Jobs coverage, Sandy effects stories win first place in N.E. newspaper contest
THE APRIL 8, 2013, ISSUE of Providence Business News was part of the newspaper's second-place winning entry in the general excellence category of the New England Newspaper and Press Association's Better Newspaper Competition, which was presented on Feb. 8 during the association's annual convention.
BOSTON – Providence Business News took two first-place awards Saturday in the New England Newspaper and Press Association’s Better Newspaper Competition: one for a series of stories on the kinds of jobs being created in the region at this time of high unemployment; the other, for immediate and long-term coverage of the effects of Hurricane Sandy on Rhode Island businesses.
In addition, PBN took second place for general excellence in the specialty publications division in the competition, which held two awards events last weekend at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston during the annual New England Newspaper Convention.
The first place award in the Environmental Reporting category acknowledged PBN’s coverage of Hurricane Sandy, which started in the weeks following landfall in the fall of 2012 and continued into the spring of 2013. In remarks delivered at the time of the award presentation, judges noted the PBN “hammered away at numerous angles in the aftermath of the story, interviewing dozens of businesses about recovery and rebuilding, insurance coverage, rebuild permitting, a special section with detailed database rankings of contractors and disaster agencies, volunteerism, tourism impacts and research on future at-risk properties. A persistent, public-service effort.”
In addition to the initial print edition story, the following stories were part of the winning entry:
The second place finish for general excellence marked the fifth time in the last six years that PBN has placed among the top three publications in its class (PBN took home top honors for its work in 2009). Judges in this category said that PBN represented “textbook local business coverage from A-Z. Superior modular design, and robust local ads.”
The New England Better Newspaper Competition attracted more than 3,000 entries from daily, weekly, bi-weekly and monthly publications throughout the six-state region, with awards given in 98 advertising, editorial and promotions categories in both digital and print divisions.
Other newspapers in Rhode Island and Bristol Co., Mass., winning first-place honors included:
AAA Horizons – local ad (color); themed, banner or sponsored ad page
The Advocate, of Fairhaven – local election coverage
The Dartmouth Chronicle – feature photo; sports photo
Fall River Spirit – human interest feature story
The Block Island Times – editorial writing; feature photo; newspaper-sponsored event promotion; real estate display ad
The Standard-Times, of New Bedford – business/economic reporting; editorial cartoon; environmental reporting; history reporting; sports column; sports story; subscription sales promotion; website interactivity and engagement
The Sun Chronicle, of Attleboro – feature story; general news story, headline writing; living page or section; overall mobile application; reporting on religious issues; social issues; and sports page or section
In addition, Rick Foster of the Sun Chronicle was named reporter of the year for daily newspapers, and Ariel Wittenberg of the Standard-Times was named rookie of the year.