Hudson Reporter writers and graphic artists picked up numerous awards for their work recently when the results of two competitions were announced from the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists (NJSPJ) and the Garden State Journalists Association (GSJA).
Senior Staff Writer Al Sullivan received three writing awards from the NJSPJ, and former staff writer Amanda Palasciano received one. From the GSJA, Sullivan received three awards for meritorious writing and another for photography. Former staff writer Dean DeChiaro won a writing award also.
From the GSJA, Senior Graphics Artist Lisa M. Cuthbert received three awards for achievement in layout designs.
NJPA awarded Cuthbert first place, its “OBIE” trophy, for best advertisements in a New Jersey newspaper in 2013. The “OBIE” is presented to the overall best first place winner among the Classified and Retail Advertising categories. It is named for John O’Brien, NJPA’s retired executive director. The large statue will stand in the lobby of the Hudson Reporter offices in Hoboken until next year when a new winner is determined. The award was for the HOBOKEN – 07030 and Jersey City Magazine Media Kit designed by Cuthbert.
The weekly chain, with offices in Hoboken and Bayonne, publishes eight newspapers: The Hoboken Reporter, Bayonne Community News, Weehawken Reporter, Jersey City Reporter, Secaucus Reporter, North Bergen Reporter, Union City Reporter, and the West New York Reporter.
The company also publishes the lifestyle magazines Hoboken - 07030, Jersey City Magazine, and Bayonne: Life on the Peninsula. Online versions of the publications appear at www.hudsonreporter.com.
The Hudson Reporter’s co-publishers expressed pride and gratification at the recognition accorded their employees.
“What an honor for our staff members to be recognized for their excellent work by three different newspaper and journalism groups,” Dave Unger said. “There are few higher compliments than recognition of your work from a jury of your peers. These honors are just the latest reflection of the important work our entire staff does in the communities we serve.” Co-publisher Lucha Malato added, “We are all very proud of their achievements.”
Stories on everything from a school shooting to egg salad
From the NJSPJ, Sullivan’s story in the Bayonne Community News, “Cooking With Lots of Love,” won first place in the category Online/Local Website – Review Writing. His story, also in the Bayonne paper, “Third Team,” was awarded second place. The GSJA also awarded the story a third place.
“The awards this year reflected what I try to do each week when I compile the newspaper,” Sullivan said. “I try to provide a variety of features along with hard news. I also look to cover a range of subjects including sports, arts and profiles. I tend to be strongest in stories that talk about people. These awards seem to reflect that strength. I’m very lucky that Hudson County has such interesting people to write about.”
Also earning a second place, in the Enterprise/Investigative Reporting category was Palasciano’s Hoboken Reporter story “Long Cold Walk to Pre-School.”
“These two awards [along with the NJPA announced earlier] round out the trifecta of prestigious New Jersey journalism awards for me in the investigative category,” Palasciano said. “I think it’s a huge testament to the Hudson Reporter that they enable their journalists to do exactly what they are supposed to do – dig, not just regurgitate stories. I am grateful to have had editors that taught me to ask ‘why’ a hundred times per story instead of just running a fiction feed. I’m also grateful to the NJSPJ and the GSJA for recognizing and honoring that.”
The NJSPJ also awarded Sullivan a third place in the Profile Writing category for his Secaucus Reporter story “An Intense Cop,” The same story won a GSPJ first place in the same category.
From the GSJA, DeChiaro’s story in the Hoboken Reporter, “When Getting It First Isn’t Necessarily Best,” was award first place in the Feature category. It was a story about the premature release of a name in the Sandy Hook, Conn. school shooting. A Hoboken resident was falsely named by law enforcement as the shooter.
“This was an important story for Hoboken, about the city´s connection to the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy,” DeChiaro said, “but it was also an important story for the journalism community, and I hope it called attention to the ever-important need for journalists to constantly hold themselves to the highest standards of accuracy and responsibility.”
Sullivan’s story in the Bayonne Community News, “To China and Back,” won first place in the Photo Essay – Story category.
Palasciano was given second place by the GSJA for her Hoboken Reporter story “Hey Parents! Wake Up, or It’s Egg Salad,” for Investigative Reporting.
Sullivan also garnered an honorable mention in General News for his story in the West New York Reporter, “The End of Innocence.”
Editor-in-Chief Caren Matzner observed, “The diverse talents of the staff are reflected in the diversity of the awards. Our graphic artist Lisa Cuthbert won for, among other things, an egg salad sandwich graphic that accompanied an offbeat story by Amanda Palasciano about kids being only being given egg salad sandwiches if they didn’t get their lunch money in on time. The story won an award too. We have won awards for everything from attention-getting ads to incisive investigative stories. It shows the breadth of talent on the staff.”
Graphic design awards
Senior Graphics artist Cuthbert was awarded first place for two layouts. For her front page layout in the Hoboken Reporter of the stories “Suspicious Fires Hit Hoboken” and “Hey Parents! Wake Up, or It’s Egg Salad,” she won in the Front Page Layout category, and for Feature Story Layout she garnered another first place for her design in HOBOKEN – 07030 , the company’s Hoboken lifestyle magazine, for the story “Painting The Town.”
She was awarded second place in the same category in HOBOKEN – 07030 for her layout for the story “Homegrown Home Builders.”
“I’m thrilled and honored to have received these awards,” Cuthbert said. “This is such a competitive field that it’s rewarding to be recognized for your achievements.”
The NJSPJ winners were honored at a reception Saturday, June 28 at the Yogi Berra Museum, 8 Yogi Berra Drive, Little Falls. The GSJA’s 67th Annual Memorial Journalism
Awards Dinner was held May 22 at The Chart House, Weehawken.