Archived News

SMN wins prestigious honors at Press Association conference

Smoky Mountain News staffers (from left) Scott McLeod, Kyle Perrotti, Cory Vaillancourt, Greg Boothroyd, Hannah McLeod, Sophia Burleigh, Jessica Murray and Holly Kays holding awards at the N.C. Press Association ceremony held Aug. 24 in Raleigh. Smoky Mountain News staffers (from left) Scott McLeod, Kyle Perrotti, Cory Vaillancourt, Greg Boothroyd, Hannah McLeod, Sophia Burleigh, Jessica Murray and Holly Kays holding awards at the N.C. Press Association ceremony held Aug. 24 in Raleigh.

The Smoky Mountain News won 16 advertising awards and 20 editorial awards from the N.C. Press Association in a ceremony last week, including the prestigious Public Service Award for its coverage of the flooding from Tropical Storm Fred.

The Public Service Award is given to one daily, one non-daily and one online newspaper each year. Judges had this to say about the SMN’s coverage of aftermath of the flooding: “Impressive, extensive reporting to the community. It was breaking as it needed to be, retrospective and the paper joined the community in its recovery efforts by offering ways to help, tips on where to get help and cosponsoring a concert to aid in relief. Great job.”

“I can’t be more proud of our staff as the community suffered through this disaster,” said Publisher Scott McLeod. “Everyone who works here played a part in the coverage and in finding ways to help those affected in whatever way we could. This flood hurt, and recovery isn’t over yet.”

The newspaper also placed third in General Excellence, a category that ranks papers on all aspects of news coverage, writing, design, use of photographs and design. 

The awards were handed out during an in-person ceremony held in Raleigh. Categories in the NCPA contest are based on circulation, and The Smoky Mountain News is in the largest non-daily category.

The Smoky Mountain News also won the Metro Award, given to the newspaper in each category that earns the most advertising awards. The SMN sales force and its designers won seven first-places, three second-places and five third-place awards for their creativity and design.

Related Items

SMN Graphic Designer Jessica Murray won 8 awards including four first-place awards, one second-place and three third-places. Advertising salesperson Sophia Burleigh won two first-place awards and two second-place awards.

In the editorial division, SMN writers Holly Kays, Cory Vaillancourt, Hannah McLeod and Garret K. Woodward all won awards. First-place went to Kays for Feature Reporting, to McLeod for Feature Writing, and to Vaillancourt for Religion and Faith Reporting. In addition, Kays won second and third place for investigative reporting. Woodward won for his columns and in the Feature Writing category for a piece about Santa Claus. Vaillancourt and the news staff also placed second in News Feature writing for a combined story about the flooding from Fred.

The entire list of the awards won by The Smoky Mountain News staff is below:

Advertising:

  • 1ST PLACE Community Service Signature Page, Greening Up the Mountains 2021, Amanda Bradly, Staff

  • 1ST PLACE, Entertainment Ad, Grit & Grace Benefit Concert, Micah McClure and Staff

  • 1ST PLACE, Motor Vehicle Ad, Waynesville Tire, Greg Boothroyd, Jessica Murray

  • 1ST PLACE, Real Estate Ad, RCJ Building, Jessica Murray

  • 1ST PLACE, Retail Ad, Valley Cigar & Wine, Greg Boothroyd, Jessica Murray

  • 1ST PLACE, Small Ad, Blue Ridge Books, Sophia Burleigh, Jessica Murray

  • 1ST PLACE, Special Section, Green Building 2021, Staff

  • 2ND PLACE, Innovative Concept/Wild Card, Taste of the Mountains, Staff

  • 2ND PLACE, Motor Vehicle Ad, Ensley Tire Service, Greg Boothroyd, Jessica Murray

  • 2ND PLACE, Niche Publication, Aspire 2021, Staff

  • 3RD PLACE, Entertainment Ad, Maggie Valley 4th, Jessica Murray, Sophia Burleigh

