A congregation in crisis, a homicide victim's friends gathering for comfort and Richmond's flourishing arts and culture scenes were singled out by the Virginia Press Association as outstanding community coverage from Style Weekly.
The newsmagazine's editorial team received some of the highest recognition in the state for its journalism at VPA's awards ceremony, held at the Short Pump Hilton on Saturday. Style's advertising staff landed the highest honors in its division.
Photographer Scott Elmquist won his eighth consecutive best-in-show award for a portrait of a woman mourning a friend killed in a Mechanicsville convenience store. "The grief of this one person speaks volumes," a judge wrote.
Staff reporter Ned Oliver won his first best-in-show award for delving into the rise and fall of pastor Geronimo Aguilar and his departure from the Richmond Outreach Center. "This is a comprehensive look at the public and private workings of a megachurch," wrote a judge, calling the story both "shattering" and "touching."
Judges cited News Editor Tina Griego's first-place feature portfolio as "very thorough, moving stories," which included coverage of friends and family members in the wake of a high-school basketball star killed in a street shooting. Staff reporter Tom Nash won first with his news writing portfolio, which included how Richmond activists were tackling human trafficking.
Style nearly swept the critical writing category with awards in theater and film reviews by David Timberline and Nicholas Emme. For his Back Page opinion essays, Thad Williamson won first place for column or commentary writing.
The Beer Issue, a feature on Richmond's flourishing craft brewing industry, won a first-place food writing award for Rich Griset, Hilary Langford and Genevelyn Steele, and a first-place illustration award for Chris Mason.
In all, the competition handed out 13 first-place awards for Style's editorial coverage. They included Elmquist's photographs, Brent Baldwin's headline writing, business and financial writing by Scott Bass and multimedia news and sports reports by Oliver, Elmquist, Scott Misturini and Ed Harrington.
Style's advertising team, which competes in a separate but parallel competition, won the highest honors in its division, bringing home the sweepstakes award for the most points earned. Mason, Joel Smith, Dana Elmquist, Jamie Haboush, Toni McCracken and Tonie Stevens won a combined eight first-place awards.
For their work on Church Hill's Hogtober ad campaign and special section, Stevens, Smith and Mason won best-in-show awards for two categories. The full list of awards is below.
Business and Financial Writing - 1st Place
Scott Bass, "Underserved: The Children's Hospital Debate"
Business and Financial Writing - 3rd Place
Ned Oliver, "Thinking Outside the Bag: Relay Foods"
Column or Commentary Writing - 1st Place
Thad Williamson, "Back Page Essays"
Critical Writing - 1st Place
David Timberline, "Theater Reviews"
Critical Writing - 2nd Place
Nicholas Emme, "Film Reviews"
Food Writing - 1st Place
Rich Griset, Hilary Langford, Genevelyn Steele, "The Beer Issue"
General News Writing - 3rd Place
Scott Bass, Ned Oliver - "Redskins Training Camp"
In-depth or Investigative Reporting - 1st Place / Best-in-Show
Ned Oliver, "Struck by the ROC"
In-depth or Investigative Reporting - 2nd Place
Tom Nash, "Breaking Free"
Leisure, Lifestyle or Home Writing - 2nd Place
Edwin Slipek, "Lasting Romance"
Public Affairs Writing - 2nd Place
Ned Oliver, "Mechanical Failure"
General News Photo - 1st Place
Scott Elmquist, "Grief Struck"
Picture Story or Essay - 2nd Place
Scott Elmquist, "Murder Vigil"
Sports News Photo - 1st Place
Scott Elmquist, "Ultimate Air Dog Competition"
Art and Design
Illustrations - 1st Place
Chris Mason, "The Beer Issue"
Headline Writing - 1st Place
Special Sections or Special Editions - 3rd Place
Staff, "2013 Best of Richmond"
Combination Picture and Story - 3rd Place
Ned Oliver, Scott Elmquist, Ed Harrington, "Street Smarting"
Multimedia News Report - 1st Place
Ned Oliver, Scott Misturini, Scott Elmquist, "Struck by the ROC"
Multimedia Feature Report - 3rd Place
Brent Baldwin, Andrew Cothern, Scott Elmquist, "2013 Music Issue - The Sounds of Richmond Vol. 6"
Multimedia Sports Report - 1st Place
Andrew Cothern, Scott Elmquist, "Rocking the River"
Online Slideshow - 2nd Place
Scott Elmquist, "Scenes from the Farooq Bhimdi Vigil"
Online Slideshow - 3rd Place
Scott Elmquist, "Scenes from the Robert Poag Vigil"
Online Video - 3rd Place
Briget Ganske, "The Power to Change"
Winner of the Advertising Sweepstakes Award: Style Weekly
Slick Publications - 1st Place
Chris Mason, Dana Elmquist, "Go Green"
Slick Publications - 2nd Place
Kira Jenkins, Dana Elmquist, "Little Black Book"
Slick Publications - 3rd Place
Chris Mason, Dana Elmquist, "Richmond 360"
Education and Churches - 1st Place
Chris Mason, Dana Elmquist, "St. Joseph's Villa"
Education and Churches - 2nd Place
Chris Mason, Toni McCracken, "Level Green"
Education and Churches - 3rd Place
Joel Smith, Tonie Stevens, "American Heart Association"
Online Advertising - 2rd Place
Chris Mason, Dana Elmquist, "Artworks"
Online Advertising - 3rd Place
Chris Mason, Hannah Bearer, "Nacho Taco"
Real Estate - 1st Place
Chris Mason, Jamie Haboush, "Courthouse View"
Real Estate - 2nd Place
Joel Smith, Jamie Haboush, "Drucker & Falk"
Entertainment and Lifestyles - 1st Place
Chris Mason, Toni McCracken, "Loveland [Filthy 5K]"
Entertainment and Lifestyles - 3rd Place
Joel Smith, Tonie Stevens, "Mustache Dash [logo intro]"
Campaign - 1st Place / Best-in-Show
Joel Smith, Chris Mason, Tonie Stevens, "Hogtober"
Campaign - 2nd Place
Joel Smith, Dana Elmquist, "Buz & Ned's"
Campaign - 3rd Place
Joel Smith, Tonie Stevens, "Mustache Dash"
Food and Drug - 1st Place
Joel Smith, Dana Elmquist, "Buz & Ned's [ribs]"
Automotive - 1st Place
Joel Smith, Dana Elmquist, "Haley Certified"
Home and Garden - 3rd Place
Joel Smith, Dana Elmquist, "Board for Women's Health"
Special Sections - 1st Place / Best-in-Show
Joel Smith, Tonie Stevens, Chris Mason, "Hogtober"