The Bulletin

Virginia Mercury wins top awards at press competition

By: - April 28, 2022 3:06 pm

The Virginia Mercury won nine first-place awards and health and education reporter Kate Masters was recognized as Virginia’s outstanding young journalist in the Virginia Press Association’s contest for 2021.

Kate Masters covers health and education for the Virginia Mercury. (Virginia Mercury file photo)

Judges said Masters, 28, “provided readers with insightful, revealing coverage of what remained the story of the year — the COVID-19 pandemic,” using data to hold state officials accountable and to document Virginia’s “uneven management of the COVID-19 pandemic and its inequitable distribution of vaccines.” The award also recognizes her ongoing coverage of a major crisis in Virginia’s mental hospitals exacerbated by the pandemic.

Mercury reporters Graham Moomaw, Sarah Vogelsong and Ned Oliver won first-place awards in the online category for environmental, investigative, breaking news, business and government reporting as well as data journalism. Masters also won a first-place award in the online category for education reporting and Mercury contributor Bob Lewis’ column writing took home first-place honors.

The Mercury, with a full-time staff of five, won a second-place award in government reporting in the VPA’s new open category, competing against news outlets of all sizes, and won a news sweepstakes award in the online category.


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