‘Sunday Valley News’ Named Newspaper of the Year
West Lebanon — The Sunday Valley News was recognized as the 2015 New England Newspaper of the Year by the New England Newspaper & Press Association at its annual awards banquet in Natick, Mass., last month.
The press association confers the award based on newspaper circulation, with four awards for Sunday newspapers. The Sunday Valley News won the award among newspapers with a circulation up to 20,000. The runners-up were The Sunday Telegraph of Nashua, N.H., and the Sunday Standard-Times of New Bedford, Mass.
This is the second year in a row that the Sunday Valley News has won the association’s Newspaper of the Year award. It was named a runner-up for the award in 2011.
“It is an honor to be named New England Sunday Newspaper of the Year,” said Dan McClory, publisher of the Valley News. “To receive this recognition in a competition that encompasses a six-state region is a tribute that our entire staff can be proud of.”
The contest is different from most newspaper competitions because of its emphasis on readers’ perspective. Entries from participating newspapers are submitted for judging to a panel of newspaper readers rather than professionals.
The readers’ panel was instructed to evaluate each newspaper’s relative strength and weakness based on a number of categories, including the quality of reporting and writing, the use of photographs, design, digital offerings, the publication’s overall value and general impressions, such as whether the newspaper stood out as being special.
Newspapers were required to submit their editions on a day selected by the press association and another edition of their own choosing for the contest period of Aug. 1, 2014, through July 31, 2015.
The Sunday Valley News edition chosen by editors was from Jan. 18, 2015, which featured A1 stories about declining sales at Newport firearm manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Co. and the decision by the Hartford Selectboard to let voters decide the fate of the town’s curbside recycling program. That edition also included stories about how firefighters, police officers and EMTs rallied to support one of their own who had fallen ill, how residents reacted to the fire that destroyed the former Ascutney Mountain Resort base lodge, and a Jim Kenyon column on Hanover’s new police chief.
Other prominent stories from that edition included a Business page report on a consulting service run by students at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, a story about a program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center that puts future emergency physicians in fire trucks and ambulances alongside first responders, a Sports section account of narrow wins by the Lebanon High School girls and boys Nordic skiing teams, and a Perspectives page piece by Meredith Angwin, a physical chemist from Wilder, arguing for conservation and grid diversity to help prevent drastic increases in the price of electricity.
“We could not produce a newspaper worthy of this tribute without our loyal readers and advertisers,” McClory said.