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Heralds take home top honors in press contest

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The Herald Community Newspapers took home 26 honors in the annual New York Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest, which attracted more than 2,400 of entries from 151 newspapers across the state this year. The Heralds’ sister paper, The Riverdale Press, earned eight accolades, bringing the total for Richner Communications Inc. publications to 34, a record showing.

The contest includes both weekly and daily newspapers. Awards were announced virtually on Zoom Friday. The Heralds earned a variety of awards, including both editorial and advertising honors. Among the accolades were six first-place honors.

"In a year when trusted local news proved to be more important than ever,” said Stuart Richner, publisher of Herald Community Newspapers, “our team once again rose to the occasion, providing Long Island communities with the information they most needed. Congratulations to all of our editors, reporters, designers, account representatives, pressroom staff and business leaders.”

Heralds Executive Editor Scott Brinton, who was among the honorees, said, “2020 was, no doubt, one heck of a difficult year, but the Herald team showed incredible grit in putting out top-quality newspapers, week after week under the most difficult of circumstances.”

Michael Bologna, vice president of operations, added, “When our peers recognize excellence in all aspects our organization, it really means a lot. I’m proud of our entire team.”

Here’s a rundown of how the Heralds did:

First Place

Advertising Excellence

The Long Beach Herald was recognized in this very competitive category for a variety of newspapers and special sections that were submitted for the contest. Rhonda Glickman and Karen Bloom coordinate advertising and special sections, respectively. Several advertising account executives contributed to the win in this category.

“We honor the team,” Rhonda Glickman, the Heralds’ vice president of advertising, said. “It’s a total team effort. Winning first place for Advertising Excellence takes an awesome sales, administration, art and production team. We won this award together, and I couldn’t be prouder.”    

Judges wrote, “This publication does a great job of coordinating the advertising with the editorial; the two complemented each other both in layout and design. There are also many unique forms of advertising happening in this publication, including premium placements, advertorials that are designed with strong copy writing and special sections.”

Special Sections/Niche Publication — Newsprint

The East Meadow Herald was honored for the Heralds’ K-Kids special section, a kindergarten yearbook, with photos of each class from within the East Meadow School District.

Honorees included Karen Bloom, Photo Editor Christina Daly, Rhonda Glickman and Creative Director Jeff Negrin.

Judges wrote, “It is visually overwhelming, but given the subject matter, that seems appropriate.”

Best Online Static Ad

The Heralds were recognized for an online multiple-ad page called Make Your House a Home. Jeff Negrin designed the ad, and Sales Director Lori Berger developed the concept.

Judges wrote, “This is one terrific ad — somebody deserves special recognition for a great idea extremely well executed.”

Spot News Photography

The Merrick Herald was recognized for Scott Brinton’s two-page photo spread of the Black Lives Matter protests in Merrick and Bellmore last June.

Judges wrote, “These photos of a Black Lives Matter march capture the determination, fervor and peaceful camaraderie of protesters. Unlike many photographers, [Brinton] got into the crowds, allowing the faces of participants to tell their story."

Best Obituaries

The Sea Cliff-Glen Head Herald was honored for Associate Editor Mike Conn’s obituaries on teacher Ed Smith and artist Tom Malloy.

Judges wrote, “These obituaries immediately transport you to a day in the life of a person who has, sadly, died. In a story of Ed Smith, we are transported to the moment when a music teacher takes his last breath while listening to his favorite music. In his second submission on the death of Tom Malloy, the writer takes us to Malloy’s childhood. We can see Tom making mischief with ‘plastic straw peashooters.’ This work was real journalism: interviews, research and carving out the story with aplomb. Excellent job."

Feature Photo

 The East Meadow Herald was honored for a front-page photo taken by Brian Stieglitz last March of 3-year-old Ropper Thompson dueling with balloon swords with cook Steve LaSala at an East Meadow Kiwanis Club pancake breakfast. Stieglitz was then the East Meadow editor, and is now the editor of the Wantagh and Seaford Heralds.

Judges wrote, “Runaway winner for the division. Great moment found at an event. Love the face reaction.”

Second Place

Feature Story: Nakeem Grant, Malverne-West Hempstead Herald

Best House Ad: Jeff Negrin, Wantagh Herald

Best Headlines: Alyssa Seidman, Bellmore Herald

News Story: Mike Smollins, Lynbrook-East Rockaway Herald

Best Large Space Ad, Mona Waitzman, Sea Cliff/Glen Cove Herald

Best Online Static Ad: Craig White, Glen Cove Herald

Third Place

Sports Action Photo: Brian Ballweg, Glen Cove Herald

Best Column: Scott Brinton, Merrick Herald

Best Editorials: Scott Brinton, Merrick Herald

Spot News Coverage, Scott Brinton, Bridget Downes  Andrew Garcia, Ronny Reyes, Alyssa Seidman, Darwin Yanes, Merrick Herald

Feature Photo: Christina Daly, Long Beach Herald

Graphic Illustration: Christina Daly, Oyster Bay Herald

Best Online Static Ad: Craig White, Oceanside-Island Park Herald  

Honorable Mention

Rookie Reporter of the Year: Jennifer Corr, Glen Cove Herald

Sports Feature Photo: Anthony Hughes, Oyster Bay Herald

Sports Action Photo: Anthony Hughes, Rockville Centre Herald

Coverage of Local Government: Laura Lane, Oyster Bay Herald

Best Large Space Ad: Jeff Negrin, Seaford Herald

Sports Action Photo: Jeff Wilson, Baldwin Herald