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The DP earns 14 WVPA awards

The Dominion Post newspaper took 14 editorial awards in the West Virginia Press Association 2021 Newspaper Contest.

Morgantown’s newspaper, competing in Division 1,  took four first-place awards, including one for Best COVID-19 coverage.

“This award goes to our entire newsroom staff,” said Editor Pam Queen. “We are proud to have brought our readers all the information on COVID-19 they needed to stay safe during the pandemic.

“With the Delta variant ramping up, we want our readers to know they can depend on us to keep them abreast of this dreaded virus once again.”

One of the newspaper’s second-place awards was also in the Best COVID-19 Coverage category for Jim Bissett’s articles on COVID issues in Monongalia County Schools.

From the onset of the COVID pandemic, The Dominion Post took on the mission of giving readers all the information available. Hundreds of stories were written by staff reporters with at least one, often more, published each day.

 The newspaper also published updated numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state Department of Health and Human Services and Johns Hopkins Hospital, giving readers an idea of how many people were contracting the virus and dying from it locally, nationally and around the world.

“From telling readers how quickly the virus was spreading through the community to updating them on when and where to be tested, we wanted to make sure our readers had all the information to keep themselves as safe as possible,” Queen said.

 “When Sundale was determined to have the first outbreak in Morgantown, we were there. When rumors started flying about the virus being a hoax, we talked to medical experts to get the facts. When schools were affected, we kept on top of district policies so parents could do what was best for their children.”

The newspaper has no plans to let up on this coverage, as readers will want and need to know what’s going on with the Delta variant and vaccines.

As important as the COVID coverage was and continues to be, there are other staffers to recognize.

Photographer William Wotring took a first-place for a sports photo titled, “Running game facelift?,” which featured WVU’s running back Leddie Brown going against Eastern Kentucky in a 56-10 win.

Wotring was also named the second best photographer in the state in Division 1 for his work throughout the year. He and Grayson Hall took a second place for Photo Essay with photos showing area high school athletes getting back on the fields and courts when COVID allowed.

Other first place honors went to David Beard for Best News Feature for his covering of government officials visiting the Richard Mine site on Deckers Creek; and the staff for Best Newspaper Design.

Bissett also took three third-place awards in the Best News Feature category.

Second-place awards

  • Grayson Hall, Sports Photography
  • Ron Rittenhouse, Feature Photography
  • Jessica Nelson, Best Editorial Page
  • William Wotring, Best Photograher/Videographer
  • William Wotring and Grayson Hall, Photo Essay

Third-place awards

  • Katie McDowell, Best Lifestyle Columnist
  • Jim Bissett, Best News Feature

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