The Current and Gazette Newspapers won 12 awards in the New Jersey Press Association’s 2017 Better Newspaper Contest. The accolades, announced Wednesday, Feb. 14, include five first-place awards.
The statewide competition recognizes excellence in journalism, with separate contests for daily and weekly publications. Weeklies are grouped based on whether their circulation is greater or less than 6,500.
Leading the award count with five was Staff Writer Suzanne Marino, who reports for The Current of Linwood, Northfield and Somers Point. Marino won a first-place award in Interpretive Writing for a story about the Northfield City Council’s attempt to regulate what could be placed near memorial trees and benches along the bike path.
Marino received a second-place award in News Writing for a story about a family whose teacup Yorkshire terrier was mauled by a vicious Akita on the steps of their home. She received three third-place awards: one for Coverage of Crime, one for Business and Economic Writing, and one in the Fresh Approach to Routine Reporting category, for her story about a veteran who sat on the roadside in a wheelchair, waving a flag at passing cars.
Staff Writer Nanette LoBiondo Galloway took the first- and second-place Art Weissman Memorial Awards for Coverage of Government.
Galloway, who reports for the Current of Ventnor, Margate and Longport, received the first-place award for her “thorough and excellent” coverage of the beleaguered dune-building project in Margate, and second place for a series of stories about Ventnor’s mobile food pantry.
Staff Writer Bill LeConey took first and second place in the Sports Writing Portfolio category. A story about a football player trying to kick cancer led his first-place portfolio, and the second included a historic account of when the Yankees and Red Sox held spring training in Atlantic City and Pleasantville during World War II, when wartime travel restrictions prevented them from going to Florida.
Laura Stetser won first place in Education Writing for chronicling the Egg Harbor Township school board’s attempts to establish a transgender student policy, and the community’s response to the proposal.
Joan Kostiuk won a second-place award in Special Subject Writing for a story titled “Everyday Heirlooms,” about an Upper Township woman who built a museum and filled it with her family’s treasures.
The awards will be presented at the NJPA's annual Spring Awards Celebration April 26 at the Hamilton Manor in Mercer County.
Catamaran Media publishes The Current Newspapers in Atlantic County, and The Wildwood Leader and the Gazette Newspapers in Cape May County. See shorenewstoday.com.