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Nerve Wins First-Place Award in Press Association Contest

The Nerve received a first-place South Carolina Press Association award at the organization’s annual awards meeting Saturday in Greenville.

The Nerve took top honors in the “Best Published News Story” category in the associate-member division for an Oct. 18 story on the use of the two airplanes owned by the state. In a joint investigation with WLTX-TV in Columbia, The Nerve found that Gov. Nikki Haley, state lawmakers, Clemson University officials and others collectively took at least 118 mostly round trips on the state planes in a one-year period at a total taxpayer cost of more than $215,000 – with no oversight by the S.C. Aeronautics Commission, the state agency in charge of the aircraft.

Among other things, the story revealed that Clemson’s head football and basketball coaches used the state planes for recruiting or other athletic events. In passing its version of the fiscal 2014 state budget earlier this month, the S.C. House included a proviso that would ban colleges and universities from using the state planes for athletic recruiting.

In awarding first place to The Nerve for its state-plane story, contest judges wrote: “Nitty gritty reporting on statewide issue. Clean presentation of facts, explanation of method/foundation (investigation) and solid presentation of multiple perspectives.”

The South Carolina Press Association’s 2012 news contest was judged by members of the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association and the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors.

Since its launch in January 2010, The Nerve has won seven South Carolina Press Association awards, including four first-place honors. The Nerve is a product of the South Carolina Policy Council, which is an associate member of the Press Association.

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South Carolina Press Association Clemson University Gov. Nikki Haley