Newspaper wins Public Service Award for 3rd year

For the third consecutive year, Salisbury Independent was awarded the Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association’s top award in the category of Public Service.

In awards handed out at the press association’s annual convention, reporters Susan Canfora and Greg Bassett were recognized for the newspaper’s continuing coverage of the opioid crisis in Wicomico County.

Last year the newspaper took an innovative approach to its coverage, tying its own community reporting with a special series aired by Maryland Public Television, thereby bringing even more coordinated attention to a complicated local problem.

Salisbury Independent’s sensitive coverage and problem-solving objectives on the opioids issue were also cited for MDDC recognition in 2015 and 2016.

Greg Bassett received a first-place award in the Investigative Reporting category for his stories on the Wicomico County Council’s efforts to conduct a forensic audit on how the county’s Human Resources Director was awarded a pay raise in 2016.

The newspaper relied on public documents as well as direct interviews to detail which steps occurred in which order, and sought to identify the source of council-executive tensions on the matter.

Susan Canfora and Todd Dudek shared a second-place award in State Government Coverage for their stories and photographs of a bipartisan forum held in Salisbury that included Gov. Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot as participants.

The event, coordinated and sponsored by the Greater Salisbury Committee, was the the first of its kind locally. In the just-completed General Assembly session, the relationship forged between the two leaders as a result of that Salisbury event — and as telegraphed in Canfora’s reporting — was on display as both the governor and comptroller spared with the legislature’s Democratic leadership.

Photographer Joey Gardner captured a first-place award in the General News Photo category for his Salisbury Independent cover photo from the 2017 Relay For Life event at WinterPlace Park.

Gardner captured a stunningly intimate photo of Salisbury’s Jack Rich igniting a caldron in a pond during a luminary lighting.

Salisbury Independent competes in a newspaper division that includes other weekly publications with a circulation of 20,000 or more in Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C.

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