Springer’s Point just before sunset is among the photos in the second-place photo essay award in the Online Division of the N.C. Press Association. Photo: P. Vankevich

The Ocracoke Observer received four awards today at this year’s North Carolina Press Association annual conference.

In lieu of taking place in Raleigh, due to COVID-19 government mandates on public gatherings, the conference, hosted by Shannon Vickery of PBS North Carolina, was online and the honors were presented at a virtual awards ceremony held today (Feb. 26).

A member of the Online Division, which has 14 members, the Observer has won more than 40 awards, including many in first place, since joining the N.C. Press Association (NCPA) in 2015 and entering the contest starting in 2016.

The Observer was among 14 recipients to receive a Pelican Award in August from the North Carolina Coastal Federation for its “Dedicated Service to Coastal Community Journalism.” The award was for the Observer’s coverage of Hurricane Dorian.

Ocracoke Observer 2020 NCPA awards are as follows:

Second place in feature writing: Connie Leinbach for her story about Gary Davis, “Islander sends his nightly taps into the world.”

Second place in photo page or essay: Peter Vankevich, “The many atmospheric moods of Springer’s Point.”

Third place for photo page or essay: Leinbach and Vankevich, “2019 was a year to remember on Ocracoke.”

Second place in sports coverage: Richard Taylor for “Ocracoke basketball season underway.”

The winning stories were published on ocracokeobserver.com between October 2019 and September 2020. 

Last year, the Observer took first place in breaking news coverage for its Hurricane Dorian reporting and second place in editorials.

Founded in 1873, the North Carolina Press Association is one of the oldest and largest journalism trade organizations in the nation. It is a member-owned and operated non-profit association established to protect First Amendment freedoms, promote the business interests of North Carolina newspapers and maintain high standards in the industry.

Previous articleVirus numbers decreasing; governor eases some restrictions
Next articleRoutine inspection of Marc Basnight Bridge to begin Monday


  1. Every award was well deserved! I am very happy to see the Observer continuing to get the recognition it is so worthy of. Keep up the great journalism! You set the bar high for the competition.

  2. Great job Connie, Peter, and Richard. Congratulation on your awards and thank you for your dedication to our community.

Comments are closed.