Stop the presses, there's good media news to report: The Indy won nine N.C. Press Association awards and five N.C. Press Photographers Association awards. The NCPA awards are:
- Staff writer Matt Saldaña earned first place in investigative reporting for his exposé of spiritual leader and Human Kindness Foundation co-founder Bo Lozoff. Lozoff had engaged in inappropriate sexual relationships with adult volunteers and one parolee at his intentional community and parolee program in Orange County.
- Saldaña was awarded second place in news enterprise reporting for his examination of the Durham Performing Arts Center's finances.
- Contributing writer Amy White's analysis of visual art earned first place in criticism, a category she and her Indy colleagues swept.
- Second place in criticism went to Culture Editor David Fellerath for his insightful film reviews.
- For his critique of books, contributing writer Adam Sobsey won third place in criticism.
- Managing Editor Jennifer Strom has expanded our food coverage over the past year, and the May 2008 Dish issue, which examined challenges in the farm-to-table movement, won third place for Special Section.
- The staff won first place in general news coverage for two editions. The Sept. 3, 2008, issue featured coverage of the Democratic National Convention (Barry Yeoman), plus a wide-ranging look at the Raleigh Convention Center (Vernal Coleman, Grayson Currin, Bob Geary and Douglas Vuncannon); the news section also showcased work on the Barack Obama campaign, immigration and criminal justice (Fiona Morgan, Patrick O'Neill, Saldaña and Coleman). The Sept. 17, 2008, issue launched our 2008 election coverage, while Morgan wrote about domestic violence from a batterers' viewpoint and Mosi Secret's investigation of the wrongful conviction of Erick Daniels ended happily with a story on Daniels' exoneration.
- Two covers, a graffiti-covered wall and a man in a bathtub, helped the Jan. 23 and Jan. 30, 2008, editions win third place for appearance and design, under the aegis of Art Director Maria Bilinski Shain, with photography by staff photographers D.L. Anderson and Jeremy M. Lange. With its hand-scrawled drawings, The Birds of Avalon tipped its hat to the Rolling Stones' Beggar's Banquet album (sans the toilet), while a man bathing in bottled water drew attention to the drought in the Triangle.
- Anderson won third place in feature photography for capturing the image of a backhoe chewing up a building emblazoned with the American flag.
Anderson and Lange's showing in the N.C. Press Photographers' contest included a first place in general news for Anderson's photographs of the release of Daniels from prison. Lange earned two seconds, a third and an honorable mention for news, sports and election photos.