LVN honored with 17 awards at state NPA convention
The Lahontan Valley News won 17 awards including five for first place on Saturday at the Nevada Press Association’s (NPA) annual awards presentation in Mesquite.
“I am very proud of the LVN staff and its contributors who won awards this year,” said LVN General Manager/Editor Steve Ranson. “I am also proud of those writers, ad designers and columnists who did outstanding work during the contest year but did not have their work recognized in the top three.”
The LVN competed in the Intermediate division, which includes small daily newspapers and weekly newspapers that print more than once a week.
Page designer Laci Thompson picked up a pair of first-place awards for the best page one design and overall design. Thompson, who has been a page designer on the LVN for three years, has previously been recognized for her photo essays and design.
“(A) Great mix of photos, design elements, fonts and colors to draw in readers,” said the category judge for Best Page One Design. “The front pages using big photo elements gave the appearance of magazine covers.”
Best Overall Designed included four issues of newspapers printed during each quarter of the contest year.
“This is a well-designed tab that makes good use of its limited space out front. Ads and inside pages are clean, easy to use. What could be junked-up is given room to breathe,” said the category judge.
The LVN took second in General Excellence behind the Pahrump Valley Times. Thompson was part of the design and editorial team that received recondition.
“Good layout and focus on youth sports. Large number of features seems to appeal to the audience,” added the judge.
Ranson said Thompson has become one of the best page designers in Swift Communications.
“Laci is our rock star and she continues to shine every year and dazzle the judges with her outstanding work,” Ranson added.
In addition to the two design first-place awards, the LVN also captured top honors in Best Advertising Innovations, Best Local Column and Best Entertainment Writing.
Ad designer Mike Madsen created the Merry Maids ad, which prompted the judge to praise the concept: “This is a small space ad and there is always a temptation to put too much in the space. You overcame that temptation to create a very ‘clean’ ad. This is perfect because it is for a cleaning company. This a truly a salute to less is more!”
David C. Henley, who is LVN’s publisher emeritus, received an award for Best Local Columnist, and Kirk Robertson garnered the first-place award in Entertainment Writing.
“(The) Writer does a great job of giving the reader the essential information in clear, concise prose,” said the judge. “Great entry. Stories are well-organized.”
Judges did not comment on Best Local Column.
Second-place award winners included the following: Best Nonstaff Story, Christy Lattin; Best Sports Column, Thomas Ranson; Best Advertising Innovation, Joanna Vernarecci; Best Editorial Writing, Steve Ranson; Best Breaking News Reporting, Steve Ranson; and Best Explanatory Journalism, Christine Kuklica.
Kuklica, who won an award in 2015 on a young girl’s suicide, followed up with an article in September that described how local agencies are trying to assist depressed individuals.
“Front page cover delivers impact, empirical stats and data, quotes from school officials — what they are doing for the group that is most at risk,” said the judge who offered comments on Kuklica’s follow-up.
Third-place winners were as follows:
Best Sports Story, Best Editorial Page, Steve Ranson; Ranson; Best Nonstaff Story, Christy Lattin; Best Advertising Innovation, April Miller; Best Local Nonstaff Column, Rick Seley; and Best Breaking News, Steve Puterski.
Ranson, who has been editor of the LVN since 2008, also ended his one-year term as board president of the Nevada Press Association. Kelly Scott, executive editor of the Reno Gazette Journal, succeeds Ranson, who now holds the position of past president.