Bob Brown, whose storied career as a Richmond Times-Dispatch photojournalist spanned more than five decades, on Thursday received the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Virginia Press Association.
The honor was presented virtually by the organization during its annual News & Advertising Contest. The Times-Dispatch also earned more than 40 awards, including top honors in the news, advertising and general excellence, during the event.
Brown, who retired on March 31, began as a photographer in 1968 and was a mainstay of the Virginia General Assembly. He authored two books with Times-Dispatch Columnist Bill Lohmann, “Back Roads — People, Places and Pie from around Virginia” and “On the Back Roads Again — More People, Places and Pie from around Virginia.”
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“In his travels, he has visited every possible corner of the state. He may have visited some of the remote locations more often than the elected leaders for that area,” wrote Brown’s award nominators, Paige Mudd, local news director for Lee Enterprises’ Eastern Region, and Randy Jessee, editorial systems administrator. “Whatever he covers, Bob is always looking for, and finding, the significant moment that tells a story.”
Said Steve Helber, a staff photographer with The Associated Press: “It’s hard to overstate the impact that Bob Brown has had on the photojournalism community in Virginia. As he concluded his 52nd legislative session, it seemed like his work had gotten better and more nuanced as the days went on.”
VPA Executive Director Betsy Edwards noted many of Brown’s accomplishments during his career.
“We appreciate you and all that you’ve done for Virginia newspapers and Virginia,” Edwards said during the award presentation. “We don’t give this award away very often ... but, Bob, as soon as we heard that you were retiring, we knew immediately that you needed to receive it.”
Also on Thursday, Times-Dispatch staffers earned “Best of Show” awards in:
Daily Digital: Eva Russo
Daily Photography: Shaban Athuman
Daily Presentation: The Times-Dispatch staff
Daily Graphics, Illustration and Art: Dwayne Carpenter
The Times-Dispatch claimed 29 first-place awards in the regular categories. The winners were:
Brown, for general news photo and photo illustration
The Times-Dispatch sports staff, for best daily sports section
Reed Williams, for feature story writing
Alexa Welch Edlund, for pictorial photo
Kira Rider, for page design
Russo, for video
Justin Morrison and Dave Sager, for best front page
Bill Lohmann, for feature profile writing
The Times-Dispatch video team, for its election night livestream
Daniel Sangjib Min and Edlund, for photo gallery
Jess Nocera, for government writing portfolio
Mark Bowes, for public safety writing
Athuman, for feature photo
The Times-Dispatch staff, for best daily publication
As I’ve said on more than a few occasions over the years, photographer Bob Brown and I discovered early on that we share a similar ambition: s…
Kenya Hunter and team, for data journalism
Mark Robinson, for general news writing
Colleen Curran, for feature writing portfolio
Russo, Sager, Robinson and Sabrina Moreno, for combination picture and story
Clay Barbour, Lewis Brissman and Morrison for specialty pages or sections for En forme magazine
Carpenter, for illustrations
Stephen Summerell, Barbour, Brissman and Carpenter for special sections
Additionally, earning top honors in advertising categories were Farah Walton and Jacob Remian for lifestyles, Julie Ketcham for real estate, Michelle Gillison for small space ads, Stefen Williams for fashion and personal care, Jonnie Corbett for food and drug, and Corbett and Carpenter for education-churches-organizations.
The Times-Dispatch news team also won 11 second-place awards and 13 third-place awards.
The honors were judged by journalists at member papers in other states.