Virginia Press Association Announces D. Lathan Mims Award for Editorial Leadership in the Community

By | 2018-04-16T14:01:08+00:00 April 15th, 2018|

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2018

CONTACT: Betsy Edwards
betsye@vpa.net
804-402-9944 (cell)
804-521-7584 (office)

Virginia Press Association Announces D. Lathan Mims Award for Editorial Leadership in the Community

RICHMOND, Va. –  Dwayne Yancey, reporter at The Roanoke Times, has won the Virginia Press Association’s D. Lathan Mims Award for Editorial Leadership.

The award was announced Saturday at the association’s annual meeting at the Richmond/Short Pump Hilton.

Presented for work published during the 2017 calendar year, the award is named for the late D. Lathan Mims, a former editor and general manager of the Daily News-Record in Harrisonburg and a former president of the press association. The award was first presented in 1988 for the 1986-87 contest year.

The judge wrote about Yancey’s work, “A journalist who takes an activist approach to highly charged political issues has to balance advocacy with objectivity.  When the journalist is an editor, the task is exponentially more difficult. Dwayne Yancey chose to advocate for one of the most depressed parts of Virginia – the southwest coalfields of Appalachia – and he more than met the challenge.”

The judge went on to say, “Yancey’s detailed research on the economic, political and cultural dynamics of the challenges facing the region informs his writing, providing invaluable context for the reader.  He presents detailed analyses of the prevailing liberal and conservative approaches to the issues of the region, pointing out their strengths and weaknesses, emphasizing what is best and most useful in each, all the while refraining from the judgmental rhetoric that dominated our political discourse.  His work exemplifies the principle we teach young journalists: ‘Show, don’t tell.”

The judge concluded by saying, “Yancey’s writing is imbued with an intrinsic trust in the intelligence of his audience, and in their ability to decide issues for themselves when given the right information.  It calls to mind Thomas Jefferson’s frequent admonitions on the vital importance of an informed public to a successful democracy.  This is editorial writing at its best.”

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The Mims competition is for individual writers of editorials, signed commentaries, or editorial page columns at non-daily or specialty publications of any size, or a daily publication with a circulation of 40,000 or less.

The award was established to memorialize Mims’ conviction that newspapers and their editors should be active, caring parts of the communities they serve. He believed that a newspaper should support those things which would make a community a better place in which to live and oppose those things which detract from the quality of life.

Entries are judged on skill in writing, clarity of position, fairness in handling of issues, appropriate use of pertinent facts, and vision of the community’s needs, both present and future

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The Alabama Press Association judged the Mims competition entries.

For more information about the contest results go to: https://goo.gl/egn81a