After going to press Friday night (Feb. 27), the Ocracoke Observer learned that it won first place for General Excellence for Website in its division by the North Carolina Press Association.

These Special Awards were announced at the N.C. Press Association’s virtual convention Friday evening and posted later on the NCPA’s website.

In the 2020 competition, the Observer placed first ahead of the Carolina Public Press, second-place, and the Coastal Review Online, third.  In addition, the Observer won four awards for writing and photography.

Last summer, the Observer co-owners/publishers Connie Leinbach, also the editor, and Peter Vankevich, engaged Cheryl Wilder of Atlas Endeavors LLC to redesign its website.

Although the Observer prints a monthly issue 10 times a year, it competes in the online division, consisting of 14 online newspapers, in the annual contest.

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

The Ocracoke Observer joined the N.C. Press Association in 2015 and has won more than 40 awards in various categories, including several in first place.

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.

Ocracoke Observers publishers Connie Leinbach and Peter Vankevich with their first-place certificates from the North Carolina Press Association.

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