Our Award-Winning Journalism | Indy Week

Our Award-Winning Journalism 


Association of Alternative Newsmedia:

North Carolina Press Association:


Association of Alternative Newsmedia:

North Carolina Press Association:

  • First Place, General Excellence

  • First Place, General News Reporting, No man's land by John H. Tucker

  • First Place, News Feature Writing, A time bomb by John H. Tucker

  • First Place, Profile Feature, Flesh and bone by John H. Tucker

  • First Place, News Enterprise Reporting, Appetite for destruction by Lisa Sorg

  • Second Place, News Enterprise Reporting, A new approach by John H. Tucker

  • Second Place, Education Reporting, Gay is OK by Billy Ball

  • Second Place, Investigative Reporting, Camp fear by John H. Tucker

  • Second Place, News Coverage

  • Second Place, Special Section, RIDE: The Indy Bike Guide

  • Third Place, Best Niche Publication, INDY Eats




  • Sigma Delta Chi Award, Investigative Reporting, for a three-part series on people living near landfills, "The waste land," "Living on the edge" and "Digging deeper," by Rebekah L. Cowell (Society of Professional Journalists)

  • First Place, General News Reporting, "Light my faucet" by Lisa Sorg (NCPA)

  • Judges' comments: "Clear winner. Scientific data clearly explained for general audience. Nice use of charts/breakout boxes."

  • First Place, Feature Writing, "A sweet story" by Emily Wallace (NCPA)

  • Judges' comments: "Though this was a long story, the reporter kept my interest. It was an interesting subject that was covered from a variety of angles. Thorough reporting; good writing that doesn't call attention to itself. Very good job."

  • First Place, Special Section, "The Triangle's vibrant drinking culture" by Emily Wallace (NCPA)

  • Judges' comments: "This is a fun special section that goes beyond the usual tired offerings tied to alcohol. I really liked the writing in 'What'll Ya Have?' You really got to know the people. That was so fun to read. I liked the sidebars as well. The design and photos are really attractive, especially the typefaces and design in the restaurant listings. Great job."

  • First Place, Arts Criticism, "Yes and Noh," "Welcome to the machine" and "Plugging in" by Byron Woods (NCPA)

  • First Place, Niche Publication, "Annual Manual 2011-2012" by staff (NCPA)

  • Judges' comments: "A very informative guide to the Triangle area. It really made me want to visit this area. Outstanding writing, layout and a clever approach to sharing insider tips on the neighborhoods."

  • First Place, Special Section, "Hopscotch Guide" by staff (AAN)

  • First Place, Arts Feature, "Little Brother breaks up" by Grayson Currin (AAN)

  • Second Place, Education Reporting, "Tata's blah-blah," "An open letter to Anthony Tata" and "Color scheme" by Bob Geary (NCPA)

  • Judges' comments: "Aggressive, thorough and well-written. Provides context and color to make points about a newly appointed superintendent."

  • Second Place, Investigative Reporting, "The Art Pope empire" by Bob Geary, Samiha Khanna, Chris Kromm and Joe Schwartz (NCPA)

  • Judges' comments: "A fascinating study of how so much money and power held by one man has shaped the lives of so many people. The public interest was well served by this in-depth investigation."

  • Second Place, Photo Page, "On the road with Spiderbags" by Jeremy M. Lange (NCPA)

  • Judges' comments: "Nice use of photos to tell the story. In this case the photos really are the story. Reads like a scrapbook. Makes me want to go along on the next road trip."

  • Second Place, Arts Criticism, "The wild east," "Jungle fatigue" and "Angels in America" by Adam Sobsey (NCPA)

  • Second Place, News Feature Writing, "Chew on this" by Lisa Sorg (NCPA)

  • Second Place, Lighter Columns, "Explosions in the garden," "Good eggs" and "The reason I stopped you" by John Valentine (NCPA)

  • Second Place, Appearance and Design, "Feb. 2" and "Feb. 9" issues by staff (NCPA)

  • Judges' comments: "The Independent takes design chances that work. The visual appeal is striking. 'Last chance dance' was a great design. Loved the calendar."