  • 3RD PLACE, Institutional Ad, Lake Junaluska Assembly, Sophia Burleigh, Jessica Murray

  • 3RD PLACE, Niche Publication, Smoky Mountain Living Magazine, Staff

  • 3RD PLACE, Small Ad, Blue Ridge Books, Sophia Burleigh, Jessica Murray

  • 3RD PLACE, Use of Humor, Butter My Biscuit, Greg Boothroyd, Jessica Murray

Editorial

  • 1ST PLACE, Beat Feature Reporting, Living high with the hogs: Mountain hog farm revives historic breed, Holly Kays

  • 1st PLACE, Education Reporting, Teaching diversity, Staff

  • 1ST PLACE, News Feature Writing, Long overdue regulation bans rebel flag in Haywood County Schools, Hannah McLeod

  • 1ST PLACE, Religion & Faith Reporting, Keepin’ the faith, Cory Vaillancourt

  • 2ND PLACE, Email newsletter, Blue Ridge Motorcycling Newsletter, Susanna Shetley, Michael Gouge

  • 2ND PLACE, General News Reporting, ‘And then it was too late’: Flood warning timeline reveals challenges of mountain forecasting, Holly Kays

  • 2ND PLACE, Investigative Reporting, Resident debate: Student, professor field death threats amid debate on diversity training, Holly Kays

  • 2ND PLACE, Lighter Columns, This Must Be The Place, Garret K. Woodward

  • 2ND PLACE, News Feature Writing, The Pigeon River Flood of 2001, Cory Vaillancourt & Staff

  • 2ND PLACE, Serious Columns, Something to give, Scott McLeod 

  • 2ND PLACE, Sports Enterprise Reporting, Canton’s catalyst: Chestnut Mountain aims for April open, Holly Kays

  • 2ND PLACE, Sports Feature Writing, Paralyzed woman attempts Trail of Tears bike ride, Holly Kays

  • 3RD PLACE, Beat Feature Reporting, ACAB, Cory Vaillancourt

  • 3RD PLACE, Feature Writing, The Day Santa Came To Red Fox Loop, Garret K. Woodward

  • 3RD PLACE, General News Reporting, Two injured in bear encounter, Holly Kays

  • 3RD PLACE, Investigative Reporting, Sediment spill spurs dam removal efforts, Holly Kays

  • 3RD PLACE, Profile Feature, Art of the invite: Brevard business aims to increase Black participation outdoors, Holly Kays

  • 3RD PLACE, Religion & Faith Reporting, The Creative Though Center: For many, the final step on a spiritual journey, Hannah McLeod

Leave a comment

7 comments

  • Congratulations to all! Not surprised though!

    posted by DeAnn Suchy

    Friday, 09/02/2022

  • Congratulations Scott, Kyle and everyone at SMN! Awards well deserved and there are many more articles that were award worthy IMHO! We so appreciate the breadth of what you cover and how you do...keep up the good work!

    posted by Betsy Wall

    Friday, 09/02/2022

  • Congratulations Scott, Kyle and everyone at SMN! Awards well deserved and there are many more articles that were award worthy IMHO! We so appreciate the breadth of what you cover and how you do...keep up the good work!

    posted by Betsy Wall

    Friday, 09/02/2022

  • Another impressive year at NCPAContest Awards gathering. We who read the SMN are the beneficiaries of your fine publication as we are informed and entertained weekly. Congratulations and thanks for your important contribution to the quality of life in our communities.

    posted by Ken Wilson

    Friday, 09/02/2022

  • Well...of course. Always awesome! What an asset to the Western Carolina/Haywood County area!!!

    posted by Bob Cummings

    Thursday, 09/01/2022

  • Congratulations, y'all! Excellent job!

    posted by Chuck Zimmerman

    Thursday, 09/01/2022

  • Congratulations to all! Love reading and keeping up with what’s going on in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

    posted by Lynn Copeland

    Thursday, 09/01/2022

Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.