Recorder garners  10 awards

Paul Franz
Emily Arsenault, mystery novelist.

Paul Franz Emily Arsenault, mystery novelist.

The Recorder has won 10 awards in the annual New England Newspaper & Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.

Two of the prizes were for first place, five were for second place and three were for third place.

According to NENPA officials, the judges received more than 3,000 entries this year from more than 250 newspapers across the region. The Recorder competes in a category designed for daily newspapers of less than 30,000 circulation.

Here are the stories and photos that won:

Niche Publications: First Place: The judges said, “Fantastic niche pub aimed at young families garners loads of ad support — including special sections within the publication.

“This is the flagship of a nice series of niche publications the paper publishes to reach targeted ad categories — such as health and fitness, outdoors, going green, etc.

“A great strategy.”

The Recorder’s niche publications are edited by Chris Harris.

Personality photo: First Place and Third Places: Paul Franz. The judges said, “Excellent personality image. Draws you right into the story — very well done,” and “Excellent personality environmental image. Well done!”

A&E Reporting: Second Place: Chris Curtis, for “Romance of the Stone.” The judges said, “The writer’s ability to communicate the feelings and vibrations that drive the subject to his creative peak is extraordinary. The careful description and ability to draw a good story from the subject help propel the reader to the conclusion and leave them wanting to see and touch de Christopher’s work.

“A wonderful and educational profile.”

Human Interest Feature Story: Second Place: Richie Davis. The judges said, “Strong interview with Norton Juster, author of “The Phantom Tollbooth.” Good use of quotes. Interesting story about language.”

Serious Columnist: Second Place: Tim Blagg.

Sports Column: Second Place: Chip Ainsworth.

Illustration: Second Place: Dave Granlund, for “Sports Spotlight.” The judges said, “Fun illustration of a local sports legend. This is the kind of thing readers of local newspapers love.”

General News Story: Third Place: The Recorder’s staff, for coverage of Tropical Storm Irene damage. The judges wrote, “A topical reporting job with valuable information and sidebar material.”

Transportation Reporting: Third Place: Richie Davis, for “Motion in mind”

The Recorder was named New England Newspaper of the Year for 2012 by the same organization in October of last year.

“We are always pleased at being recognized by our peers in the business for our quality reporting, writing and photography,” said Recorder Editor Tim Blagg.

“As I said last year when we won a similar number of awards, we think this sort of consistent recognition of the quality of The Recorder’s news coverage indicates the level at which we routinely operate. We’re a very small newspaper, and the region’s high quality of work from its fine small newspapers makes the competition tough.

“The fact that we continue to do well in them just confirms my feelings about the quality of the work we’re doing.”

Recorder Publisher Dennis Skoglund, who is also Vice-President for Valley Operations for The Recorder’s parent group — Newspapers of New England — noted that all of NNE’s newspapers were prominently featured in the contest.

“The Concord (N.H.) Monitor, The Valley News (Lebanon, N.H.), and of course, our sister paper in Northampton, the Daily Hampshire Gazette, are always in the top ranks of newspapers,” he said.

NENPA is the result of a merger between two older groups — the New England Press Association and the New England Newspaper Association, each with deep roots in the region. This year’s convention was held in Boston, but was severely hampered by the weekend storm. As a result of the snow, many newspapers could not be present, and the awards list was only recently available online.

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