RALEIGH — The Bladen Journal took home three awards, two for first place, during the North Carolina Press Association’s annual editorial and photojournalism contest on Thursday.
Competing in the Community Newspaper Division among newspapers with between 3,500 and 10,000 in circulation, the Bladen Journal was recognized by judges from the Pennsylvania, Minnesota and New York press associations.
“It’s always an honor to be recognized by our peers,” said W. Curt Vincent, general manager/editor of the Bladen Journal. “The competition throughout the industry in North Carolina is extremely tough, so these awards mean a lot to us.”
The Bladen Journal was awarded:
— First place in the Religion & Faith Reporting category for a story written by Staff Writer Chrysta Carroll titled “Churches unite for fellowship and worship,” which reported on the joint effort by the congregations from Tar Heel Baptist Church and Clark’s Chapel AME Zion Church.
It was the newspaper’s first-ever award in this category.
— First place in the Sports Coverage category for the sports sections produced by Vincent during the month of January 2016. The two editions entered were heavily filled with East Bladen and West Bladen basketball.
The newspaper had never won first place in this category, but did take third place in 2011, 2012 and 2015.
— Third place in the Serious Columns category for a trio of columns written by Vincent. The three columns were titled “Remembering my first hero,” “Exclusive interview with God” and “A young boy, his grandfather and a wheelbarrow.”
Vincent is a multiple winner for column writing since 2009. In the Serious Columns category, he took first place in 2011, second place in 2013 and first place in 2015. In the Lighter Columns category, he took second place in 2009 and third place in 2011.
The event was held at the Sheraton Raleigh, and the contest period ran from Oct. 1, 2015, through Sept. 30, 2016.