BOSTON – Providence Business News received two awards this year from the New England Press Association, one for general excellence and another for front-page design. The awards were presented at the organization’s annual awards banquet, held Saturday, Feb. 7, at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.
PBN was awarded third place for general excellence in the Weekly 2 category. “This paper has a great mix of well-written interviews, news and features on business,” the judges wrote in a statement praising both the newspaper’s content and its presentation. “Enjoyed the columns about anxiety and company names in the May issue. Photo quality good and graphic design first-rate.”
Third place for front-page design in the same Weekly 2 category went to PBN Production Director Darryl Greenlee. “Clean layout and appropriate use of color stand out,” the judges wrote. “We love to see what is well-planned work out: the headline color matching the color in the image. Headline styles are well done and tell the story in every case.”
Last year, the paper was ranked second among weekly newspapers in two categories: business / economic reporting, for the “Primer Paso” series about Hispanic businesses in southern New England; and 2006 local election coverage. (READ MORE)
And in 2007, PBN took first place in the Weekly 2 division for consistent accomplishment in the “demanding and exacting craft” of headline writing. (READ MORE) “The headline writers at the Providence Business News write with clarity and a refreshing crispness,” that year’s judges wrote. “The headlines in this paper don’t have to be read twice to understand them. … They offer a little flair at the right time.”
Other local publications also reaped honors in the yearly contest. Leading the pack were:
• The Standard-Times in New Bedford, which took first place among daily newspapers for coverage of a racial or ethnic issue, as well as a first-place special award for what the judges termed “an ambitious series on immigration.” It won six first-place nods in the Daily 2 category – for government reporting, living page or section, sports story, editorial cartoon, feature photo and news photo – as well as second-place honors for educational reporting and third place in both business / economic reporting and history reporting, also in Daily 2.
The Standard-Times also scored well in this year’s multimedia contests: It ranked first among all dailies for overall newspaper Web site and second in the “audio slideshow” contest, while in the Daily 2 category, it was awarded second prize for “convergence,” that is, integration of print and other content in a given online package, and third place for video. And it took a first place in advertising as well, for local ad: color.
• The Sun Chronicle, in Attleboro, was honored for having the best front page in the Daily 1 category. It also was awarded second place for spot news in Daily 1, for an article by Ted Nesi (who is now PBN’s technology and environment reporter), Jim Hand and Rick Foster; first place for living page or section and second for arts and entertainment section; and third in health reporting. Also in Daily 1, it won second place in video; second for “pictorial photo”; and third in three other categories, feature photo, sports photo and spot news photo.
• And the Phoenix, of Boston and Providence, was honored as home to weekly journalist of the year David S. Bernstein, whose work took first place among weeklies for investigative reporting. He also took first place among serious columnists in Weekly 2, while Phoenix colleague Harvey Silvergate took third. In the Weekly 2 category, the tabloid took first place for reporting on religious issues; second place for educational reporting; and third place for both arts and entertainment reporting and sports story. On the visual side, the Phoenix took second place among all weeklies for photo illustration. It placed third among weeklies in this year’s illustration contest. And in Weekly 2, it took first place for print-online “convergence” and second for best video submission.
Additional local daily or weekly newspapers awarded NEPA honors this year were:
• The Block Island Times, taking second place in environmental reporting, in the Weekly 1 category, for a story about deer and Lyme disease on the island, plus another second for editorial cartoon. The island paper also won a pair of advertising awards.
• The Cranston Herald, taking first place in Weekly 1 for business / economic reporting.
• The Fall River Spirit, taking the second place for feature photo in Weekly 2, where it also ranked third for general news.
• The Herald News, in Fall River, taking first place for history reporting in Daily 1, where it also ranks third in the “serious columnist” category, for a piece by Marc M. Dion.
• The North-East Independent, in North Kingstown, taking first place for educational reporting in Weekly 1, where it also won honors in two advertising contests.
• The South County Independent, in the Wakefield section of South Kingstown, taking the No. 2 spot in the Weekly 1 sports page or section contest.
• The Warwick Beacon, taking second place in the sports-column contest in Weekly 2.
The New England Press Association, founded in 1950, is a trade group promoting growth and excellence in newspapers across the six-state region. It has more than 525 member newspapers with 9.8 million readers and a total circulation of 5.9 million. Additional information – including the full list of winners in NEPA’s 2009 Better Newspaper Contest, based on work published in 2008, with reproductions of many of this year’s winning photos – is available at www.nepa.org.