Valley News reporter wins two press awards

For the seventh consecutive year, Valley News reporter Carol Thompson brought home the Syracuse Press Club’s first place award for investigative reporting in the non-daily news category.

Thompson captured the first place award for her story, “Legislators Awarded Bid Despite Competitor Objections.”

The story was about a questionable bid in the county highway department. The judges made this comment on the story:  “A lot of hard work went into this piece and it shows. Important exposure of what may very well be favoritism against the public’s interest.”

Thompson won a second place award in the non-daily news feature category for her story, “The Face of Welfare Isn’t Always One of Abuse.”

The story introduced readers to a working-poor family who lived off a pittance of food stamps each month. Statistics for the story were provided by Oswego County Department of Social Services Director Gregg Heffner that showed approximately one-third of those receiving food assistance do hold jobs.

The story brought an outpouring of support from Valley News readers. Two readers donated microwave ovens and one was donated to the family and the other to ARISE, Inc. for teaching the disadvantaged to prepare meals.

The 35th annual event, held Saturday at Drumlin’s in DeWitt, honored journalists for exceptional work in print, broadcast and online media in a 21 county area.

The master of ceremonies for the event were Post-Standard/ sports columnist Bud Poliquin and Newschannel 9 reporter Tammy Palmer.

Thompson began reporting for The Valley News Nov. 25, 1991, covering the towns of Schroeppel, Palermo, Minetto, Oswego Town and Hannibal as well as the Hannibal School Board. She began covering county legislature committee meetings in 1995 and county government in 1997.

Thompson has won dozens of awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, news features and column writing.

She is the 2006 recipient of the Syracuse Press Club’s Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Awards and is a member of the Missouri School of Journalism Investigative Reporters and Editors.

“Congratulations to Carol — she has done it again,” said managing editor Andrew Henderson. “She continues to provide readers what they want — whether it is an investigative story or a feature story.”

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