The Pahrump Valley Times received the award for “General Excellence” during the 2018 the annual Nevada Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest banquet in Las Vegas over the weekend.
General excellence goes to the best newspaper in the state as compared to all others in a specific category.
Reporters Jeffrey Meehan, Robin Hebrock and Selwyn Harris, along with editor David Jacobs, publisher Noah Cusick, designer Jessica Beaudoin, lead graphic designer Heather Ruth, and copy editor Pam Christie, were recognized at Palace Station on Saturday for their work to gain general excellence in the intermediate category.
This list of team members and others were also recognized for their work in the Times’ sister publication, the Tonopah Times-Bonanza &Goldfield News, which is in the community category.
In all, the Pahrump paper won 22 awards and the Tonopah paper 18.
In Pahrump, staff members won a total of 10 first-place awards and had several second and third-place finishes. For Tonopah, the staff won 13 first-place awards in addition to separate second and third place honors.
Jacobs noted that “every staff journalist who has worked for the publications in the last year and a half won an award and every one of them won first place, which is quite a statement and credit to them.”
He added that “three of our key freelance journalists, Tim Burke, Robin Flinchum and Richard Stephens, also all won awards and all won first place.”
Judges stated that the Pahrump Valley Times won general excellence for its “good, wide-ranging journalism, excellent typography, strong advertising design. Great paper…”
The several categories in each publication judged, such as intermediate and community, are based on the circulation level of an outlet. Pahrump is in the intermediate category while Tonopah is in the community category.
The staff at the Times were honored with some 22 awards for their work at the publication across several categories. Staff also took home several first-place wins for its sister publication, the Tonopah Times-Bonanza &Goldfield News.
Robin Hebrock, who came to the Pahrump Valley Times in early 2018 after spending roughly four years at The Mirror, which ceased operations at the end of last year, took home the journalist of merit award, which recognizes journalists who have less than five years’ experience.
Staff also took other top awards.
Meehan was recognized for first place in the best digital news category. Meehan also won first in the best entertainment and best business feature categories for his work in the Tonopah Time-Bonanza &Goldfield News, which is in the community category.
Reporter Selwyn Harris took first in the best news feature category; he also won first, along with Jacobs, for best digital breaking news story.
Jacobs also took home a first-place award for digital innovation for the Times-Bonanza in the community category.
One-time sports editor of the Times-Bonanza and Pahrump Valley Times Vern Hee and former reporter Daria Sokolova, who wrote for both newspapers, both also won several first-place awards in the community category for their work at the Times-Bonanza.
Hee’s awards also included a first place for sports column writing in the Pahrump Valley Times.
Sokolova’s awards were first-place finishes in both investigative and explanatory journalism in addition to business spot news reporting.
Tom Rysinski, current sports editor at the Times and Times-Bonanza, also took home a first-place award for his work at the Times-Bonanza.
Between the two publications, reporters, designers and other staff took home a total of 23 first-place prizes, including general excellence for the Pahrump Valley Times.
The Times and Times-Bonanza also did well in the design and advertising categories in a contest judged by members of the North Dakota Newspaper Association.
Heather Ruth, lead graphic designer for the Pahrump Valley Times and Times-Bonanza, took home a total of five individual first-place awards across both publications.
Page Designer Jessica Beaudoin won a total of three first-place awards at the event in Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Boulder City Review, both affiliate publications with the Pahrump Valley Times and Times-Bonanza, also won for general excellence, in the urban daily and community category, respectively. Overall, the Review-Journal and all of its sister publications won a total of 128 awards.
The work by the Review-Journal team during the Oct. 1 mass shooting took many of the top honors during the awards banquet.
All the sister publications to the Review-Journal, Boulder City Review, Luxury Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Business Press, the Times and Times-Bonanza, took a total of 60 awards.
“We’re proud the Review-Journal and its affiliated publications received so many honors. Our work really makes a difference in the lives of our readers,” Review-Journal Publisher and Editor Keith Moyer said. “We’ve built an incredible team and assembled the most talented and dedicated newsrooms in Nevada.”
In 2016, the Pahrump Valley Times won general excellence for the first time in its history under the publication’s previous editor, Arnold Knightly.
A complete list of winners is available on the Nevada Press Association’s website.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal contributed to this story.
Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at email@example.com