Vermont Business Magazine Seven Days, Vermont’s free, independent newsweekly based in Burlington, won 23 first-place awards in this year’s New England Better Newspaper Competition — including top honors in investigative, climate change and religious issue reporting, and the prize for general excellence. Staff writer Chelsea Edgar received the top reporting prize for all weekly newspapers in the region: Reporter of the Year.
The contest is organized by the New England Newspaper & Press Association; winners were announced at NENPA’s annual convention in Boston on April 30. This competition is the largest and most comprehensive journalism recognition program in New England.
Nearly 2,000 entries were submitted and evaluated by NENPA’s distinguished panel of judges. Seven Days competed against dozens of other newsweeklies around the region in the large-circulation weekly category.
“We appreciate this overwhelming recognition,” said deputy publisher Cathy Resmer. “We’d like to thank our Super Readers, sponsors and advertisers for funding Seven Days’ award-winning journalism. Their support has enabled us to invest in an experienced team of reporters, editors, critics, multimedia journalists and proofreaders who care deeply about Vermont and the communities we serve.”
A list of the first-place honors, along with a selection of comments from the judges:
Reporter of the Year
Seven Days staff
Best Coverage of Coronavirus
Best Human Interest Feature Story
From the judges: "Top shelf reporting on an emerging Vermont startup Beta Technologies. Well written and thorough reporting."
Climate Change or Weather Reporting
Kevin McCallum & Ken Picard, "Trickle to Torrent: The Climate Crisis Brings Both Deluges and Droughts to Vermont"
From the judges: "McCallum and Picard’s reporting on the aging water systems and potential for indoor farming is top notch."
Coverage of Protests and Rallies
From the judges: "This entry excels by bringing in a multitude of voices and perspectives that reveal the many nuances of the community's divide. Well-crafted, empathetic and even-handed writing."
Crime and Courts Reporting
From the judges: "This story exemplifies the importance of accountability journalism. The journalist moves beyond the official story from police to point to unexplored paths — and then delivers the evidence-driven story in a way that cannot be ignored."
Alison Novak & Courtney Lamdin, PCBs at Burlington High School
From the judges: "While the subject matter can be technical, the writers took great pains to make the information clear and understandable. An impressive effort on a huge community story."
Margaret Grayson, "The Vermont Wild Bee Survey Finds and Identifies Hundreds of Species"
Food Page or Section
Jordan Barry, Melissa Pasanen & Sally Pollak, Food + Drink section, March 3, 2021
From the judges: "This is local food journalism at its best: Timely, inclusive and compelling."
Courtney Lamdin, Colin Flanders & Sasha Goldstein, "Dodson Plagiarized Portions of Report on Burlington Police Transformation"
From the judges: "Seven Days delivers a textbook example of excellent enterprise reporting, uncovering plagiarized passages of a "blue ribbon" report on police reform. This story should hang in every newsroom as an example of what municipal reporters can (and should) do."
Investigative /Enterprise Reporting
Local Election Coverage
Courtney Lamdin, Burlington's Mayoral Race
Colin Flanders, "COVID-19 Claims a Hardwick Couple Married for Nearly 68 Years"
Arts & Entertainment Reporting
Reporting on Religious Issues
From the judges: "Beautifully shot and captures the intensity of this community of dippers."
Eva Sollberger, "Stuck in Vermont: The Tran Family Patriarch Gets Vaccinated"
Seven Days staff
About Seven Days
Seven Days, Vermont’s free, independent newsweekly, was founded by Pamela Polston and Paula Routly in 1995, and is now owned by Routly and 15 other employees. The Burlington-based company also produces the Stuck in Vermont video series, and events such as the Vermont Tech Jam. Seven Days has been named Business of the Year by both the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Burlington Business Association. In 2019, the Greater Burlington Industrial Corp. presented the local media company with the C. Harry Behney Economic Development Achievement Award.
Burlington, Vt. - Seven Days 5.6.2022 Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice (sevendaysvt.com)