  • Second Place, Illustration, "Dad Rock" by Nathan Golub (AAN)

  • Third Place, Arts Criticism, "Chinese artists respond to Three Gorges Dam," "A fascinating, underexplored corner of Modernism at the Nasher" and "Portraiture examined at the Ackland" by Chris Vitiello (AAN)

  • Third Place, New Story, Long Form, "N.C. eugenics survivors seek justice" by Lara Torgesen (AAN)





  • Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism, "Dreams deferred" by Mosi Secret (Casey Journalism Center on Children and Families)

    Judges' comments: "The reporter conveys the complexities involving Derrick Steele's struggles to overcome addictions to find meaningful, legal work through a Durham jobs program. Secret also shows how the program falters through lack of funding and commitment, leaving participants unsteady and on the edge."

  • Hugh Morton Photographer of the Year, Community Division, Derek Anderson (NCPA)

    Judges' comments: "Great use of light. Daring cropping. A clear winner. Intimacy with subjects. Sense of humor comes through. Great job! Keep pushing the envelope."

  • First Place, Investigative Reporting, "Stolen youth," a profile of a teenage boy convicted of a crime he probably did not commit, by Mosi Secret (NCPA)

    Judges' comments: "Powerful story by Mosi Secret casts doubt on the convection of a 15-year-old for robbery. It's obvious that a great deal of preparation went into this work, which has attracted much attention."

  • First Place, News Coverage, for a package of stories previewing the N.C. General Assembly's 2007 session, including "The progressive prescription" and "Jones Street scorecard," by Bob Geary, Lisa Sorg and Fiona Morgan (NCPA)

    Judges' comments: "A big subject that could overwhelm the reader. It did not because it was divided into several 'bite-sized' elements that set out solutions to the perceived ills of N.C."

  • First Place, Feature Photography, "Drink it raw," a feature story about the underground market for raw milk, by Derek Anderson (NCPA)

    Judges' comments: "Great selection of varied images shot in lovely ambient light. The photos create a strong mood and no repetitive images."

  • First Place, Photo Page, "The longest road home," a double-page spread photo essay (and online slideshow) of a soldier's funeral, by Jeremy M. Lange (NCPA)

    Judges' comments: "Very nice mood and variation to the photos of this event. Nice use of perspective and depth of field. Black and white intensified the emotion."

  • First Place, Media Reporting/ Criticism, "Inside The Herald-Sun," "Technobarons of the 21st century," "A tangle of telco laws" by Fiona Morgan (AAN)

    Judges' comments: "Fiona is proof positive of what the common tools of reporting can do when put in the hands of an uncommonly hard worker. Nothing is taken at face value, everything is reported out and then conveyed in clear, precise prose. She does great credit to her profession and her paper." David Carr, media columnist, The New York Times

  • Second Place, General News Reporting, for a series of stories exposing the dog-fighting connections of a member of a citizens' committee on dog-tethering, which resulted in her resignation, including "Member of Orange County's chained-dog study panel has ties to dog-fighting" and "Orange dog panel member quits," by Ashley Roberts and Jennifer Strom (NCPA)

    Judges' comments: "Great dogged (no pun intended) reporting that shows that people will lie to youand you don't have to accept it. Community papers need to be watchdogssorry, not intended againand this one was, and had an impact."

  • Second Place, News Feature Writing, "Drink it raw," a feature story about the underground market for raw milk, by Suzanne Nelson (NCPA)

    Judges' comments: "The author displays an original voice, which makes an unusual topic important while doing a good job of presenting both sides."

  • Second Place, Illustration, "Prince George" by Tyler Bergholz (AAN)

    Judges' comments: "I loved the expressiveness and personality of the illustrations." Stephanie Grace Lim, former features design director, San Jose Mercury News

  • Third Place, Appearance and Design, by staff (NCPA)

    This entry consisted of two full issues of the paper (Oct. 4 & 11, 2006), judged for "attractiveness and consistency of layout, typography, use of photos, effective headlines and overall impact of the newspaper's appearance."

    Judges' comments: "Creative covers. Very easy to read and navigate through the paper."

