Seven Days, Vermont’s free, independent newsweekly, won three first-place awards at the annual Association of Alternative Newsmedia conference last month in Washington, DC. 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:
A first place in the Multimedia category for Eva Sollberger’s Stuck in Vermont episode, “The River of Light Harvest Moon Winooski Paddle.” A second video of hers, “Stuck Inside a Vermonter’s Colon,” received an honorable mention.
A first place in the Free Speech category, for stories by Terri Hallenbeck and Paul Heintz about Seven Days’ decision to fight subpoenas issued to Heintz, reporter Mark Davis and news editor Matthew Roy. All three were involved in covering the sexual assault investigation of state Sen Norm McAllister.
A first place for Beat Reporting in the “circulation under 45,000” category for a selection of “cops and courts” stories by Mark Davis: about a zealous prosecutor in Bennington County; a justice-seeking Burlington mother whose two sons overdosed together; and a police-officer-involved shooting in Winooski.
Seven Days also received second-place honors in the Special Section category for the newly redesigned What’s Good: A Seven Days Field Guide to Burlington. Seven Days writers and designers were recognized with third-place honors for Film Criticism (Margot Harrison), Cover Design (Diane Sullivan and Brooke Bousquet), Illustration and Format Buster/Innovation — the latter for a collaborative Bernie Sanders-themed “Feel the Bern” adult coloring contest. Honorable mention recipients included Hannah Palmer Egan in the Food Writing category, and Kymelya Sari in the Race Reporting category, for her cover story “Finding Her Voice: Hate crime victim Fatuma Bulle advocates for refugee women and families.”
Da Capo Publishing Inc., dba Seven Days, was founded by Pamela Polston and Paula Routly in 1995, and is now owned by Polston and Routly, as well as associate publishers Don Eggert, Cathy Resmer and Colby Roberts. In addition to its seven free publications, the Burlington-based company also produces several annual events, the Stuck in Vermont video series and hosts a ticketing website, job board and dating service. Its editorial staff has received numerous journalism awards from entities including the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, the Parenting Media Association, the Vermont Press Association and the New England Newspaper and Press Association, which in 2017 named Seven Days the best large-circulation newsweekly in the region.
Seven Days has been named Business of the Year by both the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Burlington Business Association. In 2013, Editor & Publisher selected Seven Days for inclusion in its annual feature, “10 Newspapers That Do It Right.” In 2015, Polston and Routly were inducted into the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame. The same honor was bestowed on Seven Days’ consulting editor, Candace Page, in 2017.
Photo Credit: Matthew Thorsen