The contest spans the United States and Canada and receives submissions from hundreds of newspapers. For this year's competition, judges reviewed more than 3,000 entries."This is a tremendous achievement by the staff of our paper," said TimesLedger Publisher Steve Blank, who added that the chain's success in winning awards across several categories reflected overall excellence."I'm impressed by the broad number of categories in which we won," he said. "It represents the general quality of the paper and shows that we're not just excelling in one area -- we're excelling all around."The chain has 14 weekly newspapers covering Queens.The paper's first-place winners were staff reporter Nathan Duke's coverage of the state Senate race between Sen. Serphin Maltese and Democratic challenger Albert Baldeo for election coverage and former part-time staffer Danielle Winterton's June 2007 article reflecting on an exhibit at Long Island City's SculptureCenter for best arts criticism.The newspaper was also recognized for second-place awards in the categories of best news photo and best in-depth reporting. Photographer Oscar Durand's February 2007 photograph of mourners huddling together at Bayside Police Officer Cesar Borja's burial won the photo award and staff reporter Stephen Stirling's January 2007 articles on the Averne by the Sea residential development in the Rockaways captured the reporting award.The chain also netted four third-place awards. Among these winners were Nathan Duke's reports on the still-lingering effects of a 1978 oil spill in Newtown Creek for best environmental coverage. A series of staff-written articles on food in the nation's most ethnically diverse borough took third place for best special section. The two other third-place winners were Assistant Managing Editor Ian MacFarland's June 2007 piece on a Long Island City couple and the classical Arab music and dance collective they founded, in the category of best arts & entertainment feature, and the Bayside Times, which placed third for best front page for three editions, including one with a dramatic photo of a rowing practice at Flushing Meadows Corona Park shot by Photo Editor Cat Cutillo.Honorable mentions went to reporters Craig Giamonna and Ivan Pereira for their coverage of the disappearing marshlands at Jamaica Bay in the category of best environmental coverage and to the reporting staff for best continuing coverage of the abortive June terrorist plot at John F. Kennedy International Airport."Newspapers are intended for a broad audience with broad interests," Blank said, highlighting again the paper's success in winning awards in diverse categories. "This shows we're doing a good job."The newspaper chain had won eight awards in the 2006 SNA contest, including first-place nods for best in-depth reporting and best editorial page.
©2008 Community News Group
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