The Boston Phoenix scored big in this year’s New England Press Association (NEPA) Better Newspaper Contest, with three major awards and 16 individual prizes. Editorial staffers who followed the bouncing chicken to the annual NEPA banquet at Boston’s Park Plaza Hotel on February 11 were treated to a first-place award for Best Arts and Entertainment Section, a plaque for General Excellence in the Alternative Newspaper class, and NEPA’s prize of prizes, the George A. Speers Newspaper of the Year Award.
Reporter David S. Bernstein took home a pair of first-place plaques — one in the General News Story category, for his April 1, 2005, crime story, “Did He Murder His Mother?” and another for Health Reporting, for his December 17, 2004, feature on amphetamine abuse, “All Methed Up.”
Reporter Adam Reilly won first place in the Reporting on Religious Issues category for his March 18, 2005, feature on the Mormon church’s role in Mitt Romney’s presidential bid, “Onward Mormon Soldiers.”
First-place honors also went to freelancers Flint Born (Personality Photo, for his February 4, 2005, portrait of Braille Press’s Bill Raeder), Eric Levin (Color Photo, for his Charms music-section cover shot, May 20, 2005), and Dale Stephanos (Illustration, for his October 29, 2004, Michael Stipe cover caricature).
Features writer Camille Dodero won second place in the Human Interest Feature Story category for her July 22, 2005, feature on MySpace. Fellow features writer Mike Miliard took second in Education Reporting for his April 22, 2005, report on challenges facing gay students at Boston College.
Adam Reilly won a second award for Religious Reporting for his June 17, 2005, report on Domino Pizza founder Tom Monaghan’s plans to build a Catholic utopia.
Second-place prizes also went to freelance photographers Kelly Davidson (Personality Photo, for her October 1, 2004, portrait of writer Susan Orlean) and Eric Levin (Photo Series, for “Tailgaters,” January 14, 2005). And bostonphoenix.com won second place for Best Newspaper Web Site.
In the Environmental Reporting category, rookie reporter Deirdre Fulton won third place for her June 3, 2005, feature on the consequences of budget cuts to environmental programs, “Green Wake-Up Call.”
Second place in the Serious Column category went to former Phoenix senior writer Dan Kennedy for his “Don’t Quote Me” media-criticism columns. Features writer Mike Miliard took home a third in Business and Economic Reporting for his October 22, 2004, write-up on a Worcester-based anti-major-label music-activist organization called Downhill Battle, “Fight Songs.”
Longtime Phoenix freelance classical-music critic Lloyd Schwartz collected a third-place certificate in Arts and Entertainment Reporting for his March 25, 2005, report on the Boston Globe’s attacks on Boston Symphony Orchestra conductor James Levine, “Stretching Exercises.” And freelancer Mark Ostow won third in the Personality Photo category for his January 28, 2005, portrait of Newton comic Jonathan Katz.
The editors of the Boston Phoenix congratulate and thank everyone who drenched us in glory.