Grice Connect, a local independent online news publisher based in Statesboro, Georgia tied with the Dallas Free Press to receive the Best Coronavirus Coverage for a solo news operation. The award was presented during a virtual international awards ceremony on Tuesday, November 16, 2021.
LION (Local Independent Online News) Local Journalism Awards recognize excellence in journalism and business at local independent online news publishers. Independent judges put a special emphasis on entries that rise above the ordinary, show an entrepreneurial spirit and provide a blueprint for other publishers in the field.
LION Awards are presented by Google News Initiative. We congratulate each finalist for their hard work and dedication running independent news businesses.
Grice Connect | Best Coronavirus Coverage
Grice Connect won top honors for filling a gap in local coverage and fostering collaborations with front-line workers to provide accurate, timely COVID-19-related information to their community.
To quote one of the LION Awards judges after finishing her reviews, “wow — it kind of made me emotional. Love seeing all this great work and how much people are putting into it even against odds in this business.”
DeWayne Grice, Grice Connect’s founder and publisher recognized many of the people in the community that believed in Grice Connect enough to step up to help in extraordinary ways.
“Sean Davis and his team at Assured Partners along with Auto Owners Insurance stepped up early. They remain the primary financial sponsor for the COVID report. It says a lot about a company willing to lead in such an extraordinary way. They knew this was important to our community, so they made sure Grice Connect had the financial resources to make it happen every single day,” said DeWayne Grice. “Their investment not only ensured vital community health information was there daily, but they wanted Statesboro and Bulloch County to have a consistent, reliable local news option.”
Grice also recognized and thanked Ted Wynn, Bulloch County Public Safety and EMA director, Stephen Pennington, CEO of East Georgia Regional Medical Center, Dr. Ruthie Crider and Dr. Frank Davis for their support, contributions and guidance with the report.
Grice Connect team member Kelsie Posey worked tirelessly to make sure the report reached our followers daily.
All of these people are the reason we received the Best Coronavirus Coverage award.
Grice Connect | Service and Solutions Based Journalism
The judges were impressed by how invested in the community Grice Connect became. Not only did they report the stories, but when they saw needs in the community, they connected those needs to resources.
From helping to coordinate vaccination clinics which assisted thousands to receive the COVID vaccine, partnering with Feed the Boro on food drops to feed thousands of families in need, to leading efforts to recognize and thank front line workers with meals, gift cards, flowers, the purchase of special and more comfortable face masks for critical healthcare workers, and even chalk art on their sidewalks, Grice Connect CONNECTED our community.
“Grice Connect was created after Hurricane Matthew as a way to ensure our community was better connected in times of tragedy and in times of bounty,” said Grice. “We want to be a catalyst for good in our community. Sharing the incredible stories of our citizens who make this town so special is just one way in which we accomplish this mission.”
Thousands depend on Grice Connect for daily local news
With over 10,000 followers on Facebook, more than 50,000 unique views per month on the Grice Connect website and more than 1,000 subscribers to our daily email newsletter, our followers and supporters have positioned Grice Connect as an important voice in Bulloch County.
Our readers appreciate the limited advertising which keeps the site clean and easy to read along with the fact that there are no passwords required or paywall preventing anyone from reading all of our stories.
We are supported by generous local businesses and individuals who want to see hyperlocal news continue.
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Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers is a professional journalism association for independent news publishers. While most of our 400+ membership across the U.S. and Canada run local news businesses, we also have members who serve larger regions and specific identity-based communities across geographies.