The Long Island Press won 19 awards for its writing, design and multimedia at the 2011 New York Press Association Better Newspaper Contest during its annual convention in Saratoga Springs March 30 to 31. In all, the competition included 158 newspapers and more than 2,430 entries.
Awards for the Press’ coverage spanned several categories and included accolades for topics ranging from politics, crime and the environment to sports, news, column and feature writing.
“Another top-notch piece,” the judges wrote of “What a Mess,” an article that won Best News Story for its in-depth look into the disastrous conditions and potential cover-up by top police, prosecutors and county officials regarding the Nassau County Police Crime Lab, by writer Shelly Feuer Domash and Christopher Twarowski, Senior Reporter-Editor—Investigations. “An important piece of investigative journalism.”
Senior Editor Spencer Rumsey took home the prize for best Feature Story—the most competitive category in the NYPA contest—for “Soldiers of Misfortune,” a colorful-yet-somber piece about the struggles facing veterans returning home from war.
The judges found that the Press “left no questions unanswered” when awarding the paper for Coverage of the Environment with “Gas Rush,” a hard-hitting article chronicling controversial proposed hydraulic fracturing in Upstate New York, and “Heating Up,” exploring the impact of global warming on LI.
Jim Mancari, a Press contributor, won best Sports Feature for his piece “Diamonds Aren’t Forever” which explored the difficult road for Long Islanders to play Major League Baseball.
Twarowski, Rumsey and News/Web Editor Timothy Bolger won best Coverage of Elections/Politics for their work on “The Blame Game” about Nassau’s fiscal crisis and the Press’ annual voters’ guide.
Associate Publisher Beverly Fortune won Best Column for Fortune 52, a weekly feature highlighting unsung Long Island women making a difference.
“Fortune finds powerful stories and tells them in a compelling fashion,” the judges wrote of the award-winning Fortune 52 column. “These can be extremely emotional stories but she does not allow them to get bogged down in the sadness. She finds what allows her subjects to get through the tough times and shares that with her readers.”
Staff Writer Jaclyn Gallucci won second place in the Coverage of Crime/Police/Courts category for “Vanished,” a chilling story about the murder of 26-year-old prostitute Jennifer Papain and subsequent court trail of her killer, and “Looking for Judy,” a piece about a family who thought a missing woman might be among 10 bodies found along Ocean Parkway.
The Press staff won second for Spot News for breaking coverage of the New York State Marriage Equality Act legalizing gay and lesbian marriage. The staff also shared third place in the News Story contest for “On Thin Ice,” about a controversial proposal to publicly finance improvements to the Nassau Coliseum, home of the New York Islanders NHL team.
In addition, Rumsey and Gallucci won third place in the Coverage of Health, Health Care and Science for Rumsey’s story, “On Life Support,” about Suffolk County’s John J. Foley Skilled Nursing Facility, and Gallucci’s article “Vaccine Machine,” regarding the ongoing national debate into the cause of autism.
Twarowki, Staff Writer Rashed Mian and Director of New Media Michael Conforti won third place for Best Use of Multimedia for their mini-documentary of the Occupy Wall Street protests in Manhattan. The Press also won honorable mentions for coverage of local government and in the best website category.
On the design side, Art Director Jon Sasala won first place for Graphic Illustration, Best Use of Color and Best House Ad/Ad Campaign for the Press’ annual Best of Long Island promotion.
The paper also won Best Ad Campaign Large Space, Best Large Space Ad and took home third place for Best Special Section Cover in a tie with the Queens Chronicle.