By Chip Rowe
The Highlands Current won 11 editorial and two advertising awards in the annual Better Newspaper Contest sponsored by the New York Press Association. The awards were presented April 13 and 14 at the NYPA convention in Albany.
The contest, which attracted 2,783 entries from 156 small and midsized newspapers, was judged by members of the Michigan Press Association.
Fighting Back – The Opioid Crisis, a series of four articles published in September and October, won the first Thomas G. Butson Award for In-Depth Reporting in the division for papers with circulations of 5,000 or less.
“The staff turned out a series of stories and graphics that perfectly demonstrates what this award is all about,” wrote the judges. “It’s an exhaustive report that’s written well and laid out attractively.”
The articles also won second place in the same circulation division for Best News or Feature Series.
Among newspapers with circulations of 8,000 or less, The Current was honored for its coverage of the arts (second place, for stories by Alison Rooney and Brian PJ Cronin); crime, police and courts (third); and local government (honorable mention, for stories by Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong). It also received a third-place award among newspapers of all sizes for its coverage of health issues.
Peter Stevenson won second place for feature writing among papers with circulations of 3,000 to 5,000 for his profile of humorist Brian McConnachie, while Michael Turton received an honorable mention in the same category for an article in which Foundry Cafe owner Jeff Consaga shared his favorite stories about past customers.
Armstrong received an honorable mention in newswriting among papers with circulations of 4,000 or less for her coverage of a lawsuit filed by a developer Paul Guillaro against Cold Spring a week before the village election, while Clay Jones won third place in the editorial cartoon division for papers with circulations of 8,000 or less for his lighthearted vision (below) of the end game of an initiative for local governments to share services.
Kate Vikstrom won second place for front-page design among tabloids with circulations of less than 6,000. In the advertising competition, Vikstrom and Michele Gedney won second place for best multi-advertiser page among weeklies for their annual Summer Camp Guide and Dana Wigdor received an honorable mention among weeklies with circulations of 6,000 or less for a small-space ad she created for the Beacon Institute.
The Current tied for fifth place for total points won in the contest. The weekly has won 33 NYPA awards since its first year of eligibility in 2013.