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Style Weekly Journalism Honored by State Press Associations

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Judges in two state journalism competitions were gripped by an emotional portrait (above) of an aunt honoring her late nephew, homicide victim Ricky Burton, during a candlelight vigil in Richmond's East End.

The photo, by Style Weekly's photography editor, Scott Elmquist, was named best-in-show by the Virginia News Photographers Association, as well as best-in-show in the photography category of Style's division at the Virginia Press Association.

Style also captured the press association's best-in-show award for writing in its division with work by staff reporter Amy Biegelsen. Her winning entries included a cover story on Richmond Community Development Director Rachel Flynn, a cover story on changes in the mental-health industry, and a story on backyard graveyards.

“All three stories tackle interesting issues that aren't on the front page every day but still important,” judges wrote of Biegelsen's work. “Writing is tight, refreshingly entertaining, with names and voices to keep readers interested.”

Best-in-show winners at VPA are selected from among all first-place winners in a division.  Awards were presented March 21 in Norfolk at the association's annual convention.

Biegelsen also won first place for business and financial writing for her cover story on the strange, behind-the-scenes world of buying and selling grease.

Staff reporter Chris Dovi earned a first-place for in-depth or investigative reporting for a cover story on the history of slave trading in Richmond.

“The Lost City,” a story and photo essay on Old Manchester by Elmquist, news editor Scott Bass and art director Jeff Bland, won two first-place awards.

Style's coverage of the Richmond mayoral campaign through 2008 also earned top honors. Biegelsen, Dovi and Bass won first place for general news writing. Judges called the staff's “Richmond Decision '08,” a three-part series of mayoral forums featuring live blogging from RVANews, a “multimedia triumph,” which won first place for multimedia news reporting. Judges cited print stories, media-partner collaborations, radio efforts on WRIR, video features and live-blogging efforts from

Style co-hosted the series with the League of Women Voters, along with the Virginia Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, the Coalition for a Greater Richmond and the Virginia Conference United Methodist Board of Church and Society, with numerous community supporters.

The annual Music Issue, which featured a cover story, online music clips, a live concert and the production of Style's first CD, “Sounds of Richmond No. 1,” earned a first-place award for multimedia feature reporting.

For his introspective humor essay on “cougar hunting,” a feature in the annual Bar Guide, arts editor Brandon Reynolds took first place for leisure and lifestyle writing.

Style's “The HR Department” cartoon, by deputy managing editor Ed Harrington, also won first place in the editorial cartoons category, with the judges citing Harrington's “classic style and … wry humor.”

In all, Style earned 11 first places, 11 seconds and four thirds in its division for writing, photography, presentation, art and multimedia journalism. S


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