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TimesLedger named best in national paper awards

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The TimesLedger Newspapers earned six awards in the National Newspaper Association’s 2002 Better Newspaper Contest, including prizes for its coverage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the crash of Flight 587 into Belle Harbor.

For the second consecutive year, the TimesLedger captured a first place award for breaking news in the national contest, which includes competition from both weekly and daily newspapers across the country. The 2002 contest recognized work for the year 2001.

In all, the chain got three awards for breaking news in the 2002 contest. The TimesLedger news staff won a first place prize and an honorable mention for the paper’s Sept. 11 coverage, while reporter Adam Kramer and the rest of the staff earned a second place award for their reporting on the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 over the Rockaways minutes after taking off from Kennedy Airport.

Publisher Steve Blank, who bought the Bayside Times and the Little Neck Ledger in 1989 and has since added 12 other papers, credited the work of the editorial staff for the breaking news awards.

“Breaking news demonstrates possibly the greatest challenge for a newspaper to excel in,” he said. “The fact we’ve won this award nationally speaks to the quality of reporting and editing that’s in our newspapers.”

Managing Editor Roz Liston agreed.

“I think the breaking news awards reflected the reporters’ ability to respond quickly and effectively to major news events in our community,” she said. “Even though most of them are just starting out in their journalism careers, they showed a remarkable degree of profession­alism.”

In last year’s National Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest, the TimesLedger was recognized in the Breaking News category with a first place prize and also earned awards for its education and environmental reporting.

The Fresh Meadows Times received a first place prize in the local news category for its coverage of plans to sell the last privately owned farm in Queens, the death of an elderly woman in a fire in her home and a feature on an old motorway, among other stories.

The TimesLedger also won a third place award for an editorial about three state assembly members from Queens who failed in an attempt to oust state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan). The Jamaica Times took an honorable mention for its editorials.

In a separate contest, the TimesLedger’s Art Department earned a first place for its classified advertising section in the 2002 Suburban Newspaper Association.

In addition to the Bayside Times and the Little Neck Ledger, the TimesLedger chain includes: the Whitestone Times, the Flushing Times, the Fresh Meadows Times, the Glen Oaks Ledger, the Queens Village Times, the Jamaica Times, the Laurelton Times, the Forest Hills Ledger, the Richmond Hill Times, the Astoria Times, the Ridgewood Ledger and the Howard Beach Times.

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

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