InsideNoVa’s Prince William County newspaper won the Virginia Press Association’s competition award among the state’s largest weeklies for editorial and advertising excellence in 2021.
InsideNoVa/Prince William won a total of 31 awards in the annual VPA competition, including 11 first prizes. Competing against other weekly newspapers with circulations over 9,000 copies, InsideNoVa/Prince William won the editorial competition prize as well as the overall competition. The contest rewards are based on a points system, with three points for every first place, two points for every second place, and one point for every third place.
Prizes were announced online this week, with the first prizes announced on Thursday.
InsideNoVa/Prince William, then called Prince William Today, also won the overall competition award in 2013 and the advertising competition award in 2018. Last year, the newspaper and website won the VPA award for integrity journalism and community service for its coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
“We have significantly expanded our media coverage of Prince William and surrounding communities over the past 18 months, and it is gratifying to see the hard work of our team recognized in this way,” said Bruce Potter, publisher of InsideNoVa. “I’m proud of all of our staff.”
Among the honours, InsideNoVa education reporter Jared Foretek received two first-place awards for his coverage of Prince William County public schools, and reporters James Jarvis and Paul Lara received first-place editorial awards from General News for their coverage of efforts to house and resettle Afghan refugees in Northern Virginia.
InsideNoVa’s first prizes were as follows:
- Writing breaking news: Jared Foretek, for coverage of a school board meeting that had to be suspended due to an unruly crowd.
- Column write: Al Alborn, for a selection of three columns
- Editorial writing: Bruce Potter, for a selection of three editorials
- Education Writing: Jared Foretek, for coverage of public school issues in Prince William County.
- General news writing: James Jarvis and Paul Lara, for their coverage of efforts to temporarily house and resettle Afghan refugees in Northern Virginia
- Writing titles: Bruce Potter, for a selection of three titles
- Slideshow or online gallery: Paul Lara, for the photos of Wreaths Across America
- Writing sports chronicles: David Fawcett, for a selection of three sports chronicles.
- Sports News Photo: Bill Kamenjar, for a photo of the Hylton football team winning the state championship
- Sports pages: David Fawcett and Casea Bunn, for a selection of three sports pages
- Automotive: Connie Fields and the creative team, for Top Shine Car Wash and Detail Center
The newspaper’s runner-up 13 honors were:
- Writing breaking news: Dave Fawcett and Paul Lara, for coverage of the death of Woodbridge assistant football coach Fred Moore
- Column write: Kristina Nohe, for a selection of three chronicles
- Feature photo: Paul Lara, for a photo from the Manassas Railway Festival.
- Feature Film Writing Portfolio: Jared Foretek, for a selection of feature articles
- General makeup: Staff, for a selection of three newspapers
- Page design: Casea Bunn, for a selection of sports, lifestyles and front pages
- Public Safety Writing: Jared Foretek, for a selection of articles
- Specialized pages or sections: Paul Lara and Casea Bunn, for the Military News pages
- Sports report photo: Bill Kamenjar, for a photo of Gainesville High School’s first football practice
- Sports News Photo: Bill Kamenjar, for a photo of Patriot football player Keith Jenkins
- Entertainment: Connie Fields and the creative team, for the Prince William County Fair
- food and drugs: Connie Fields and the creative team, for the Greek restaurant Zorbas
- Lifestyles: Connie Fields and the creative team, for the Prince William Ice Center
The seven third place awards were:
- Special Sections: The advertising and creative teams, for the Best of Prince William 2021
The Woodbridge-based InsideNoVa/Prince William newspaper was launched in January 2013 as Prince William Today and is owned by local company Rappahannock Media LLC. The newspaper reaches approximately 25,000 homes each week in Prince William County, with some additional deliveries in southern Fairfax County.
Online, InsideNoVa.com, which started in 2003, has about 800,000 unique visitors per month, more than 105,000 Facebook fans and 80,000 email newsletter subscribers. The website covers news from Northern Virginia.
One of InsideNoVa’s sister publications, the Rappahannock News, a weekly newspaper published in Rappahannock County, won the news competition prize among the second smallest group of non-daily newspapers in the state. The Rappahannock News also won Best in Show awards for graphics and illustrations and for online photography among non-daily newspapers.
Another InsideNoVa publication, Ashburn Magazine, won 16 awards in the Specialty category, including six first prizes and two Best in Show awards – for writing and for publicity.
All VPA competition winners are available here.