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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Seven Days Wins Two Awards in Regional Media Competition

Posted By on Tue, Oct 15, 2019 at 2:54 PM

Every year the New England Newspaper and Press Association recognizes the most outstanding journalism in the region with its “Publick Occurrences” awards. Seven Days, Vermont’s free, independent newsweekly, won two — of 16 — at NENPA’s annual New England Newspaper Conference in Worcester, Mass., last week.

The judges selected “Give and Take,” the paper’s five-week exploration of Vermont’s nonprofit economy, for examining “every aspect of an important, and growing, sector in the state of Vermont,” according to the program writeup. “Seven Days was able to make the series compelling and even led to an embezzlement charge in the fundraising arena.”

The second award went to Seven Days and reporter Kate O’Neill for the series “Hooked: Stories and Solutions From Vermont’s Opioid Crisis.”

“There are many people stories here,” a judge wrote about Seven Days and O’Neill’s work, “but it is a wrenchingly personal account that pulls no punches.”

The Hooked series is partially funded by the Vermont Community Foundation, the University of Vermont Health Network and Pomerleau Real Estate.

NENPA’s Publick Occurrences awards are named after the first newspaper published in America — in 1690 Boston. Four days after its launch, the royal governor shut down the fledgling media company.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Seven Days Wins 27 Awards in Regional Media Competition

Posted By on Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 4:34 PM

Seven Days' 2017 NENPA awards - COREY GRENIER
  • Corey Grenier
  • Seven Days' 2017 NENPA awards
Seven Days, Vermont’s free, independent newsweekly, won 14 first-place awards in this year’s New England Better Newspaper Competition, including top honors for its reporting and writing, website, headline writing, design and presentation, and video journalism. The paper also won nine second-place awards and four third-place awards — 27 total.

The contest is organized by the New England Newspaper & Press Association. Winners were announced at NENPA’s annual convention Saturday night in Boston.

NENPA members submitted more than 3,000 entries, distributed among five categories: daily newspapers with circulation up to 30,000; daily newspapers with circulation more than 30,000; weekly newspapers with circulation up to 6,000; weekly newspapers with circulation more than 6,000; and specialty publications. Seven Days — which distributes 36,000 copies every week — competed against numerous other large New England weeklies.

Seven Days’ 14 first-place awards included:

• Three for “Stuck in Vermont” senior multimedia producer Eva Sollberger in the video categories. “A high-quality production with top-notch sound and graphics. A+!” wrote one contest judge. The winners were:

• Overall Website, for Seven Days staff. “An enticing front page that manages to elevate both news and culture,” a judge opined about

• Headline Writing, for story-toppers that, a judge wrote, “invite readers in.” The five headlines that made up the entry included this one: “Surrender Dorothy? Vermont may rename its children’s book award because of Dorothy Canfield Fisher’s ties to the eugenics movement.”

• Overall Design and Presentation, for the Seven Days design team. “Tops in presentation,” noted one judge.

• Crime and Courts Reporting for Mark Davis, for his “Death by Drugs” package that recounted fatal opiate overdoses in Vermont. A judge cited the “masterly article” that “brings home the opioid crisis by profiling 14 victims.”
• Local Personality Profile, also for Davis, for his story about former Vermont judge Ed Cashman, who was attacked for his handling of a sex offender’s case. “Details are rich and the pacing is excellent,” a judge wrote. “It is a solid, engaging and informative read.”
• Commentary, for political editor Paul Heintz, for “Rutland First: Vermont's Homegrown Opposition to Syrian Resettlement.” A judge concluded, “This examination of one group’s resistance to immigration was even-handed and made its points most effectively.”
• Arts & Entertainment reporting, for Dan Bolles, for “From Phish Shows to Breweries, Builder Russ Bennett Makes Magic.” Gushed a judge, “Storytelling devices he used created a smart and engaging piece packed with character and detail.”
• Human Interest Feature Story, for Sasha Goldstein. His “Lucky Bums” piece about Vermont’s pioneering skiing enthusiasts included “well-told profiles of the interesting characters whose lifelines made the region what it is,” a judge commented.
• Racial or Ethnic Issue Coverage, for Kymelya Sari, for her story, “Deaths Prompt Review of Safety, Swimming Programs for New Americans.” A judge called it a “well-written and enlightening report” that “brings together relevant voices and insights.” • Reporting on Religious Issues, also for Sari, for her story “With Imam Leaving, Colchester Mosque at a Crossroads.”
  • Illustration: Harry Bliss/Design: Rev. Diane Sullivan
• Illustration, for Harry Bliss, for a Seven Days cover illustration depicting President Trump, inspired by the classic Attack of the 50 Foot Woman film poster.

