MAY 2, 2022 — Foothills Forum, in partnership with the Rappahannock News, has won a total of 21 awards from the Virginia Press Association (VPA) for original reporting about our community in 2021.

The recognition from VPA — including eleven first-place honors, five second-place awards, and four third-place prizes – was a focus of Foothills’ celebration of SperryFest on Saturday (April 30), as friends and supporters gathered at the Foothills tent on Main Street in Sperryville and compared notes both about recent coverage and future community news needs.

“Fact-based, independent reporting is our mission,” said Andy Alexander, Foothills Chair. “Foothills exists to serve Rappahannock with news reporting that is original and authoritative.

“We are very grateful for the recognition of our reporters, editors, and graphics and photography professionals. We are proud of our continuing partnership with the Rapp News, and we applaud publisher Dennis Brack and his top-notch team.”

The highlights of the VPA recognition included:

  • Foothills reporter Tim Carrington won first place in the “Government Writing” competition, beating entries from the state’s largest publications. He also won a separate first-place award for his coverage of spending and taxing in Rappahannock.
  • Reporter Randy Rieland won in the “In-depth/Investigative Reporting” category for “Covid’s Hidden Toll,” a series of stories on less visible impacts of the pandemic. Rieland also won first place in the “Health, Science and Environmental Writing” category.
  • The VPA judges selected as “Best in Show” (superior among other first-place winners in their category) graphic designer Laura Stanton and reporter Bob Hurley for informational graphics accompanying a story on the future of Sperryville, and Luke Christopher for his photography and presentation of Huntly blacksmith Nol Putnam.

Overall, the Rapp News won more than 30 awards, including 16 for first place (the most for any in a newspaper category with a similar circulation) and “Sweepstakes” honors as the state’s top newsweekly of its size.

The award winners – in categories including newspaper size, type, and geography — were selected from 3,000 entries for work that appeared during the 2021 calendar year.