A special section, Main Street, produced by The Sag Harbor Express in February 2012, earned a number of awards at last weekend’s New York Press Association Better Newspaper Contest, including a first place prize for business coverage and a second place award for in-depth reporting.
It’s official. The Sag Harbor Express earned the most total contest points for a single flag newspaper in The New York Press Association 2012 Better Newspaper Contest, held this past weekend in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
As a single newspaper, The Express placed second in the contest for editorial awards, and third for advertising awards.
In its division, The Express took a first place award in coverage of local government, a first place for best special section holiday edition for The Holiday Book and a first place award overall in coverage of business, financial and economic news, in part, for the special Main Street business section published in February 2012.
“The writing is thorough and demonstrates keen knowledge of the community,” wrote the judges. “For depth and breadth, this entry is a clear winner.”
Claire Walla also earned a first place feature award for her cover story on The Sag Harbor Variety Store which appeared in the Main Street section.
“This reporter can write,” said the judges. “She took a profile about an ordinary store, albeit an old one and turned it into both an entertaining and well researched story about the community that flowed nicely from lede to conclusion,” wrote the judges.
Advertising director/sports editor Gavin Menu earned an honorable mention nod as Sportswriter of the Year.
“Gavin is great with ledes on routine game stories,” the judges said. “He takes the time to make game stories individual, varying from the same old coverage.”
Editorial cartoonist Peter Waldner also took a first place award.
“Great job of tying in the season in the community with a national issue,” writes the judges of Waldner’s pumpkin-themed political cartoon. “Not a partisan sniping going on here, just a thought on many people’s minds.”
The Express also earned a second place award for in-depth reporting for its special section on Main Street, a second place award for best special section for the E magazine publication, Voyeur, third place recognition for best historical, anniversary or progress editions for the Main Street special section and a third place award for best editorials.
“Well argued positions tackle important local and national issues at the level of the community,” said the judges.
In the design categories, The Express took a first place award overall for Best Use of Color.
“Perhaps it is a prejudice for size, but when you combine the quality of printing here with good photography, well designed and wonderful touches throughout — on a sheet the size of Manhattan — it really comes across in a spectacular way,” wrote the judges.
The paper also earned a second place best special section cover for E magazine’s The Summer Book and a second place award for best real estate/home section.
Photographer Michael Heller earned a number of honors at the convention, including first and second place awards for best sports action photo, a third place finish for best spot news photo, a third place award for best feature photo, a first and second place award for best art photo and a second place award for best picture story.
“The enthusiasm shines through,” said one of the judges of Heller’s sports action photography.
In advertising, The Express took top honors throughout all divisions of the competition, earning a first place award for Advertising Excellence.
“Front page ads are eye catching, elegant and mesh with editorial content,” writes the judges. “The Summer and Holiday Book are full of useful information.”
Other advertising awards included a second place finish in best large space ad, a second place award for best small space ad, an honorable mention for best multi-advertiser pages and an honorable mention for best special section advertising.
The contest was judged by members of the North Carolina Press Association and awards were presented during the New York Press Association’s annual spring conference at the Gideon Putnam Hotel and Resort in Saratoga Springs, NY.
A total of 150 newspapers from across the state competed in the contest, submitting 2,351 entries.