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Bladen County News Outlets Bring Home Numerous NCPA Awards

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North Carolina Press Association members were honored during the 148th annual convention held virtually due to Covid-19 protocols and made available to NCPA members on Friday, February 26, 2021. NCPA’s editorial and advertising contest is one of the largest in the nation, with over 4,000 entries submitted by more than 100 newspapers and news organizations. Judging was completed by members of the West Virginia Press Association. 

Bladen Online won 15 awards. 

In the Editorial categories, Bladen Online won two first-place awards. 

Charlotte Smith and Kenneth Armstrong won first place for their multimedia coverage on Eric Trump at Cape Fear Vineyard and Winery.

Cara Beth Lewis won first place in Religion & Faith Reporting for her article, Withstanding the Test of TimeThe judge of the award noted, “The article gives a good background of how the church came to be.”

BladenOnline Team Members won second place in Magazine or Niche Publication for the Bladen County Beautiful Magazine The judge stated, “Interesting concept. A lot of different topics.”

Kenneth Armstrong won second place in Photography, Sports for his coverage of Larrell Murchison in the NFL. 

Charlotte Smith won second place in Community Coverage for her article,  Many Turn Out for COVID-19 Testing in Bladen Countyand the BladenOnline Team won second place for their e-newsletters.

BladenOnline also received two third-place awards in the editorial category. Mr. Robert Hester won for his daily Editorials, Thoughts While Shavingand Charlotte won for her featured writing titled, The last picture of my son; 7 tips to help prevent drowsy driving.

The BladenOnline Team won even more awards in the advertising divisions. 

The BladenOnline Team came in first place for Community Service Signature Page or Page, Niche Publication, Retail Ad in a Niche Publication, Small Ad, and Special Section.

Joseph Miller also secured a first-place finish in the Institutional Ad category for his creation of the Dublin First Baptist ad featured in the Bladen County Beautiful Magazine. The BladenOnline team won first place in advertising for the Bladen County Beautiful Magazine.  

Kelly White, Joseph Miller, and Charlotte Smith won second place for the 2020 Graduation special section. The team also won an award sponsored by METRO Creative Graphics. The NCPA presented a sweepstakes award for the most points won across all advertising categories. This year BladenOnline received the award in their division.  

The Bladen Journal, a local newspaper in Bladen County, also won NCPA awards. Bladen Journal won seven awards: one-third place, four-second place, and two first-place awards in editorial categories. 

In the Community newspapers, division B, the Bladen Journal also came in second place for a General Excellence award for their website. 

Awards cover a contest period of October 2019-September 2020. A list of categories and rules can be found at For a full list of winners, visit