The Vineyard Gazette’s special coverage of coastal erosion last summer has won a first-place award for best investigative or in-depth story or series from the National Newspaper Association.

The Gazette also won a first place award for advertising for using its vintage 1955 Chevy truck as a mobile promotional vehicle, an idea the judges called “very eye-catching. Simple, yet creative.”

The awards, announced this week by the national organization, were given in the category of non-daily newspapers with more than 10,000 readers. The Vineyard Gazette’s website,, also won an honorable mention across all newspaper categories.

After the Island was lashed by a series of winter storms in 2012-2013, the Gazette undertook an in-depth examination of the history, science and politics behind the issue of coastal erosion, interviewing dozens of experts and people affected by catastrophic land losses. In August, the newspaper laid out the results of its reporting in an eight-page special newspaper section and a special website called Living on the Edge. The project involved almost everyone on the Gazette’s editorial and technical staff, but Tom Dunlop and Sara Brown were the principal reporters and Ray Ewing was the principal photographer.

In giving the award, the judges commented: “The combination of solid stories, lovely photography, strong design and useful online components made this the clear winner.”

The NNA’s Better Newspaper Competition drew more than 2,200 entries from almost 200 newspapers around the country. Awards will be formally presented Oct. 4 at the association’s annual meeting in San Antonio, Tex.