Phoenix Newspapers Take 18 NEPA Awards

BOSTON — Feb. 9, 2005 — The Boston, Providence and Portland editions of the Phoenix won a total of 18 awards, 10 of which were first place, in the 2004 New England Press Association Better Newspaper Contest. Organizers described the event as “our most competitive contest ever,” with more than 350 newspapers submitting approximately 6000 entries. The winners were announced this past Saturday, at the organization’s annual banquet at the Park Plaza.

Boston Phoenix design director Kristen Goodfriend accepted the paper’s award for best front page, for our edition of April 16, 2004, which featured photos of soldiers from the Vietnam and Iraq wars headlined is IRAQ THE NEW VIETNAM? Said the judges: “No contest in this category.”

Also winning first-place awards were:

• Chris Wright, Boston Phoenix, human-interest feature story, for his profile of Shawn Drumgold, who had been cleared of murder charges after many years in prison (see “Coming Home,” News and Features, December 19, 2003).

• Alex Irvine, Portland Phoenix, investigative reporting, for his article exposing the backroom dealing that went into the creation of the Old Town landfill, to the great benefit of Casella Waste Management and the Georgia-Pacific paper company — but not the people of Maine (see “Dumping Ground,” April 2, 2004).

• Brian Jones, Providence Phoenix, general news story, for his coverage of the six-month anniversary of the Station nightclub fire (see “Slow Recovery,” News, August 22, 2003).

• Dan Kennedy, Boston Phoenix, business and economic reporting, for his report on the competition between the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald (see “A Tale of Two Papers,” News and Features, April 2, 2004).

• Alan Olifson, Boston Phoenix, humor columnist, for “Sporting Life,” March 5, 2004, and “Bloom Service,” May 7, 2004, both in News and Features.

• Michael Manning, Boston Phoenix, pictorial photograph.

• Chad Verrill, Portland Phoenix, illustration, for a full-color, full-page cover that accompanied Lance Tapley’s story of how the paper companies have no intention of staying in Maine (see “Cut and Run,” March 12, 2004).

• Lisa Craig, Portland Phoenix, photo illustration, for a cover photo enhanced with a miniature radio tower to accompany Kevin Kim’s story on low-power FM radio (see “Reclaiming the Dial,” October 31, 2003).

• Steven Sunshine, Boston Phoenix, feature photo, for a photo of a woman crying into an American flag, which accompanied a story on the problems faced by immigrants under the reign of John Ashcroft’s Justice Department (see “Do Not Pass Go, January 9, 2004).

Other NEPA awards won by the Phoenix newspapers were:

Adrian Zupp, Boston Phoenix, second place, reporting on religious issues; Chris Wright, Boston Phoenix, second place, environmental reporting; Kevin Banks, Boston Phoenix, second place, illustration; Ian Donnis, Providence Phoenix, third place, social-issues feature; Kristen Lombardi, Boston Phoenix, third place, investigative reporting; Steve Young, Boston Phoenix, third place, illustration; Kelly Davidson, Boston Phoenix, third place, feature photo; and Tanit Sakakini, Boston Phoenix, third place, personality photo.

The Boston Phoenix is nationally recognized for Pulitzer Prize award-winning, incisive journalism and comprehensive arts and entertainment coverage. Together with its Providence and Portland editions, it is one of the nation’s largest publications of its kind. All three papers are part of the Phoenix Media/Communications Group.