03/02/12 — News-Argus honored at state awards banquet

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News-Argus honored at state awards banquet

By Staff Reports
Published in News on March 2, 2012 1:55 PM

But the "General Excellence" honor was only one of the accolades members of the staff brought back home to Wayne County.

Staff Writer Kenneth Fine earned two more awards, bringing his total to 10 since he joined the News-Argus staff.

And Chief Photographer Michael Betts brought home two honors as well.

This year's winners, judges said, stood out among thousands of entries that made up one of the biggest journalism contests in the nation.

They include:

* "The Fighter," 1st place, Profile Feature Writing: This story, written by Kenneth Fine, chronicled the journey of Caroline Daniels, a typical teenage girl whose life was forever changed when she was diagnosed with cancer. "Great quotes, terrific emotion and a powerful ending," the judge said. "Touching, superbly written story."

* "Angry Irene," 1st place, Deadline News Reporting: While most Wayne County residents were weathering Hurricane Irene from the safety of their homes and local shelters, members of the News-Argus staff were meeting the storm head on. "Of the many hurricane entries in this category, this staff effort was by far the most comprehensive in telling of the impact across a range of areas," the judge said. "Great teamwork."

* "Pride Fight," 1st place, Sports Coverage: This story, written and shot by Chief Photographer Michael Betts, gave readers an inside look at the world of Mixed Martial Arts -- and a war veteran who puts his body on the line each time he steps into the octagon. "Pride Fight was one heck of a story. Superbly written, excellent quotes, the characters are woven into the story perfectly," the judge said. "It's captivating and emotional and teaches a lesson about the true meaning of sports, just a humble guy going to war. This entry was a clear winner."

* "For Coach Les," 2nd place, Sports Feature Writing: Not long after Seymour Johnson Air Force Base technical sergeant and Rosewood Little Eagles head coach Les Williams died in Afghanistan, Kenneth Fine was in the community talking to those parents charged with telling their sons that their hero wasn't coming home from his tour. And months later, when the team dedicated their season to their beloved role model, Fine, again, was there. "I cried as I read this story. Never have I felt so much emotion from a written piece," the judge said. "This guy is a hero and your article will be pasted into many scrapbooks for years to come."

* "Way Up in the Air," 2nd place, Photo Page: The News-Argus Photo Department's coverage of Wings Over Wayne 2011 caught the eye of the judge in this category, who called their finished product a "nice variety of photos from a local event."

* "April 2011," 2nd place, Best Community Coverage: Two editions in April earned the News-Argus staff this honor in the contest's newest category. "Community newspaper coverage sings with these two editions of the Goldsboro News-Argus," the judge said.