The Garden State Journalists Association announced last week that the Hudson Reporter newspaper chain won six awards for its stories and photographs published in 2009, most notably the Hildy Johnson award for “story of the year” and several first-place photography awards.
In addition, this past February, the New Jersey Press Association gave five awards to the graphics and ad sales staff for advertisements they designed, as well as a prestigious magazine award for the twice-yearly Jersey City Magazine.
Top story, and an investigative piece
It was a story by Jersey City beat reporter Ricardo Kaulessar that took the top honor in the recent Garden State Journalists contest – a piece that ran in November about how five politicians in Jersey City and Hoboken have gotten into alcohol-related trouble in the last three years. “A sobering reality” ran after outgoing Jersey City Councilman Steve Lipski was arrested at a Washington, D.C. night club for simple assault. (This past January, he was sentenced to a year’s probation.)
The other article that won an award in the contest was Hoboken beat reporter Timothy J. Carroll’s first place honor in the investigative reporting category for his story published this past December, “What happened to those election investigations?” The story, which took nearly six months of research and reporting, followed up on the election fraud rumors that plagued several of Hoboken’s City Council races in 2007. The ramifications of the charges and of the incomplete law enforcement investigations continue to this day.
Both stories can be found by using the archives on our new website, www.hudsonreporter.com.
First place for photos
Bayonne beat reporter and political columnist Al Sullivan, who is equally adept behind the lens, won four first place photography awards in the GSJ contest.
For news photography, he won first place for “Paying Respects.” For feature photo, he won for “Watching the Waters.” For spot news, his photo “A Real Nightmare” also won an award. He also won first place in “Portrait and Personality Photography” for “Keeping the Memory of the Holocaust.”
All of the photos appeared in the Bayonne Community News last year.
The Garden State Journalists Association’s annual Memorial Journalism Awards have been given out for 62 years. The contest is open to all print and broadcast reporters, editors and photographers in New Jersey.
Many honors for graphics, ads
In a statewide contest run each year by the New Jersey Press Association, graphic artist Michael Mitolo and sales representative Elena Selmi won first place in the category “Best Single Ad - Black & White, larger than 31.5,” for “Fall into Savings,” which appeared in the Bayonne Community News. The full-page ad promoted Four Seasons Travel in Bayonne, and pictured a couple and a family enjoying their vacations.
“It was something that came together very quickly, almost as if it designed itself,” said Mitolo last week.
He also wanted to congratulate the other award winners. “It’s nice to see peoples’ hard work and creativity rewarded,” he said.
Art Director Jennifer Martiak and the sales representatives won second place in “Best Special Page(s), Black & White” for a section called “Boutique Chic.”
Another art piece, “Experience the Variety,” won second place for “Best External Special Promotion Mailing Piece.” Lisa Cuthbert was the winning artist and Elena Selmi was the sales representative. The promotion appeared in the Bayonne Community News.
“It’s great to work with such talented people,” Cuthbert said.
Artist Pasquale Spina and sales rep Tish Kraszyk and won third place in “Best Single Ad Any Size, Multi-Spot or Full Color” for “Kick off the Holiday Season with the Bayonne Town Center.” Spina said that his childhood during Christmas was what inspired the ad. He also was grateful to be recognized.
“We compete against the big dailies,” he said, “and to come in third place in a full color ad, it means something to me.”
For “Best Single Ad - Black & White, larger than 31.5,” Art Director Jennifer Martiak and sales rep Jay Slansky and won third place for “What’s the Buzz? Park Avenue Bar & Grill.”
Martiak said, “Teamwork really lets the individual artist shine in these contests. I am very proud of our designers for their individual accomplishments, and how well we all work as a team.”
Jersey City Magazine
Also in that contest, the cover design for Jersey City Magazine, which is published by the Reporter group, won second place in magazines. The mag was edited by Kate Rounds and its cover was designed by Jennifer Martiak and George Fedor, with photograph by Shawn Roche. The winning issue featured Jersey City resident Queen Latifah.
“Queen Latifah herself set the tone for this story,” said Rounds. “Her openness and honesty, and her deep affection for our community came through in Shawn Roche's images, George Fedor’s layouts, and the art direction of Jennifer Martiak. Writer Helene Stapinski's wide-ranging interview gave them a splendid canvas to work with.”
Why it matters
Carroll said he was “humbled” by his first place investigative reporting award, and he stressed why a story like his was important.
“Elections are an important tool for taxpayers, and they should have confidence in the execution,” he said. “This story questions the execution in the hopes of bringing more attention to local elections in the future. Hoboken deserves to elect a leader in confidence.”
The awards will be given out at the Chart House next month.
Reporter co-publisher David Unger, who owns the chain along with Lucha Malato, said, “My congratulations to all the award winners and the rest of the Hudson Reporter staff. When so many staff members are recognized by their peers, it speaks not only to the hard work and effort of those individuals, but also to the high quality product put out by the whole staff.”
The Garden State Journalist awards will be given out at a dinner on May 20 at The Chart House in Weehawken.