The Suffolk Times was named a finalist Thursday for the National Newspaper Association Award for General Excellence.
The winner will be announced Oct. 3 at a reception in St. Charles, Mo., though the paper is guaranteed at least a third place finish in its circulation category.
The award was one of seven given to Times Review Media Group when the NNA announced the winners of its 2015 Better Newspaper Contest Thursday morning.
The Suffolk Times also took home a first place award for “Best Local News Coverage” and photographer Katharine Schroeder won third place for “Breaking News Photo,” for her photograph (above) of two Southold residents seeing each other for the first time after a dramatic water rescue behind their homes.
“This is an outstanding photo showing human emotion to a happy ending of what could have been really tragic,” the judges wrote. “The framing of the blistering hand captures the intensity of what this man is going through. Thanks for a great news photo.”
The Riverhead News-Review earned a first place award for “Best Sports Story” and second place for “Investigative/In-depth Reporting” for its coverage in the aftermath of the death of Shoreham-Wading River football player Thomas Cutinella. Both awards will be presented to reporters Michael Lewis, Carrie Miller, Jen Nuzzo, Grant Parpan, Paul Squire, Joe Werkmeister and Bob Liepa.
“A must-read at all levels: writing, organization, research, presentation, human interest, reader appeal,” the judges wrote. “Well-written, compelling story. The quality and construction of the story are enhanced by the research done to provide context and background, as well as a variety of sources and quotes. Obviously, a tragedy of this nature is of reader interest, but it is one to be handled with respect and good taste. The writers achieved this so that the account is done with dignity sans sensationalism, yet provides a full account for readers. Placing story in a national context helped it. Story held my attention each time I read it.”
The Suffolk Times also earned honorable mention for “Best Editorial” and “Best Sports Section.”
The contest is considered the only national competition for community newspapers. More than 1,400 entries were received from 37 states. It is judged by active and retired newspaper editors, publishers and journalism professors from around the country.
Earlier this year, the News-Review won the general excellence award from the New York Press Association and The Suffolk Times received the Stuart C. Dorman Award for Editorial Excellence and Newspaper of the Year, the two top honors from NYPA.
“These are all great honors,” said Times Review publisher Andrew Olsen. “Our staff is very proud of these accomplishments and we can’t thank the community and our advertisers enough for affording us the opportunity to tell their stories.”