Salisbury Independent wins 4th Public Service Award

Salisbury Independent’s 2018 election preview coverage won a regional award for Public Service and was named a Best Of Show winner.

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

The newspaper also captured a Best Of Show Award in Public Service, surpassing the likes of the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun and Wilmington New Journal in serving the community.

In awards handed out at the press association’s annual convention last week, reporters Susan Canfora and Greg Bassett were recognized for the newspaper’s continuing coverage of the 2018 elections, in which more than 20 public offices were up for grabs in Wicomico County.

Salisbury Independent’s popular inserted tabloid, “Salisbury Rising,” also garnered a Best of Show Award in the Special Publication category. The section written, edited and designed by Canfora and Bassett, annually recognizes community growth, progress and accomplishments.

Bassett received a first-place award in the Local Government category for his profiles of the Wicomico County Executive candidates.

In all, the newspaper won five top awards for the year.

Salisbury Independent marks its five-year anniversary this week and has captured the Public Service honor in each of its four years of eligibility.

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. The Best Of Show winners are selected from all newspapers and Internet news sites in the region.

Publisher Darel La Prade said it was “a great honor that for the third year in a row the Salisbury Independent took best in show for ‘public service journalism.’

“Best In Show means our little paper won against all the larger papers, like the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun,” he said. “This is a testament to our approach to covering Salisbury.

“We want to build the community and catch someone doing something right. That we have dominated this category for four years in a row is a direct result of our staff members’ love for our Salisbury,” La Prade said.

The contest’s reviewing judges complimented the local election coverage, noting: “You can never offer too much information to readers about elections. Issues, agendas, who, what all matter. Videos are a tremendous asset to this package. This is how you inform readers about who their candidates are.”

Concerning the “Salisbury Rising” special section, the judges wrote: “With so many communities going through this type of a rebirth and revitalization, this concept could be used in many different markets. The section was well-rounded in content and ads.”

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