Times staff wins 16 honors at 2013 VPA awards

Includes four first-place designations

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The Washington Times has won 16 awards in the 2013 Virginia Press Association competition for writing, photography and design, an annual contest among multiple news organizations in several regions. The recognition included four first-place designations.

The Times received a first-place award in the category of breaking news for its coverage of the Navy Yard massacre, recognizing the work of a dozen writers who contributed real-time reporting and analysis during the unfolding drama. The team included White House reporter David Boyer, political editor Stephen Dinan, Inside the Beltway columnist Jennifer Harper, Capitol Hill reporter Jacqueline Klimas, local reporters Andrea Noble and Meredith Somers, Capitol Hill reporter David Sherfinski, enterprise reporter Phillip Swarts, national reporter Cheryl Wetzstein and White House reporter Ben Wolfgang.

Film critic Peter Suderman also received first place in critical writing for a trio of movie reviews. Photographer Andrew Harnik received two first-place awards for his feature photos in both sports and feature news. Mr. Harnik garnered a pair of second-place awards for a daily news photo and a portrait of a grieving military widow, in addition to a third-place award in the pictorial photo category for his image of the nation’s capital on the brink of a federal government shutdown.

“From the breaking news of the Navy Yard tragedy to the extraordinary journalistic talents and insights of colleagues like Andrew Harnik, Stephen Dinan and Peter Suderman, we’re thrilled that we offered meaningful news coverage in 2013 to our readers and grateful that the VPA judges recognized this work as best in class,” said John Solomon, editor and vice president for content and business development for The Times. “It’s another sign of The Washington Times’ resurgence in the content marketplace.”

Universal Desk night editor Cheryl Danehart took second place for headline writing, while the Universal Desk design team garnered second place for a sample of three front-page designs and second place in sports page design.

Another Washington Times team effort won third place in the competition for breaking news coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing. The eight-person team included Mr. Dinan, Capitol Hill reporter Tom Howell Jr., Ms. Noble and Capitol Hill reporter Seth McLaughlin.

Mr. Dinan also won third place in the government writing category for a selection of stories that covered Mexican drug cartels as well as misbehavior at the Environmental Protection Agency and on K Street. In addition, Ms. Noble garnered third-place recognition in public-safety writing for stories that cited police videos, alligators as property guards and the increasing popularity of ski masks.

National reporter Nathan Porter took third place in health, science and environmental writing for his look at e-cigarettes, while sports writer Nathan Fenno won a third-place award in the sports column category for three stories on the NCAA and assorted player behaviors. Baseball correspondent writer Amanda Comak also took third place for a sports writing portfolio.

The awards were announced Saturday by the Virginia Press Association during its annual conference in Richmond.

In a separate contest, The Washington Times advertising staff has also been recognized for their prowess in the field. The Maryland Delaware DC Press Association — a group representing 72 news organizations in Maryland, Delaware and Washington — has cited Doug Alexander, Jud Almond, Brian Bauman, Jenneetta Brown, Barbara Buren, Patrick Crofoot, DaRrell Jones, Linda Ricca and Jon Spokes for their work in advertising design for print and the Web and other promotions. Specific awards will be revealed May 16.

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