The Bay Ridge Courier took home the top prize for front page design during the New York Press Association’s annual weekend-long conference and award ceremony in Albany.
Stacked up against competition from 156 newspapers across the Empire State, judges cited Courier editors and designers — including Editor-in-Chief Vince DiMiceli, Deputy Editor Bill Egbert, and Page Designer John Napoli — for their ability to draw readers in with great photos, excellent graphic design, and punchy headlines.
“Strong headlines supported by good art,” the judges wrote, simply and to the point, when describing the covers.
Winning submissions included a cover designed by Napoli in which Mayor DeBlasio is dressed as a bellhop for a story about Hizzoner’s plan to house homeless people in nearby hotels. That, combined with the capital-lettered headline “BILL-HOP” floating over it caught the eye of judges. A second front page, designed by DiMiceli and Egbert, announced the controversial sale of an old orphanage in Dyker Heights to developers with the bold-faced “GOING, GOING … GONE!” followed by bulleted sub-heads driving home the news and its significance: “Sisters sell Guardian home to developer” and “City-block sized campus could be bulldozed.”
On hand to receive the award, DiMiceli said he was proud of the work being done by his excellent staff week after week.
“Creating a powerful front page takes a lot of time, thought, patience, and teamwork,” he said. “You need great stories supplied by hard-working reporters, quality art from photographers on the scene, and superb craftsmanship from editors and the layout crew to bring it all together. It is wonderful to get a tip of the hat for getting that job done right, ensuring readers get the news packaged for them in a way only newspapers can.”
On top of that award, Bay Ridge Courier reporters Julianne Cuba and Julianne McShane (yes, it confuses us, too) earned a second-place prize for their coverage of the heated race to replace term-limited Councilman Vincent Gentile, which included in-depth interviews with all eight candidates.
“It took a lot of time and hard work to put that together, but it proved once again the value of having a local newspaper shine a light on an important neighborhood race that Big Media usually misses,” DiMiceli said. “The Juliannes really knocked it out of the park on this one.”
Those awards were just two of 24 taken home by The Courier’s parent company Community News Group and New York Community Media, which together make up New York State’s most-read local news publishers.
Here in Brooklyn, The Brooklyn Paper, a Downtown broadsheet, took home the top prize for headline writing
“Punchy, descriptive, on-point headlines show a lot of thought and creativity,” the judges wrote. “Even headlines that weren’t featured were crafted well. Excellent job.”
Headlines taking the honors included a front pager from the Nov. 3 edition calling a Carroll Gardens brownstone alleged to be used by a Trump staffer as a “cash cow for corruption” “MANAFORT KNOX”; a top story from the Oct. 6 edition heralding the latest cleanup effort on the Gowanus Canal with “BACK TO THE GRIME”; and, of course, politicians’ cheers and residents fears that a giant internet company could house its new offices on the Brooklyn waterfront with “AMAZON PRIMED.”
On-hand to receive the award, DiMiceli said he was proud of the work done by his staff to ensure important neighborhood news gets read by locals hungry to know what is happening in their communities.
“It’s the wood that makes it good,” he said, using the term for bold, front-page headlines common in newspaper vernacular. “We try to have fun with our headlines, and hope to entertain a little bit as we inform. It’s great to see that such work is appreciated.”
Along with the first-place win for headlines, Brooklyn Paper cartoonist Sylvan Migdal earned a second-place prize for best editorial cartoon, thanks to his depiction of a Trump-esque monster rising from the depths of the Gowanus Canal.
And the Mill Basin–Marine Park Courier picked up an honorable mention for stories about the environment thanks to McShane’s and former reporter Caroline Spivack series of storries on an oil spill in Gravesend Bay — coverage that got Spivack profiled on a local television station as the “next Wayne Barrett.”
Other awards for the company included:
• First place for Coverage of the Arts to Downtown Express, with a second place award going to Chelsea Now.
• A first-place tie for Best Obituaries to The Villager and Gay City News.
• First place for Best Editorials to The Villager.
• First and second place for Best Column to The Villager, along with a third place finish in the same category for Gay City News.
• First place for Editorial Cartoon to Chelsea Now, which, combined with The Brooklyn Paper’s second place finish and the Villager’s third place finish, gave the company a sweep of the award.
• First place for Special Section to Chelsea Now.
• Second place to Gay City News for its Special Holiday Section.
• Second place to Chelsea Now for its Picture Story.
• Second place to Gay City News for Overall Design Excellence.
• Third place Chelsea Now for Headline Writing.
• Third place to Gay City News for Best Editorial Page.
• Third place to Chelsea Now for Best Front Page.
• Honorable mention to The Villager for Best News or Feature Series.
• Honorable mention to The Villager for the Thomas G. Butson Award for In-Depth Reporting.
©2018 Community News Group
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