News & Observer earns multiple APSE sports awards accolades

APSE award plaques on display at a recent summer conference.

APSE award plaques on display at a recent summer conference.

The News & Observer was named one of the top sports news outlets in the country this past week by the Associated Press Sports Editors in the organization’s prestigious annual contest.

The N&O earned 11 total awards, including top-10 finishes in print portfolio and project reporting, and honorable mention in digital sports coverage, which includes the popular ACC Now podcast.

News & Observer writers and photographers took home nine honors, led by Andrew Carter with three — two as an individual and one as part of a team.

Carter’s two individual nods came in the feature writing categories. His “long feature” submission, on the relationship between UNC coach Dean Smith and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, and his “short feature” piece on the the contrasting neighborhoods of San Francisco during the NCAA tournament were both honored among the top 10.

Carter’s other nod came as the primary writer on the N&O’s project entry, a detailed look at high school basketball in Kinston, North Carolina. He teamed with photojournalist Julia Wall and multimedia editor Kevin Keister to produce the Kinston package.

Carter was also recently named the North Carolina Sports Writer of the Year by the National Sports Media Association.

Luke DeCock was honored among the nation’s top columnists for his body of work throughout 2022, which included columns on FAMU-UNC football and all that’s wrong with college sports; coach Mike Krzyzewski’s Cameron farewell; the Carolina Panthers’ terrible start to the season, and North Carolina’s whiff on sports gambling.

Steve Wiseman and C.L. Brown were each honored with top-10 nods in beat writing. Wiseman’s extensive and in-depth coverage of Duke athletics, and Brown’s commitment to tenacious and voluminous reporting on UNC athletics caught the judges’ eyes.

Chip Alexander was honored for his in-depth explanatory feature on the proposed renovations to PNC Arena and the surrounding area in West Raleigh.

In addition to the writing awards, photographers Ethan Hyman and Robert Willett were also individually honored. Hyman earned a top 10 in action photography, and Willett was awarded a top 10 in feature photography.

The News & Observer competes in Division B, the second of four divisions in the APSE contest, based on circulation size. Among the other outlets against which the N&O competes are The Charlotte Observer, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Buffalo News, the Kansas City Star, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Baltimore Sun.

The N&O’s sister papers, The Observer and The State in Columbia, S.C., also earned multiple awards at this year’s APSE contest, including print and digital top-10 honors. The State is in Category C.

The Observer team combined to earn six awards. The State’s team raked in 12.

Justin is a 20-year veteran sports journalist with stops in Lewiston, Maine (Sun Journal), and Boston (Boston Herald). A proud husband, and father of twin girls, Pelletier is a Boston University graduate and member of the esteemed Jack Falla sportswriting mafia. He has earned dozens of state and national sportswriting and editing awards covering preps, colleges and professional leagues.

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