The Herald Community Newspapers captured 20 awards in the New York Press Association’s 2018 Better Newspaper Contest, including several top honors for editorial and advertising excellence.
Additionally, the Heralds’ sister paper in the Bronx, The Riverdale Press, received 10 awards.
“I’m so proud of our team,” said Stuart Richner, CEO and publisher of the Herald. “It’s truly a company- wide effort to put out the papers every week. It’s an honor to have the team recognized by the judges, both for our editorial content and advertising.”
The Heralds earned seven first-place honors, for In-Depth Reporting, Advertising Excellence, Public Service Special Section, Headline Writing, Special Section Cover, Large Space Ad and Sports Action Photo. Here’s a look at the honored entries:
In-Depth Reporting, First Place: The Heralds earned the Thomas G. Butson Award for Investigative and In-Depth Reporting, one of NYPA’s top honors, for the second straight year.
Judges recognized the Heralds’ nearly yearlong series on guns in Nassau County, called “Safety and the Second.” The 13-part, 16,000-word series, which appeared in all 18 editions of the Heralds, followed the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14, 2018, and examined the issue of guns from a variety of perspectives, including those of gun-control advocates, gun owners, student activists, parents, school officials and lawmakers.
Erik Hawkins, senior editor of the Bellmore and Merrick Heralds, was the series editor and a writer for it. Other writers included Peter Belfiore, Scott Brinton, Matthew D’Onofrio, Zach Gottehrer-Cohen, Melissa Koenig, Laura Lane, Tyler Marko, Nadya Nataly, Anthony O’Reilly, Brian Stieglitz and Ben Strack. Christina Daly, the Heralds’ photo editor, was the graphics designer.
The series also received the Sharon R. Fulmer Award for Community Leadership, taking third place. The award is also among NYPA’s highest honors.
A contest judge wrote, “The staff spent an amazing amount of time and effort into covering all angles of the questions surrounding what it means to be a survivor of gun violence and its effect on communities and what gun owners believe are their rights and responsibilities.”
Advertising Excellence, First Place: The Lynbrook-East Rockaway Herald received the state’s top honor in this highly competitive category. “It was a tremendous team effort,” said Rhonda Glickman, the Heralds’ vice president of advertising. “It takes a great team to bring home this award.”
“Love the Dance Workshop and Leggz Ltd ads!” judges wrote. “Colorful and beautiful. Cinch ad eye-catching! Super cute cover for the Kindergarten Kids! Great job!”
Best Public Service Special Section, First Place: The Sea Cliff-Glen Head Herald Citizen took the top honor in this category for its “First on the Scene” special section, a tribute to the volunteer fire departments of Sea Cliff and Glen Head.
Brinton, the Heralds’ executive editor, was the section editor and one of its writers. Other writers included Gottehrer-Cohen, Zoe Malin and Alyssa Seidman. Jeff Negrin, the Heralds’ creative director, was the section’s designer.
Judges wrote, “A lovely tribute to the local firefighters. The histories of the departments were well written, and the historical photos added to the stories. The photos of the current firefighters and full lists of names were a nice, personal touch for the firefighters. Well done.”
Headline Writing, First and Second Place: Michael Smollins, editor of the Lynbrook-East Rockaway Herald, earned first place in this category for a series of five headlines he wrote. It was the second year in a row that Smollins was honored in this category.
A judge wrote, “I enjoy the wordplay and how well describe the story. I know what I am getting into when I start reading. Well done.”
The Freeport Herald Leader took second for headline writing. The writers included Brinton, Jim Harmon, Nataly and Jeff Bessen.
A judge wrote, “Great wordplay without being cheesy. Headlines match stories well.”
Special Section Cover, First Place and Honorable Mention: Negrin earned the top honor and an honorable mention in this category for two special section covers that appeared in the Baldwin Herald. The first-place entry was for the Spring Home section and featured an image of a garden path.
“Awesome color throughout,” judges wrote. “Makes me feel warm (judging this after 20 inches of snow have fallen in the last three days).”
Large Space Ad, First and Second Place: Mona Waitzman captured first place in this category for her work in the Lynbrook-East Rockaway Herald. The judge wrote, “Great ad, very simple. The pink font really stands out.” Jill Kaplan was the account executive.
Gabriella Sobell was second in the category for an ad that appeared in the Glen Cove Herald Gazette. The judge wrote, “ catches the eye.”
Sports Action Photo, First Place: J. Heck was honored for a front-page photo he shot of a football wide receiver as he made a spectacular catch with a defender’s arms wrapped around him. “This photo is executed brilliantly and cropped appropriately,” judges wrote. “There isn’t much wasted space inside the frame. The photographer also did well to track the receiver and maintain sharp focus.”
Other Herald honors included:
Coverage of Education: Belfiore, D’Onofrio and Nataly, Oceanside-Island Park Herald.
Best Obituaries: Lane and Seidman, Sea Cliff-Glen Head Herald Gazette.
Best Small Space Ad: Sobell, Lynbrook-East Rockaway Herald.
Coverage of Religion: Ronny Reyes, Franklin Square-Elmont Herald.
News Story: Reyes, Franklin Square-Elmont Herald.
Picture Story: Daly, Baldwin Herald.
Best Column: Brinton, the Heralds.
Best Small Space Ad: Waitzman, Sea Cliff-Glen Head Herald Citizen.
Coverage of Religion: Bessen, Marko, Nassau Herald.