LOS ANGELES (March 2004) – ?Parenting Publications of America (PPA) gave out Editorial and Design Competition awards to parenting newspapers and magazines at a banquet on March 6, 2004, the climax of the three-day PPA Annual Convention in Fort Worth, TX.

Charlottesville?s own local parenting publication, AlbemarleFamily was honored with the Gold Award for their popular Web Site (http://www.AlbemarleFamily.com), the Silver Award for Design Excellence for their glossy quarterly Magazine, and a Silver Award for their special section, ?A Voyage of Discovery? commemorating the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial. (See below for judges comments.)

PPA’s Editorial and Design Awards Competition recognizes excellence in journalism, photography and design achieved by publishers, editors, writers and designers at member publications. Prof. Daryl Moen of the University of Missouri School of Journalism coordinated the annual contest. A panel of 25 judges poured over 764 entries this year (up 100 from last year) to choose the winners in each category. All judges have had significant professional experience.

“The purpose of the PPA awards competition is to encourage a high level of journalistic performance and service to communities by recognizing editorial excellence and outstanding visual presentation in parenting publications,” said PPA Executive Director James Dowden.

Open to all member publications, the competition was broken into circulation divisions: 30,000 or fewer, 30,001 to 54,999, and 55,000 and more. Members competed for gold, silver and bronze in 22 editorial categories, 19 design categories, four General Excellence categories (Most Improved, Rookie of the Year, Ancillary Publication and General Excellence), reflecting editorial and design.

“The service feature category in editorial and feature layouts in design continue to be the two most popular categories across all circulation divisions,” Prof. Moen noted. “It is fitting that service features continue to attract a large number of entries because service journalism is at the heart of parenting publications. They are all there to help families.”

“By developing AlbemarleFamily, we hoped to create a one-stop shop for parents to find great kid?s activities, parent groups, daytrip ideas, extensive guides to local businesses serving families and much more,” explained Jennifer Bryerton, Co-Publisher of AlbemarleFamily. “These awards are affirmation that we?re creating resources that really impact local families in a very positive way.”

Established in March 1988, PPA is a national trade association of regional parenting publications that reaches from Seattle to Boston and from Minneapolis to Miami, and to Canada and Australia. Some of the publications are tabloid newspapers; others are magazines, with 4-color, glossy covers.

Started in 1998, AlbemarleFamily is dedicated to being “The Ultimate Resource Making Parenting Easier & Growing Up Fun”. Their popular weekly web site underwent a complete remodeling in 2003 and the new site now receives over a quarter of a million hits and provides over 18,000 visitors each month with extensive community resources. In addition to the web site, AlbemarleFamily also publishes a weekly e-Newsletter, quarterly print Magazine, and an annual Directory of Family Services. AlbemarleFamily also has a “live” presence in our community that you discover when you look through their publications and see drawings and poetry from local kids, families creating art at AlbemarleFamily Care Exhibits at festivals, area schoolchildren actively engaged in helping to create Bumble’s Clubhouse and more.


Magazine Design Excellence

Silver: AlbemarleKids, Robin Johnson-Bethke, art director
This magazine is designed with elegance and organization. Its sophisticated used of typography helps readers differentiate from advertising. The typography engages a parent reader — often type is designed for the topic of kids rather than the readers.

Overall Web Site Excellence

Gold: AlbemarleKids.com; Jennifer Bryerton, publisher & managing editor; Robin Johnson-Bethke, publisher & art director; Peter Bethke, technical director.
This site sets itself apart by the clarity and thoroughness of its ease of use. Everything is clearly labeled, easy to find and there is a wealth of information presented here. There’s quite a bit of information on this site, and you can find it in several ways: key word search, pulldown sorts, and simple click throughs. Best of all is the Coffeehouse, a collection of topic-specific blogs or email exchanges that are there for everyone to read, share and learn from.


Special Section within a Publication Silver: “A Voyage of Discovery,” AlbemarleKids; Jennifer Bryerton, Publisher/Managing Editor; Robin Johnson-Bethke, Publisher/Art Director.
A novel approach to involve families in learning local history through retracing the journey of Lewis and Clark from Virginia to the West. This section offered plenty of interactive opportunities for parents and kids.