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PBN.com, Jewelry District series take top honors in N.E. contest

PBN.com's fall 2012 redesign received top honors in the New England Newspaper and Press Association's annual Better Newspaper Competition.
Posted 2/12/13

BOSTON – Providence Business News took two first-place awards in the New England Newspaper and Press Association’s Better Newspaper Competition, one for website design and another for a three-part series about the transformation of the Jewelry District in Providence into the Knowledge District. The results of the competition were announced at the awards dinner following the organization’s annual conference held at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston, which was held despite Winter Storm Nemo.

PBN.com debuted its new look in September, with an emphasis on simplifying its page design while retaining easy access to the print and online content that the news organization produces. Judges for the category said “Very well done. Good use of graphics and the right rail is a nice mix of content and ads.”

The stories on the Jewelry District makeover, written by former staff writer Chris Barrett, ran Oct. 17, 24 and 31, 2012, and chronicled the past, present and future expectations for the part of Providence that at one time was one of the leading centers for jewelry production in the world. The category judges remarked that the stories represented “an ambitious series tracing the evolution of Providence’s once-bustling Jewelry District.”

In addition to the two first-place awards, PBN took home second place honors for general excellence, special section/editorial supplement and business/economic reporting.

The second place finish for general excellence marked the fourth time in the last five years that PBN has placed among the top three weekly publications with circulation greater than 6,000 (PBN took home top honors for its work in 2009).

The 2012 Book of Lists was the special section/editorial supplement second-place finisher, with the judges noting that it was “chock full of facts and figures, with good stories to add life. A community/R.I. resource.”

Current staff writer Patrick Anderson took the second place in business/economic reporting for a collection of his print stories about the collapse of 38 Studios LLC, former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s failed video gaming enterprise that delved into “how state economic development dollars were spent,” said contest judges.

The New England Better Newspaper Competition of NENPA attracted nearly 3,000 entries from daily, weekly, bi-weekly and monthly publications throughout the six-state region, with awards given in 91 advertising, editorial and promotions categories.

Other newspapers in Rhode Island and Bristol Co., Mass., included:

  • AAA Horizons – audience building promotion.

  • The Block Island Times – advertising campaign; editorial cartoon; local advertising.

  • The Herald News, of Fall River – events; government reporting; social issues feature story.

  • The Providence Phoenix – health reporting.

  • SouthCoast Business Bulletin – newspaper-sponsored event promotion.

  • The Standard-Times, of New Bedford – business page or section; editorial cartoon; education reporting; feature video; general news photo; humor columnist; living page or section; local election coverage; overall design and presentation; photo series; sports page or section.

  • The Sun Chronicle, of Attleboro – community involvement; headline writing; science/technology reporting.

  • The Taunton Daily Gazette – illustration.

In addition, Peter Pereira of the Standard-Times was named photographer of the year for the second year in a row.

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