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NY Press Association taps Reporter as one of the top community papers in state

REPORTER PHOTO A selection from the 16 editorial awards the New York Press Association honored the Reporter with this past weekend.
REPORTER PHOTO A selection from the 16 editorial awards that the New York Press Association honored the Reporter with this past weekend.

Your hometown paper brought home 16 awards for editorial excellence from the New York Press Association’s (NYPA) spring convention, held April 7 to 9 in Saratoga Springs.

The “2016 Better Newspaper Contest” honors editorial excellence in print and online journalism. This year, members of the North Carolina Press Association judged 2,957 entries representing the work of 184 newspapers in a variety of circulation divisions across New York State. Over the weekend, a total of 546 awards were presented in 67 different categories.

The Reporter was honored with five first place awards, five second place awards, two third place awards and four honorable mentions. The Reporter also placed among the top five newspapers in the state in total editorial contest points, along with sister papers The Suffolk Times and The News-Review.

First place awards included the prestigious “Past President’s Award for General Excellence.”

The judge for this category wrote, “Great newspaper that excelled in every category judged. Local content and community engagement was among the best for sure. Part of a group and in my opinion the leader in the group.”

The Reporter also took a first place in its division for “Best Front Page” thanks to the work of Editor Ambrose Clancy and Art Director Charles Tumino.

Of this entry, the judge said, “Clean layout and solid design elements, including cutouts and graphics, made this entry a standout. I was impressed with the mix of feature and hard news, as well as the sheer number of entry points grabbing the reader without feeling crowded or distracting — something that can be a challenge on a tabloid front. Excellent work.”

Another first place win came for the Reporter and Mr. Tumino with “Overall Design Excellence.” The judges wrote, “Congestion at the top, where any of our three choices could be declared the winner. Our final answer is The Shelter Island Reporter with an attractive ‘Island Opinions’ page, good-looking standing heads, good artwork and an abundance of local events displayed in an easy-to-read fashion.”

Mr. Clancy won a first place award for “Best Column” with his “Gimme Shelter” entries.

The judges said, “Ambrose succeeds in doing what only the very best of the best can do: finding, and writing about, the remarkable in the routine. A good columnist has the knack (or gift) of a unique vision, but what set Ambrose’s entries apart was his writing. His words were like brushstrokes on a canvas, visually crafting something that’s compelling and lasting. I re-read each of his columns several times, savoring each one. Clearly the best of the Division I entries.”

Community News Editor Annette Hinkle took a first place award for “Coverage of the Arts.” The judges said, “First off the design is beautiful, fresh and clean. The stories bring the subjects to life, and I get a sense of life on the island.”

Ms. Hinkle also took a third place in this category for her free lance work with the Sag Harbor Express, as well as another first place in the same category, freelancing for The Southampton Press.

Second place awards for The Reporter included one for “Community Leadership” for Staff Reporter Julie Lane and her series on affordable housing.

Mr. Clancy took second in the “Headline Writing” category, and Ms. Lane and Mr. Clancy shared a second place award for “Sports Feature” with their coverage of the Shelter Island 10K.

Mr. Clancy also won second place for “Editorials,” while Peter Waldner took second for his cartoon of a tattered American flag, which ran right after November’s presidential election.

Don Bindler’s photograph of the moon over an osprey nest won second place for “Art Photo.”

The Shelter Island 10K Journal took a third place award for “Special Sections/Niche Publications,” as did Mr. Clancy’s story, “The Island is their oyster” in the “Feature Story” category.

The Reporter also won four honorable mentions. Two went to Mr. Clancy (one for “News Story” for his “Back to school blues” piece and “Art Photo” for his shot of spring flowers), while Julie Lane won honorable mention in the “Best News or Feature Series” category with her affordable housing series.

Charity Robey also took honorable mention for “Best Column” for her “On the Half Shell” entries.

The Times Review Media Group, which includes The Reporter, The Suffolk Times, The Riverhead News-Review and northforker.com, came out on top again this year with the most total points in the contest.

As a chain, the team collected a total of 700 contest points, 325 more then the next nearest competitor, which was the Southampton-based Press Newspaper Group.

“It is always a great honor to receive this type of recognition,” said Times Review publisher Andrew Olsen. “Our staff strives to produce the best possible community journalism for our readers and to innovate to meet current needs. I believe these awards reflect our commitment to adapt, as we were honored for both our print and digital work.”

Congratulations to all, and especially to you, our readers.