Heralds earn 25 state and national awards

Reporter earns second place for 'Rookie of the Year' honors


The Herald Community Newspapers were recognized for their work both on the state level and nationally last weekend, when awards from the New York Press Association and the Local Media Association were announced.

The Heralds picked up 16 awards in NYPA’s 2012 Better Newspaper Contest, which were presented at the annual spring convention in Saratoga Springs on April 5 and 6. More than a dozen Herald staffers attended the conference, which included workshops and a chance to network with colleagues from across the state.

Two Heralds were recognized for coverage of Hurricane Sandy. Anthony Rifilato of the Long Beach Herald and Alex Costello of the Oceanside/Island Park edition each picked up first place awards in the News or Features Series category for numerous stories that followed in the wake of the storm.

The six-part Road Less Traveled series, which examined alternative transportation in Nassau County, garnered a third place award. Scott Brinton was the editor and a writer for the series. Other contributors included editor David Weingrad, editor Mary Malloy, reporter Brian Croce, editor Anthony Rifilato and editorial intern Victoria Leistman. The photographers were Penny Frondelli and Justin Plotnick, and the page designer was Alyson Goodman.

For the series, Brinton, Weingrad, Malloy and Croce each wrote first-person accounts of their experiences bicycling, running, walking and kayaking around Nassau County. The judges wrote of the effort, “Nice articles and good information. The series gives readers an attitude of ‘if we can do it, so can you.’ Happy trails.”

The Heralds also boast one of the best young reporters in New York. Croce, who writes for the Valley Stream and Lynbrook/East Rockaway editions, won second place in the Rookie Reporter of the Year contest. The judges cited Croce’s ability to “tackle a wide range of challenging subjects with ease.”

Croce, 23, a native of Oceanside, graduated in 2011 from SUNY Oswego with a bacehlor’s degree in journalism. He joined the Herald in December 2011 and previously interned with the New York Islanders in the Communciations Department.

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