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The Better Newspaper Contest and Best of Newspaper Advertising Contest, both administered by the national journalism organization, recognized submissions printed in 2003. Terri Loughrey, the association's director of awards, said 216 newspapers from 45 states entered 2,900 stories into the Better Newspaper Contest this year and 400 entries into the advertising contest.The awards were made public July 12, and the general excellence award will be presented at the association's annual convention in Denver Sept. 17, where contest judges will announce which place the TimesLedger won in the non-daily, 10,000-plus circulation category.The Bayside Times, the flagship of the 16-paper weekly chain, won first place for best sports feature story or series for Sports Editor Dylan Butler's story about a York College basketball player who was the subject of an Academy Award-nominated documentary. "It's satisfying that the hard work that we do in the sports section was recognized by the NNA," Butler said. "I'm honored."In addition, former Howard Beach Times reporter Alex Davidson also captured a blue ribbon for his obituary of an 85-year-old Howard Beach taxi driver who chauffeured friends around southeast Queens. Judges hailed his article for giving "a reader who is not from the area a sense of what life is like in those neighborhoods." On the business and economics front, former Flushing Times reporter Alex Dworkowitz also won first place for his business feature on the dominance of Asian merchants in the Flushing area. Judges said his article was a "great piece of journalism."The Jamaica Times won second place for best local news coverage, with the contest judges commenting, "Meaty, meaty, meaty. Very productive reporting crew."The Astoria Times took first place for a March 6, 2003 editorial slamming the Queens district attorney's handling of a teacher accused of sexually abusing a student. Judges commented that the editorial was a "clear winner" and it "bristles with indignation!"Former Sports Editor Anthony Bosco received two honorable mentions for best sports column and best sports story. In his winning column, Bosco wrote about his sports mentor Uncle Frank's death from cancer. In his winning sports story, Bosco profiled Ron Turcotte, the jockey who rode Secretariat to victory at the Belmont Stakes in 1973's dramatic Triple Crown finale. Judges said that his story contained "probably the best quotes of all entries."The TimesLedger Newspapers, based in Bayside, also won first place for best multiple advertiser section for its special Sept. 4, 2003 Guide to Queens section. In the same category, the newspaper took third place for its summer 2003 Menu Guide."I was very pleased to see that what we won represented a broad cross-section of the paper," said Steven Blank, publisher of the TimesLedger. He noted that he was particularly proud of the general excellence award. "In a national contest of this magnitude, dealing with the numbers of papers across North America, this is a testimony to the quality of the paper and the staff," Blank said. "This is very prestigious, to rank so well and to do so well in so many different categories."Reach reporter Sophia Chang by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2004 Community Newspaper Group
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