The News-Review a finalist for national general excellence award

Two Times Review Media Group publications have been named finalists for the National Newspaper Association’s award for general excellence.

The Suffolk Times and the Riverhead News-Review were both recognized in their respective circulation divisions for the national award — which judges newspapers from cover to cover and is the top honor in the organization’s better newspaper contest. The winner will be named at the NNA’s annual convention in October.

“It’s so nice to be recognized on a national level,” said Times Review publisher Andrew Olsen. “It’s a testament to the hard work of our staff.”

The Suffolk Times was also selected by NNA judges as second-place winner for both local news coverage and use of photographs. The paper’s reporting on the 35-year mystery surrounding the suspicious drowning deaths of a Mattituck couple netted a third-place award in the investigative/in-depth reporting category for editor Joe Werkmeister and executive editor Grant Parpan.

“Excellent in-depth investigation, 35 years after the fact,” the judges said. “Thorough coverage. The front page graphic hooks me and compels me to dive in to the story. Good lede. Well done!”

A team of Suffolk Times staffers also received an honorable mention award for reporting on the heroin epidemic in Suffolk County.

The Suffolk Times was previously a finalist for general excellence from the NNA in 2014, when it placed second behind the Jackson Hole News & Guide of Wyoming. That newspaper is also a finalist for the award again this year, along with the Yamhill Valley News Register of McMinnville, Ore., and The Ellsworth American of Ellsworth, Maine.

Joining the News-Review as general excellence finalists in its circulation division are the Blair Pilot Tribune of Blair, Neb.; the Hutchinson Leader of Hutchinson, Minn.; and the Lahontan Valley News and Fallon Eagle Standard of Fallon, Nev.

The NNA’s 131st annual convention and trade show will be held Oct. 5-7 in Tulsa, Okla.