By Mark Hallum
TimesLedger Newspapers received recognition at the New York Press Association 2015 Better Newspaper Contest last weekend for best newspaper, editorial page, sports coverage and feature story.
The trade association for weekly newspapers and small dailies from across New York state received 2,836 entries from 177 newpapers for the contest.
From profiling community figures to extensive coverage of terrorist cases in Queens, the TimesLedger and Bayside Times made an impression on the judges, who decided the awards that were handed out at the spring convention in Saratoga Springs.
The TimesLedger earned second place for best newspaper in the Past Presidents’ Award for General Excellence for editorial, cartoon, and letters as well as photo captions in the largest circulation division. The Mets story package stood out to judges as well as the arts section. Strong headlines, newswriting, and community connection were cited. Ads also drew kudos from the judges.
Editor Roz Liston and Copy/Production Editor Steven Barnes won third place for the Bayside Times for Best Editorial Page. Topics included the arrests of elected officials for misuse of taxpayer money and a “respectful homage” to longtime community activist Frank Skala and TimesLedger columnist Ken Kowald, who had recently died. Some of the judges’ commentary read, “Hard-hitting editorials, no punches pulled here… Good variety of intelligent columns.”
For Sports Coverage, honorable mention went to Sports Editor Joe Staszewski for the Bayside Times. His stories about the St. John’s University baseball team’s championship game and the Bayside girls’ softball team coach Steve Piorkowski were narrowly edged out by the competition.
Reporter Bill Parry received honorable mention for his feature story on Cadillac Man, Queens’ best known homeless veterans. Cadillac Man had moved from the streets to his first one- bedroom apartment in 21 years. The judges wrote that it was a “nice profile of an interesting character, to say the least. Telling quotes, good anecdotes, solid story structure.”
The TimesLedger is part of Community News Group, which owns a large chain of weekly newspapers in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall