News-Review wins top editorial prize from NYPA

04/07/2014 12:36 PM |
News-Review staff members accept the Stuart C. Dorman Award for Editorial Excellence from the New York Press Association. Pictured are general assignment reporter Paul Squire, government reporter Tim Gannon, education reporter Jennifer Gustavson, environmental reporter Carrie Miller, executive editor Grant Parpan, editor Michael White, managing editor Joseph Pinciaro, web editor Joe Werkmeister, publisher Andrew Olsen and account executive Joseph Tumminello.

News-Review staff members accept the Stuart C. Dorman Award for Editorial Excellence from the New York Press Association. Pictured are general assignment reporter Paul Squire, government reporter Tim Gannon, education reporter Jennifer Gustavson, environmental reporter Carrie Miller, executive editor Grant Parpan, editor Michael White, features writer Rachel Young, managing editor Joseph Pinciaro, web editor Joe Werkmeister, publisher Andrew Olsen and account executive Joseph Tumminello.

For nearly 40 years, the New York Press Association’s top editorial award has been named for a former publisher of the News-Review.

And for the first time ever, the newspaper has been named the recipient of the Stuart C. Dorman Award for Editorial Excellence. 

The award, which is given to the newspaper that earns the most editorial contest points in NYPA’s Better Newspaper Contest, was handed to members of the News-Review staff during the organization’s annual spring convention in Saratoga Springs this past weekend. The News-Review won 10 first place awards during the competition, which was judged by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association and featured entries published in 2013 by 158 different newspapers across New York state.

“What an honor it is to be given this prestigious award,” said Times/Review Newsgroup co-owner and publisher Andrew Olsen, who has served as a publisher of the newspaper since 2003. “Our staff works tirelessly to deliver the news that matters most to our readers in print and on the web, and it’s great to be recognized for that effort.”

News-Review reporter Carrie Miller, who primarily covers health, science and the environment for the company, was also named NYPA’s Rookie of the Year,  a first for a Times/Review reporter. She is a 2012 graduate of Stony Brook University, where she earned a master’s degree in Science Journalism.

“I couldn’t think of a more deserving person to win that award,” said Grant Parpan, who was hired by Times/Review as a general assignment reporter covering Brookhaven Town in 2006 and took over as executive editor in 2012. “Carrie is a reporter’s reporter. She puts extra effort into her research and always digs to deliver a fair, accurate and informative account of the subject she is covering.”

Other first place awards captured by the News-Review include Coverage of Local Government, Sports Coverage, Coverage of Agriculture, Best Front Page, News Story, Best Column, Sports Feature Photo, Editorial Cartoon and Special Section Cover.

“The newspaper provides an important public service by bringing to light important issues and providing clear explanations and good follow-up,” one judge wrote.

Topics covered by the News-Review this year and recognized by the judges include: immigration and agriculture; hit-and-run crashes; issues surrounding the Common Core Learning Standards; as well as local politics and government.

More than 15 Times/Review staffers and contributors earned awards during the competition, including general assignment reporter Paul Squire, who was named on a company-best nine awards this year, including first place for News Story.

The News-Review also earned a second place award for Best Newspaper Website.

“We’ve tried our very best to deliver a wide variety of news coverage to our loyal readers,” said News-Review editor Michael White, who took the helm of the paper in 2008. “The awards in so many different contest categories bears testament to a multi-talented staff.”

A graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and a former staff writer at the New York Daily News, Mr. White also began serving in 2013 as editor of The Suffolk Times, the newspaper with the fifth most editorial contest points this year.

Stuart C. Dorman was the publisher of the News-Review from 1976 until his death in 1978, the year he was to have served as NYPA president. He was publisher of The Suffolk Times from 1969 to 1978 and was also president and founder of Graphics of Peconic. A Harvard graduate, he also served a stint as a vice president of McGraw Hill Book Co.

This is the fourth time in eight years that a Times/Review newspaper has claimed the Stuart C. Dorman Award, with the former North Shore Sun newspaper winning in 2006 and 2008 and The Suffolk Times bringing it home in 2009. A Long Island newspaper — The Long Island Press and Sag Harbor Express being the others — has now won the award for the sixth consecutive year.

Times/Review, which also includes the Shelter Island Reporter, took home more awards than any other newspaper group during this year’s competition. The company, which won a total of 49 awards, even swept the in-depth reporting category.

The success comes in a year in which Times/Review restructured its newsroom, hiring a managing editor and three new reporters, and moving each of the reporters into specific beats that span the entire North Fork. The company also launched its lifestyle website northforker.com in 2013.

“Instead of having reporters that cover everything from congressional races and school board meetings to pie-eating contests and house fires, but only in one market, everyone now covers specific topics across the entire North Fork,” said Mr. Parpan, who began his career in the sports department of The Signal, a daily newspaper in Santa Clarita, Calif. “We have an education reporter, two government reporters, an environmental reporter, a features writer, and a general assignment reporter who covers everything in between. It’s a system more typical of a daily newspaper, like the ones where Mike and I previously worked. We’re now a daily online publisher, but we’ve also improved our weekly print products.”

“As a small company with a 24-7 web operation and multiple print products, our staff writers still occasionally dabble in a little bit of everything,” added Mr. White. ”But the transition has given the reporters a chance to dig deeper into the most important issues within their beats,  and that has without question made us all better at what we do.”

joew@timesreview.com

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