Feature Writing, Thomas Ranson, Wonder Woman. Judge's comment: "Good story and nice to hear from people in all aspects of her life."
Best Editorial Writing, Steve Ranson. Judge's comment: "Beautifully written and researched. The 'One Nevada' column in particular shows great sensitivity while still making an important point."
Best Graphic Designer, Laci Thompson. Judge's comment: "Nice use of powerful imagery. Good eye for balance."
Best Multiple Photo Essay, Thomas Ranson and Brad Coman, Back to back champs. Judge's comment: "The stand-out of the category with the most diverse and well-composed group of images."
Best Sports Photo, Thomas Ranson, Greenwave aims to qualify 10 wrestlers at regionals. Judge's comment: "This image immediately jumped to the top and left us wondering what happened immediately following this moment."
Second place awards:
Best Feature Writing, Steve Ranson and Laci Thompson, Holocaust. Judge's comment: "Nicely done. It's important to tell these types of stories before the people who lived through this are all gone."
Best Business Spot News Story: Aly Lawson, Enel Geothermal. Judge's comment: "Well written and comprehensive."
Explanatory Journalism, Aly Lawson and Steve Ranson, water flooding and mitigation. Judge's comment: "Great historical and current review of local water issues and mitigation. What a community effort to manage the pending runoff and flooding. Love the photos and cover image integration to drive visual attention."
Local nonstaff column, Jeanette Strong.
Best Sports Column, Thomas Ranson. At the National Newspapers of America (NNA) awards held at the same time in Norfolk, Va., Ranson received honorable mention for his column.
Community Service, Greenwave Hall of Fame.
Sports Feature Writing, Thomas Ranson, Otuafi cousins mix Polynesian way of life with basketball. Judge's comment: "Good story and a nice wrap-up at the end."
Third place awards
Best Business Feature, Steve Ranson, Kent's 125th Birthday.
Best Graphic Designer, Lauren Solinger.
Best Multiple Photo Essay, Laci Thompson, Memorial Day.
Best page one design, Laci Thompson and Rachel Guthrie.
Best Overall Design, LVN staff
Best Local Nonstaff Column, David Henley.
Former LVN government and education reporter Dave Price, who retired from the Record-Courier (Gardnerville) in July, was named Co-Journalist of the Year. Price started working for the Tahoe Daily Tribune as a sports stringer in high school in the early 1970s. He went to work for the paper upon graduation with nothing but his high-school journalism class under his belt. He became sports editor of the Record-Courier in 1980.
In 1996, Price went back to dailies when he went to work for the Nevada Appeal in Carson City. After a decade at the Appeal, he became the sports editor at the Grass Valley Union, later working for the Sierra Sun and Lahontan Valley News before returning to The Record-Courier in 2014.
Churchill County High School graduate Brett McGinness and Kelly Scott from the Reno Gazette Journal won Editorial of the Year for all newspapers on free speech. Said the judge: "Concise, well written editorial that gets right to the point and makes it strong."
McGinness and Scott also won first place in Best Editorial Writing in the Urban Dailies category. He also teamed with Mark Robison for second place in Best Editorial Page.