Telegram staff wins awards

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From Staff Reports

Friday, March 22, 2019

RALEIGH — The Rocky Mount Telegram and its sister publication The Tarboro Weekly racked up a total of 10 awards Thursday night during the N.C. Press Association’s 2018 News, Editorial & Photojournalism contest.

The newspaper's staff continues to be recognized for their efforts, said Telegram Editor Gene Metrick.

"We're proud of the tireless hours they put in to cover the community they live and work in," Metrick said. "And they don't do it with earning any awards in mind — they do it because that's who they are, and that's what they do."

The Press Association recognized the Telegram's two photographers for their local sports pictures.

Alan Campbell won first place in sports photography for a picture he shot of a Rocky Mount High cross country athlete racing to the finish line titled “Fight to the Finish.”

Sarah Louya won third place in the same category for a photograph titled "Take A Bow," featuring a touchdown at a high school football game.

Campbell won five awards and Louya won an additional award in photography for The Tarboro Weekly.

Campbell, 47, has won numerous awards in photography from the N.C. Press Association, the National Press Photographers Association, the Hoosier State Press Association and Best of Cox honors when the Telegram was owned by Cox Newspapers.

Louya, 22, joined the Telegram in October 2016 after earning an associate degree in photography at Randolph Community College. She's a native of Winston-Salem.

Telegram advertising staff members Bryan Wilson and Lewis Smith again shared recognition for Carolina Brew Scene magazine, this year taking third place for best niche publication.

Wilson, 38, joined the Telegram advertising staff in 2014. He grew up in Zebulon and earned a bachelor's degree in communications at UNC-Wilmington. Wilson lives with his wife and two daughters in Red Oak.

Smith, 44, joined the Telegram advertising staff in 2015. A native of Whiteville, he earned a bachelor's degree in English studies from Chowan University.

For the Tarboro Weekly, Lindell Kay won first place in general news reporting for "No traces of missing man ever found," a story about a man who believes his brother who vanished years ago was fed to hogs by the man who killed him.

Kay, 45, has been covering crime and politics for Eastern North Carolina newspapers for more than a decade, receiving more than a dozen press awards including three for investigative reporting. Last year, he joined the entire Telegram reporting team in receiving the O Henry Award in outstanding writing for a report on downplayed city crime statistics.

A native of Selma, Ala., Kay grew up in Sanford, about an hour from where he now lives in Spring Hope. He's studied and earned degrees from a number of schools, including UNC-Wilmington, Coastal Carolina Community College, Louisiana State University in Shreveport and Southern New Hampshire University.

Kay and his wife, Michelle, a local librarian, have five children, two in college, two in high school and one serving in the Navy.

"Passion and commitment to community news is what drives our team," said Telegram and Tarboro Weekly Publisher Kyle Stephens. "They tell the stories of the Twin Counties on a daily basis with enthusiasm and integrity. The honors are well-deserved and appreciated. I'd put our staff up against any newspaper in the state — we're fortunate to have such great people."