Tooting Our Own Horn Dept.
Was 2009 a good year for newspapers? Considering that many disappeared forever last year, and that the rest of us ink-stained kvetches fought for our lives, the answer might seem to be a resounding "no." But, as the New England Newspaper & Press Association (NENPA) demonstrated this past weekend in its annual Better Newspaper Contest, the year also produced a staggering amount of quality journalism.
And the judges of said contest clearly thought that much of the quality journalism was produced by the Boston Phoenix, which made another strong showing in the six-state news-off: we took home 18 prizes altogether, 11 of them first-place trophies.
Most notable of our fresh mantle-ware was former Phoenix staff writer Mike Miliard securing the Journalist of the Year (Weekly) prize. That now makes two straight contests that the Phoenix took the Journalist of the Year prize: our David S. Bernstein won it last year.
The Phoenix also showcased the diversity of our talents, winning awards for editorial (for arts, news, editorials, and features), design (for overall design, photos, illustrations, and photo illustrations), and multimedia (a convergence award for the best melding of edit and Internet sensibilities).
The contest was previously staged by NEPA (the New England Press Association), which transmuted this year into the slightly more awkward acronym NENPA when it merged with the New England Newspaper Association. There are more than 550 member newspapers in NENPA.
Congrats to all winners, both here and at other papers.
THE PHOENIX HAUL:
FIRST-PLACE PRIZES Journalist of the Year (Mike Miliard); Arts & Entertainment Section; Convergence ("50 Bands/50 States"); Editorial Writing (Peter Kadzis); General News Story (Jason Notte; "Soldiers Committing Suicide"); Human Interest Feature Story (Miliard; "Death of a Hoop Dream"); Illustration (freelancer Thom Glick); Overall Design; Photo Illustration (Kevin Banks); Reporting on Religious Issues (Chris Faraone; "Battling Scientology"); and Social Issues Feature Story (Miliard; "Death of a Hoop Dream").
SECOND-PLACE PRIZES Feature Photo (freelancer Matt Teuten); General News Story (Faraone; "Graffiti Wars"); Reporting on Religious Issues (former Phoenix staff writer James Parker; "The Truth Is Up There"); Right-to-Know (long-time Phoenix contributors Dan Kennedy and Harvey Silverglate; "The Muzzle Awards"); and Transportation/Commuter Reporting (Miliard; "Space Cowboy").
THIRD-PLACE PRIZES Personality Photo (freelancer Mark Ostow); and Sports Story (Miliard; "Lost Son of Havana").
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