NATICK, Mass. – Providence Business News was named Newspaper of the Year for specialty publications in the New England Newspaper and Press Association’s 2018 New England Newspapers of the Year competition, one of 13 publications so honored, based on publication frequency and circulation size, at the annual New England Newspaper Conference, which was held Thursday in Natick, Mass.
PBN previously garnered Newspaper of the Year recognition in 2013 and 2014, and also has earned runner-up, or “Distinguished Newspaper,” honors in 2010, 2012 and 2016.
In February, at NENPA’s annual Better Newspaper Competition, PBN was awarded first place for general excellence, the third time in the last nine years that the publication has been so recognized, as well as the seventh time in the last decade that it has been named one of the top three specialty publications in New England.
In June, PBN was named the second-best business newspaper in the nation in the medium and large newspaper category in the Alliance of Area Business Publishers’ annual editorial excellence competition. PBN.com was named the second-best website in the nation among all publications in the same program.
In addition to being named Newspaper of the Year, PBN was given a Publick Occurrences Award. The recognition is named for the first newspaper published in the nation, in 1690 in Boston, and is given for outstanding individual and team effort during the competition’s 12-month period, which was from June 1, 2017, to May 31, 2018. The project recognized was a three-part series by former PBN staff writer Eli Sherman titled “Rising Waters.”
Judges for the award said that “rising waters and subsequent major storms put the whole state at risk. This three-part series is comprehensive, well-researched, informative and scary. … It is told in a great package of stories, pictures and charts. … The series addresses a major problem that is not going away.” The three pieces of the series were published on Jan. 19, titled “Rising waters: Why is R.I. so unprotected?”; Feb. 16, titled “Rising waters: We’re pretty vulnerable”; and March 23, titled “Rising waters: Can we adapt?”
PBN has previously received four Publick Occurrences awards:
- For a four-part series in 2016 that examined the unfunded liabilities of Rhode Island municipal pension and other post-employment benefit plans
- For coverage of the 2014 gubernatorial and Providence mayoral elections
- For its coverage of the 38 Studios LLC bankruptcy
- And for coverage of the March 2010 floods
A number of other newspapers and individuals in the region garnered recognition at the conference:
- The Providence Journal was named a Distinguished Newspaper for weekday newspapers with circulation greater than 35,000 and for Sunday newspapers with circulation greater than 45,000. The Journal also won the 2018 New England First Amendment Award for its efforts to gain access to jurors after the completion of a high-profile murder trial, a fight that ultimately had the judge who had banned reporters from speaking to jurors rescind her order.
- The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro was named Newspaper of the Year for Sunday newspapers with circulation of less than 18,000.
- The Herald News of Fall River was named a Distinguished Newspaper for weekday newspapers with circulation of 8,000-14,000. It also garnered a Publick Occurrences Award for a package about the question of whether or not to build a new Durfee High School.