Long Island Press Wins Top Honors at SPJ

The Long Island Press dominated the 2011 Society of Professional Journalists’ Press Club of Long Island (PCLI) Media Awards June 9, taking home several of the event’s highest honors for journalistic excellence and racking up 22 total prizes.

The annual awards competition recognizes the best in local journalism across all media formats: print, television, radio and online. The print division includes dailies, weeklies and magazines; with “dailies” only consisting of entries from Long Island’s lone daily newspaper.

Among the event’s top accolades (and those open to all media outlets regardless of format), Press Senior Reporter/Editor-Investigations Christopher Twarowski and Photographer/Videographer Joel Cairo won the prestigious Robert W. Greene Public Service Award for their three-part investigative series “Toxic Time Bomb” and accompanying mini-documentary exposing the myriad disasters of Nassau County’s Cedar Creek and Bay Park sewage treatment plants, which threaten the health and safety of its workers and the public at large. The prize is named in honor of the legendary two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning Newsday investigative tour de force, who passed away in 2008.

The Press also won the coveted all-media Best Website and Best Online Video awards, the latter again for Cairo and Twarowski’s efforts.

The Press’ cache spanned nearly a dozen categories, additionally including Non-Deadline News, Feature, General Interest/Humor Column, Government/Politics, Business/Economics/Financial, Environmental/Science/Health/Technology, Environmental/Science/Health/Technology and Arts.

Twarowski was honored with seven awards, three First-Place—in addition to those aforementioned, earning First Place in Environmental/Science/Health/Technology for the investigation “With Friends Like These…” documenting the misguided and destructive acts of a nonprofit charged with protecting Long Island’s North Shore jewel Guggenheim Estate in Sands Point. He also won Second-Place in the latter’s online category and in print Non-Deadline News.

Press Staff Writer Jaclyn Gallucci brought home six awards, two First-Place: in Non-Deadline News, for her in-depth cover story into the world of identifying murder victims titled “Do You Know John Doe?” and Feature, for her cover detailing the history of many of Long Island’s most famous and infamous sites, “Hidden In Plain Sight.” She also won Third-Place in both categories.

Press News Editor Timothy Bolger was honored with three awards, sharing First-Place in the online Environmental/Science/Health/Technology category with Staff Writer Lindsay Christ for their “Hurricane Earl series,” earning Second-Place in the Non-Deadline News category with Gallucci for their “LI Serial Killer Series” and also clinching Second-Place in the Business/Economic/Financial category.

Press Senior Editor Spencer Rumsey also won three awards, one First-Place in the Business/Economic/Financial category for his detailed historical overview of Long Island’s vast portfolio of failed development projects, “It’ll Never Happen.” He additionally took Third-Place in that category and in its online division.

Press Editor-In-Chief Michael Patrick Nelson won First-Place in the Arts category for his colorful profile feature of local, world-renowned tattooist Mike Rubendall titled “Island Ink.”

Press Publisher Jed Morey won Second- and Third-Place in the General Interest/Humor Column category for his weekly “Off the Reservation” column and clinched Second-Place honors in Government/Politics.

Press Staff Writer Rashed Mian shared Third-Place in the Environmental/Science/Health/Technology with Twarowski for their compelling documentation of the rise of cyberbullying and the victims left in its wake.

Press contributor Shelly Feuer Domash shared the Second-Place honor with Gallucci and Twarowski in the Feature category for her heart-wrenching account of a local man’s quest to save unwanted newborns from death, titled “Last Hope.”

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