Vail Daily wins 17 awards in Colorado newspaper contest | VailDaily.com
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Vail Daily wins 17 awards in Colorado newspaper contest

Freelance reporter David O. Williams’ series of stories exploring ongoing water issues at the Eagle River Village mobile home park in Edwards took home the prestigious Public Service award and also claimed second-place awards for Best Investigative Story Package and Best Series.
Vail Daily

The Vail Daily won 10 first-place awards in the Colorado Press Association’s 2019 Better Newspaper Contest in its classification of dailies with circulations between 10,001-30,000.

In total, the Vail Daily won 17 awards for editorial and advertising entries submitted in the Class 6 division.

“Our team’s peer recognition in both editorial and advertising disciplines is a great testament to the quality service our staff is delivering every day for our community,” Vail Daily Publisher Mark Wurzer said. “While awards are great, it is the strong readership of the Vail Daily, the huge audience that visits our websites and feedback from the community on how we make a difference that are the most important measures to us. Thanks to our staff for their excellent work, to readers for their engagement, and to advertisers for their business.” 

Freelance reporter David O. Williams’ series of stories exploring ongoing water issues at the Eagle River Village mobile home park in Edwards took home the prestigious Public Service award and also claimed second-place awards for Best Investigative Story Package and Best Series.

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“That the most vulnerable of residents who serve the upper-class in this county should be denied a basic human resource is appalling,” wrote the judge who awarded Williams his win for Public Service. “The Vail Daily’s series on non-potable water in a trailer park was the clear winner here. It made me — a complete outsider — want to know more about what will happen and I’m sure it was an eye-opener for the newspaper’s readers.”

The Steamboat Pilot & Today, a sister publication of the Vail Daily with Colorado Mountain News Media, earned 31 first- and second-place awards to claim the General Excellence Award in the Class 6 division.

The Pilot & Today also claimed the Editorial Excellence Award and the Advertising and Photo and Design sweepstakes awards. The annual awards celebration honors the best in editorial, photo and design, and advertising for newspapers across Colorado.

This year’s contest entries were judged by the Pennsylvania Press Association. The Vail Daily competed against the Aspen Daily News, Boulder Daily Camera, Fort Collins Coloradoan, Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, Longmont Times-Call, Loveland Reporter-Herald, Steamboat Pilot & Today and the Windsor Beacon in its circulation category.

“Seventeen awards is awesome, especially since we punch up in weight class against some of these larger Front Range papers,” said Vail Daily Editor Nate Peterson. “We’re a small, scrappy newsroom, and I have challenged every member of our news staff to get outside their comfort zone since I arrived at the beginning of 2019. I’m proud of the effort, and I think these awards are a reflection of that hard work.”

In the advertising contest, the Vail Daily won first place for Best Advertising Campaign and Best Advertising Special Section, Best Classified Pages or Sections, Best Medium Space Ad and Best Use of Multimedia Advertising.

Among editorial entries, the Vail Daily earned first-place awards for Best Editorial Special Section-Glossy or Magazine for EAT Magazine, Best Editorial Special Section-Newsprint for its 16-page tribute to Vail icon Pepi Gramshammer, Best Serious Column Writing, Best Public Service and Best Informational Graphic.

Twice-monthly Vail Daily columnist Butch Mazzuca won the Serious Column Writing award for a series of columns, including “The Electoral College Debate.”

“These columns make their points forcefully on issues of serious importance to Colorado and the nation. The arguments are well made,” the judge in the category wrote of Mazzuca’s work.

First place

  • Best Advertising Campaign: Jay Peterson, Laura Stening, Jennifer Wuebbolt, Patrick Connolly     
  • Best Advertising Special Section: Wren Bova, Mark Bricklin, Carly Arnold, Dominque Taylor, Jim O’Rourke, “EAT Magazine”
  • Best Classified Pages or Sections: Christine Holaday-Schriok, Dennel Rivera, Vail Daily Labor Day Classified Section      
  • Best Medium Space Ad: Malisa Samsel, Vail Chamber & Business Association     
  • Best Use of Multimedia Advertising: Tricia Swenson, Sean Naylor, “Off The Hill Dine & Drink – Blue Plate”   
  • Best Editorial Special Section-Glossy or Magazine: Wren Bova, Mark Bricklin, Carly Arnold, Dominque Taylor, Jim O’Rourke, “EAT Magazine”   
  • Best Editorial Special Section-Newsprint First Place: Amanda Swanson, Randy Wyrick, Nate Peterson, “Pepi Gramshammer: Aug. 6, 1932-Aug. 17, 2019”     
  • Best Serious Column Writing: Butch Mazzuca, “The Electoral College Debate”
  • Best Public Service: David O. Williams, “Water issues at Eagle River Village”    
  • Best Informational Graphic: Amanda Swanson, “Trash is booming at county dump which is good news for local economy”  

Second place

  • Best Real Estate Ad: Laura Stening, Jennifer Wuebbolt, Patrick Connolly
  • Best Breaking News/Deadline Reporting: Sean Naylor, Ross Leonhart, Randy Wyrick, “Vail Daily Breaking Avalanche Coverage”
  • Best Humorous Column Writing: Andrea Chacos, “5 reasons I will soon be fired as CEO of my own home”  
  • Best Investigative Story Package: David O. Williams, “Water issues at Eagle River Village”      
  • Best Multimedia: Ross Leonhart, Sean Naylor, “Newsroom Jams”      
  • Best Series: David O. Williams, “Water issues at Eagle River Village”
  • Best Serious Column Writing: Nate Peterson, “Still looking for answers after Columbine, A tale of two Vails ”    


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