  • Third Place, Arts Criticism, "Bait and switch," "The coming of the Lord," "Profits on a plane" by David Fellerath (AAN)

    Judges' comments: "These reviews are some of the best I've read in recent times. The author's depth of research brings each of the movies to life and provides a detailed context for understanding each of the filmseach review takes on a life of its own but never loses its focus on the movie under scrutiny.... The author's dedication to each of the films enhances his credibility as a critic and storyteller: At times it seems as if the author were part of the movies' creative teams." Art Janik, grant writer for New York City Center, a landmark performing arts center in Manhattan

  • Third Place, Website Content Feature, "Me Against Me" by Derek Anderson (AAN)

    Judges' comments: "A really nice job of using audio track and photos to add depth to a print feature." Erin Kissane, editor of AListApart.com, an online magazine for people who make Web sites

  • Third Place, Photography, "Central Park South" by Lissa Gotwals (AAN)

    Judges' comments: "In my opinion, the best of the bunch. A nice variety of images that captured a mood and gave me a sense of place with visually appealing images." Alicia Calzada, past president of the National Press Photographers Association


  • First Place, Feature News Writing, "Dreams deferred" by Mosi Secret (NCPA)

    Judges' comments: "So moving, I'm still thinking about it. An incredible amount of effort produced an incredible story. This entry was head and shoulders above the rest. You've taken in-depth writing to a new level. Excellent, excellent news feature."

  • First Place, Photography Page, "Central Park South" by Lissa Gotwals (NCPA)

    Judges' comments: "Stunning photos of everyday life. Texture and contrast are starkly riveting; moving section is beautifully executed."

  • Second Place, News Coverage, by staff (NCPA)

    Judges' comments: "This large weekly stands out because of strong writing and reporting skills. Well worth wading through to find what you want and need."

  • Second Place, Editorials, Richard Hart (NCPA)

    Judges' comments: "Excellent topic choices. Well researched and convincing arguments."

  • Second Place, Arts Criticism, theater reviews, Byron Woods (AAN)

  • Second Place, Non-Deadline Reporting, "Growth rules!" by Jennifer Strom (Green Eyeshade Awards / Society of Professional Journalists)

  • Third Place, Feature Writing, "The infinite shag" by Chris Toenes (NCPA)

    Judges' comments: "Great read. You made the reader feel the beat and hear the music. Keep up the great coverage and descriptive talent with words."

  • Third Place, News Feature Writing, "Going South" by Jennifer Strom (NCPA)

    Judges' comments: "The unique approach was what hooked me. Way to tell it like it really is. Excellent piece."

  • Third Place, News Story, Long Form, "Guards sound alarm over security at nuclear plant" by Sue Sturgis (AAN)

  • Third Place, Media Reporting/Criticism, "Paxton may have overpaid for Herald-Sun", "Big cable wants public access denied" and "Rock talk is history at WRDU" by Fiona Morgan (AAN)

  • Third Place, Food Column, Wine Beat, by Arturo Ciompi (Association of Food Journalists)

  • Honorable Mention (Tie), Column, Derek Jennings (AAN)

  • Excellence in Media Award, Byron Woods (Raleigh Mayor's Committee for Persons with Disabilities)




  • First Place, Profile Feature, Fiona Morgan (NCPA)
  • First Place, Photo Illustration, Alex Maness (NCPA)
  • First Place, Business, "Blue Notes" by Barbara Solow (AAN)
  • First Place, Investigative Reporting, "Deep Trouble" by Jennifer Strom (NCPA)
  • Third Place, Editorials, Richard Hart (NCPA)


  • Excellence in Media, "An Ounce of Prevention" by Barbara Solow (North Carolina Prevention Partners)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Removing Attitudinal Barriers Through Public Education About People with Disabilities (Triangle Access Award / Universal Disability Advocates)


  • First Place, Arts Criticism, Godfrey Cheshire (AAN)
  • The Business and Industry Award, Progressive Journalism that Promotes Racial and Cultural Harmony in the Greater Durham Community (Durham Human Relations Commission)

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