For the third consecutive year, the Richmond Times-Dispatch won the grand sweepstakes award in the Virginia Press Association’s annual contest, recognizing overall excellence in news and advertising in the category that includes the state’s largest newspapers based on circulation.
The Times-Dispatch earned a combined 55 awards, including 27 first-place nods, in the 2019 VPA contest for its journalism and advertising work, a record number for the RTD. Those awards were announced earlier this year.
In addition to Thursday’s announcement of the sweepstakes awards, VPA announced that RTD graphic artist Kira Rider won Best in Show in the category “Daily Graphics, Illustration and Art” for her Insight page on the Outer Banks.
“If you ever wanted to know about the Outer Banks without reading a book, this was the story and graphic to go to,” the judges said. “The illustration told a story in an easy to read fashion. For all of the tourists who visit this area, this should be their go-to primer on what the area is all about.”
The Times-Dispatch news and editorial staffs earned 16 first-place awards, including the coveted In-Depth/Investigative award for the RTD’s three-part series “Unguarded,” which explored the state’s guardianship laws, and first places in Breaking News and General News writing for its first-day and yearlong coverage of the Gov. Ralph Northam blackface scandal.
The RTD’s advertising department earned 11 first-place honors.
The awards were announced earlier this year by the VPA, which typically reveals the awards at a banquet in the spring. This year’s banquet, scheduled for early April, was postponed until the fall because of COVID-19. The sweepstakes awards were announced by online video Thursday.
The 2019 VPA contest was judged by the Hoosier State Press Association of Indiana.