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Communications alumni recognized with state journalism awards

Several Elon University graduates earned top honors in the North Carolina Press Association’s 2014 News, Editorial and Photojournalism Contest. The alumni winners, ​led by Kristin Zachary ’09 and Scott Muthersbaugh ’06, were celebrated at the association’s annual Winter Institute Feb. 26.

Stephanie Butzer ’14 (left) and Kristin Zachary ’09 were recognized with several journalism awards during the North Carolina Press Association’s Winter Institute Feb. 26. Photo courtesy of the NCPA

Kristin Zachary ’09 and Scott Muthersbaugh ’06 combined to win a total of 10 awards in the North Carolina Press Association’s 2014 News, Editorial and Photojournalism Contest, leading a strong showing by Elon University graduates in the state competition.

Honorees were celebrated at the association’s Winter Institute, held Feb. 26 at the George Watts Hill Alumni Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The annual event recognized reporting and photojournalism entries submitted for judging by daily and weekly newspapers.

Zachary led all Elon graduates with six awards, including top honors in three categories – News Feature, Education Reporting and Online Breaking News. She also captured second and third place in Investigating Reporting.

Currently a reporter with the Triad Business Journal, Zachary won the awards for her work at two previous publications, The High Point Enterprise and The Greenville Daily Reflector. All of Zachary’s winning entries competed in the contest’s Division E, a category for mid-sized dailies with circulations ranging from 12,500 to 35,000.

Additionally, Zachary and High Point Enterprise colleague Stephanie Butzer ’14 placed second for the Duke University-Green-Rossiter Award for Distinguished Newspaper Work in Higher Education, according to the High Point newspaper. This award was for a collection of articles highlighting colleges and universities in the publication’s community.

Butzer also won second place in the News Feature category in Division E for her article, “Triangle of Hunger.” The entry detailed issues facing urban neighborhoods without ready access to fresh, healthy and affordable food.

Several Elon graduates were recognized for their work at the Burlington Times-News, which competed in Division E as well. Muthersbaugh, a former Times-News photographer, captured first place in General News Photography, as well as second in Sports Photography. He rounded out his honors earning two third-place finishes in Photo Page and Illustration/Photo Illustration.

Current Times-News staff members Charity Apple ’92, Conor O’Neill ’11 and Anna Johnson ’12 were also honored. According to the Burlington newspaper, Apple won in Criticism, taking second place for reviews of the “Sword of Peace” outdoor drama, a performance by Jimmy Buffett, and the local production of “Les Miserables.”

Of Apple’s entry, judges wrote, “A variety of subjects demonstrate the writer’s versatility in handling both stage productions and a concert. Both were handled deftly. The writing style is simple and well-organized. A strong entry.”

O’Neill claimed third place in Sports News Reporting for his entry titled “Wire to wire.” Johnson won a first-place award for Best Video, submitted by her former newspaper, The Sanford Herald. The video, titled “Veterans Day Program,” competed in Division D, a category for small-sized dailies with circulations below 12,500.

Molly McGowan Gorsuch ’10, formerly of the Hendersonville Times-News, took home second place for her story, “More kids living in poverty,” in Division D’s Education Reporting category. Of the entry, judges wrote, “A story that doesn’t bog itself down in statistics but instead uses the statistics to direct the conversation.”

The contest included work published in state newspapers from Oct. 1, 2013, to Sept. 30, 2014.

Tommy Kopetskie,
3/4/2015 10:05 AM