The staff at QNS.com, the online home for The Queens Courier, TimesLedger and Ridgewood Times newspapers in Queens, received great news last week that it won First Place for Best News Website and three additional awards in the New York Press Association’s 2020 Better Newspaper Contest.
The results were announced during the association’s virtual Spring Conference held on April 8-9. The contest included nearly 200 newspapers across the Empire State, with prizes awarded to publications for excellence in reporting, graphics design, photography and advertising.
Schneps Media, QNS.com’s parent company which owns nearly 75 publications in New York and Philadelphia , won 49 awards in total during this year’s competition.
“I am bursting with pride at the huge recognition of our talented team, both writers and artists, both digitally and in print,” said Victoria Schneps, president of Schneps Media.
“We are so proud of our team across all divisions of the entire company,” said Joshua Schneps, CEO of Schneps Media. “These recognitions prove what we already know and appreciate: We have the best team in the business!”
QNS.com had a remarkable year in 2020, with 9,295,454 page views, including a record 1,690,417 page views in March 2020.
“Fresh and clean look, good use of white space, cohesive design, extensive newsletter offerings, and easy navigation,” the judges wrote in their decision to name QNS.com as Best News Website in New York state.
In addition to their recognition for Best News Website, the Queens Courier staff earned three additional awards.
Photographer Dean Moses earned third place for best feature photo in Division 3. His photo, featured on the cover of the Aug. 13 edition of the Courier Sun newspaper, earned high praise from the judges.
“The photographer captured the energy and vibrancy of the event and told the story through their lens,” the judges wrote in their decision.
Moses and reporter Angélica Acevedo shared an honorable mention for their coverage of business, financial and economic news that was featured in the Queens Courier.
Stories included: Queens restaurants and bars work to survive amid uncertain future following COVID-19; Astoria’s Ditmars Boulevard transforms into a go-to destination for outdoor dining during COVID-19 pandemic; Queens barbershop owners adapt to serve community during COVID-19 pandemic; Queens senator joins Astoria small businesses owners to call for rent forgiveness; and Small business owners call on lawmakers to help prevent economic collapse in Queens.
“The use of art and descriptive writing made each story intriguing. Content was well covered and covered both consumer and owner sides,” the judges wrote in their decision.
Digital editor Jacob Kaye earned an honorable mention for best online news project or presentation. Kaye, the host of the QNS Podcast, produced a special podcast episode in which he collected stories from the leader of a nonprofit, a state senator, a candidate for state Assembly, a playwright and a freelance journalist about their experiences during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I thought it was a good effort with an interesting mix of voices. Informative, for sure, as to what this cross-section of individuals were thinking and how they were behind affected by the virus,” the judges wrote in their decision.
Other highlights from Schneps Media publications
Gay City News, which focuses on LGBTQ issues in New York City and beyond, won 12 NYPA Better Newspaper Contest awards, including three First Place prizes for Coverage of Crime/Courts/Police, News Story and Special Sections Glossy Niche.
amNewYork Metro won first place in the Best Front Page competition for entries created by art directors Mark Ramos and Luis Matos, and editor-in-chief Robert Pozarycki. Todd Maisel, retired breaking news editor, also won first prize for amNewYork Metro’s Spot News Coverage. He also won second place for Spot News Photos. Maisel and amNewYork Metro also won second place for Coverage of Business, Financial and Economic News for stories in our “Small Business Survivors” series, an ongoing look at businesses across New York that are adapting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Maisel, along with digital editor Emily Davenport and reporter Rose Adams, took home second place in Spot News Coverage for their collaborative, wild story on a Brooklyn man accused of killing his father and eating part of his body. And Joseph Pantorno of amNewYork Metro also took home an honorable mention for Best Use of Video for his work collaborating videos for an article published during our coverage of Black Lives Matter protests last summer.
The Brooklyn Paper won First Place in News Series on how the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged hospitals, businesses and communities across Brooklyn. Rose Adams of The Brooklyn Paper, the community weekly for the borough of Brooklyn, won the First Place in the Thomas Butson Award for In-Depth Reporting for her story on deaths at a Brooklyn nursing home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dan’s Papers, the weekly newspaper of the Hamptons which Schneps Media purchased in September, took home three First Place awards in the prestigious advertising categories of Best House Ad, Best Large Space Ad and, for its Behind the Hedges magazine, Best Real Estate Home Section.