In second-place finishes, Heintz had four awards, and reporters Alicia Freese and Molly Walsh each earned one. A news photograph by James Buck and a sports video by Sollberger also claimed second-place slots. And Seven Days won second place for general excellence; a judge noted not only the paper’s appealing design but also its “strong enterprise reporting.”

Monday, December 4, 2017

Seven Days Wins 30 Vermont Press Association Awards

Posted By on Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 4:22 PM

First place photo in the "General News" category - MATTHEW THORSEN
  • Matthew Thorsen
  • First place photo in the "General News" category
Seven Days picked up 30 journalism awards, including 13 first-place prizes, at the Vermont Press Association’s annual meeting Thursday in Montpelier.

VPA officials handed out awards for two separate contests — one covering July 2015 through June 2016 and one covering July 2016 through June 2017 — at the gathering, held at the Capitol Plaza Hotel and Conference Center. The VPA includes 11 daily newspapers and four dozen non-dailies.

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Seven Days Political Editor Paul Heintz Wins Two Prestigious Journalism Prizes

Posted By on Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 4:15 PM

  • Matthew Thorsen
  • Paul Heintz
For his hard-hitting political reporting and successful efforts to pass a media shield law in Vermont, Seven Days political editor Paul Heintz has been selected as the AP Sevellon Brown New England Journalist of the Year. The New England Society of News Editors honored Heintz at its fall conference with the New England Newspaper & Press Association on Thursday in Natick, Mass. “He’s not just a dogged reporter and eloquent writer,” the judges said of Heintz, 33, of Hinesburg; “he’s a leader in the field.”

Heintz and Seven Days also received the 2017 Morley L. Piper First Amendment Award, which is presented “to a New England newspaper that shows leadership on First Amendment issues, either by the exceptional quality of its reporting or commentary, or for the way it overcame legal challenges.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Seven Days Wins Three First-Place Awards in National Media Competition

Posted By on Wed, Aug 9, 2017 at 12:49 PM

Seven Days, Vermont’s free, independent newsweekly, won three first-place awards at the annual Association of Alternative Newsmedia conference last month in Washington, D.C.

The AAN Awards recognize the most artful, compelling and courageous journalism produced each year by the alternative newsmedia. AAN member publications vary in size and circulation, and are based in cities across the U.S. and Canada; the annual awards contest gives these publications the opportunity to compete against their peers. This year’s competition consisted of 817 entries submitted by 67 publications; the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland conducted the judging. Seven Days’ awards included:

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Kids VT, Seven Days' Free Parenting Magazine, Wins Six Awards From National Parenting Media Group

Posted By on Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 1:29 PM

For the sixth year in a row, Kids VT, Vermont’s free monthly parenting magazine, took home the top writing prize at the Parenting Media Association’s Design and Editorial Awards Competition. The national competition recognizes excellence in journalism, photography and design in PMA member publications. The association announced the honors at its annual March convention in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Kids VT won the following awards in its size category:

“The writing in this publication is altogether original and engaging,” wrote the judge in the Overall Writing category.

The judge in the General Excellence category noted that, “Kids VT is unafraid to tackle complicated and challenging subjects.” An example: Freelance contributor Katie Titterton’s story from the April 2016 issue, about how Vermont parents navigate the “benefits cliff.” The term refers to the steep and sudden decline in health care benefits that a family faces if the parents’ income is just a few dollars over the maximum threshold for Medicaid.

“The author takes on a tough and important subject and clearly explains the topic,” wrote the judge in the News Feature category. “Not many parent’s publications would take on a complex issue like health care and be able to pull off a balanced and helpful piece. Excellent topic and superb journalism.”

This is the sixth year Kids VT has entered the PMA competition after the magazine was purchased by Burlington-based newsweekly Seven Days. The Kids VT staff recently redesigned the free monthly magazine for the first time since 2011 — the March 2017 issue is the first with several fresh new features, a kids’ activity section and a reorganized family fun calendar.

The PMA, headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., represents more than 100 parenting magazines and newspapers in the United States, Canada and Australia. Kids VT is distributed free each month at more than 700 locations in northern and central Vermont. Its comprehensive calendar and weekly email newsletter, the Wee-Mail, keep Vermont families up-to-date on the latest local events. Find all of Kids VT’s award-winning content at

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Seven Days Wins 10 First-Place Awards, Including General Excellence, in Regional Media Competition

Posted By on Wed, Mar 1, 2017 at 3:41 PM

click image Kymelya Sari, 2016 Rookie of the Year
  • Kymelya Sari, 2016 Rookie of the Year
Seven Days, Vermont's free, independent newsweekly, won 10 first-place awards in this year's New England Better Newspaper Competition — including General Excellence and top honors for crimes and courts reporting, video journalism, design and human interest feature story. Staff writer Kymelya Sari was chosen as Rookie of the Year for weekly newspapers in the six-state region. The contest is organized by the New England Newspaper and Press Association; winners were announced at NENPA's annual convention last week in Boston.

NENPA members submitted 3,226 entries, split among five categories: daily newspapers with circulation up to 30,000; daily newspapers with circulation more than 30,000; weekly newspapers with circulation up to 6,000; weekly newspapers with circulation more than 6,000; and specialty publications. Seven Days — which circulates 36,000 copies every Wednesday — competed against numerous other large, New England weeklies.

Seven Days' 10 awards included:

  • First place for General Excellence. "Well-written and researched stories," commented one judge. "Superb weekly paper."
  • First place, weekly newspaper Rookie of the Year, for Kymelya Sari. "I applaud the paper for creating a new beat on the immigrant and refugee communities," one judge wrote. "Most importantly, thank you to Kymelya Sari for the depth and quality of writing that makes the beat crucial to the readers." Sari, a Singapore native, first came to Seven Days as a reporting fellow, after earning a master's degree from the Columbia University School of Journalism. She is now a staff writer.
  • First place, Overall Design and Presentation, for the Seven Days design team. "Takes design risks...and succeeds!" gushed the judge. "It's a weekly that's light on the eyes, yet not afraid to tackle issues."
  • First place for Best Overall Website. "An excellent website and perfectly suited to its altweekly style," noted the judge. "Solid user interactivity across the website."
  • click image Eva Sollberger
    • Eva Sollberger
    Two first-place awards for senior multimedia producer Eva Sollberger's weekly web video series, "Stuck in Vermont": News Video, first place: "Stuck in Vermont 427: Trumpnado Hits Burlington;" Entertainment Video, first place: "Stuck in Vermont 446: Hanksville Mud Bog."
  • A first place in Crimes and Courts Reporting for Mark Davis. In particular, the judge praised his cover story, "A Second Chance: A Vermont Sheriff Risks His Career by Hiring a Sex Offender." "The reporting, interviews and documentation reveal a tale of conscience, struggle and complexity — and also forces the reader to reconsider the meaning of justice and redemption."
  • Mark Davis also won first place for his Human Interest Feature Story, "Right in Rutland: Will Mayor Chris Louras Fall on his Sword for 100 Syrians?" 
  • Kymelya Sari also took first place for Racial or Ethnic Issue Coverage, for her cover story on hate-crime victim Fatuma Bulle, who has become an advocate for refugee women and families. Readers "were treated with a well-written, deeply reported feature that introduces them to a victim who refused to be victimized," wrote the judge.
  • click image Paul Heintz
    • Paul Heintz
    click image Terri Hallenbeck
    • Terri Hallenbeck
  • First place for "Right-to-Know" for Terri Hallenbeck and Paul Heintz. The pair wrote about Seven Days' decision to contest subpoenas received as a result of the investigation of Sen. Norm McAllister. "Seven Days invested significant financial and editorial resources to challenge subpoenas issued for three of its reporters," noted the judge. "This type of investment reflects an admirable commitment to freedom of the press. When the paper could have easily accepted the subpoenas, it instead fought them and educated its readers about the First Amendment every step of the way."
Seven Days scored second-place honors for specialty publication, for the newly redesigned What's Good: A Seven Days Field Guide to Burlington. Political editor Paul Heintz won second place for political columnist and local personality profile for his cover story on Northeast Kingdom developer Bill "Sunshine" Stenger.

