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MTP staffers honored by NCPA

Article Published: Mar. 25, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
MTP staffers honored by NCPA

Two of Mountain Times Publications' own were honored in Chapel Hill last week for their work.

Two-time North Carolina Press Association (NCPA) award winner Mark Mitchell was honored in Chapel Hill last week for his photography. Ashe Mountain Times writer Joel Frady was honored for his work in criticism.

Mitchell, staff photographer turned assistant sports editor for the Watauga Democrat, placed third in the state under "General Photography" for his photo, entitled "Flipping Out," taken at the Chetola Polar Plunge.

Frady placed second in the state in the Criticism category for movie reviews on The Time Traveler's Wife, (500) Days of Summer, My Sister's Keeper and Halloween II.

Mitchell and Frady traveled to Chapel Hill and were recognized at the NCPA convention.

"The trip was wonderful," Mitchell said. "The NCPA convention is always inspiring to me. It's always an honor to win a state award, and I feel very privileged to have done so."

The four-year Democrat veteran has transitioned this year into the sports department, a move he's enjoying.

"It's great, because as someone who has been a sports editor before, it's a passion of mine," Mitchell said.

Before joining the Mountain Times team, Mitchell worked as a sports editor at a paper in Georgia and a staff photographer in Virginia.

When not behind the lens, it's still all about sports.

"I just enjoy about all sports, what a surprise there," he laughed, "and going to dinner with my wife."
Frady, an N.C. State University graduate, worked at the Mount Airy News in Surry County before joining the Ashe Mountain Times in July 2008. Frady spends most of his time as a reporter, but treasurers the work he does in film criticism.

"I love seeing movies for free, and I love my boss and the people I work with," he said. "We are proud to put out an awesome newspaper every week."

This is the first NCPA award for Frady.

"It's nice to be recognized by my peers for something that I've been doing for so many years," he said.

"We are all extremely proud of Joel for earning this award among stiff competition from across the state," Ashe Mountain Times editor Ron Fitzwater said.

"I'm proud of the hard work that Joel and Mark, as well as the rest of our staff, put into their craft on a daily basis," publisher Gene Fowler said. "Our team's effort keeps the High County informed and engaged, with all the information that our readers desire. To be recognized by our peers for this effort is just the icing on the cake that reinforces that effort."

NCPA is a Raleigh-based organization, whose mission is to protect First Amendment freedoms, keep public meetings and public records open, keep state government process accessible, promote communication among its members, maintain high industry standards, represent the business interests of newspapers, and promote literacy. For more information, visit

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