Finally, Eva Sollberger, Diane Sullivan and Bryan Parmelee shared an honorable mention in the feature video category, for "Stuck in Vermont 434: Stuck Inside a Vermonter's Colon." The video, which documents Seven Days art director Rev. Diane Sullivan's colonoscopy, memorializes her brother, Michael, who died of colorectal cancer in 2003.

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Monday, February 27, 2017

Candace Page Inducted Into the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 1:18 PM

Candace Page
  • Candace Page
Vermont journalist Candace Page has been inducted into the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame. Formerly of the Burlington Free Press, the Seven Days editor was recognized at the annual convention of the New England Newspaper and Press Association. “I can’t think of another living Vermont journalist who is more deserving of the honor,” said Seven Days publisher and coeditor Paula Routly, who nominated Page for the distinction and spoke on her behalf at the hall-of-fame dinner last Friday night in Boston.

Vermont-born, Brown-educated Page came to work at the Burlington Free Press in 1981, after stints at the Providence Journal and the United Press International. At the Free Press, she rose through the ranks from city hall reporter to features editor, editorial writer, editorial page editor, Statehouse bureau chief, assistant managing editor and managing editor. After mastering almost every job in the newsroom, she went back to reporting. For eight years, Page tackled long-form environmental stories on topics that ranged from local endangered species and the science of algae blooms to the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene.

“Her deeply informed reporting on the natural world guided civic debate about protecting Vermont's heritage of land and water, especially Lake Champlain,” wrote Christine Chinlund, now a managing editor at the Boston Globe, in her nomination letter for Candy, her former colleague at UPI. “Her work gave readers fresh insight into the value of, and risks to, the natural resources so important to the state. That contribution will be felt for decades.”

Four others supported Page’s nomination: Addison County Independent publisher Angelo Lynn, Seven Days Statehouse reporter Terri Hallenbeck, former Lake Champlain Basin Program director Bill Howland, and Mike Kilian, a former Burlington Free Press editor who is now the news director at the Cincinnati Enquirer.

“If you want to understand fully the people, unique places and natural environment of Vermont, you want to immerse yourself in the body of insightful work produced by Candace Page as a journalist over the last several decades,” Kilian wrote in his nomination letter. “No observer went further, dug deeper or reached greater heights.” Kilian also attended the Boston induction ceremony.

Page “retired” from the Free Press in 2013, but she continued to write food and features stories for the Gannett-owned daily. Last year, she started editing news stories on a freelance basis for Seven Days. That gig has grown. In addition to coaching young writers, Page now co-directs the independent weekly’s legislative coverage with political editor Paul Heintz. She brings good judgment and a vast institutional memory to Seven Days.

Other Vermont journalists in the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame include: Chris Braithwaite, Kevin Crosbie and Lucy B. Crosbie (The Chronicle, Barton); Phillip C. Camp Sr. (The Vermont Standard, Woodstock), J. Warren McClure, John Donoghue and Michael Donoghue (Burlington Free Press), John Drysdale and M. Dickey Drysdale (The Herald of Randolph), Suzanne Gillis (Vermont Woman), Emerson Lynn (St. Albans Messenger), Angelo Lynn and William J. Slator (Addison County Independent), Tom Kearney (Stowe Reporter), Ross Connelly and David Morse (Hardwick Gazette), H. Gordon Smith (Caledonian Record), R. John Mitchell (The Times Argus) Robert Mitchell (The Rutland Herald), Pamela Polston and Paula Routly (Seven Days).

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