Prof. Scott Brinton Among Heralds Award-Winners
The Herald Community Newspapers were recognized for their work both on the state level and nationally last weekend, when awards from the New York Press Association and the Local Media Association were announced.
The Heralds picked up 16 awards in NYPA’s 2012 Better Newspaper Contest, which were presented at the annual spring convention in Saratoga Springs on April 5 and 6. More than a dozen Herald staffers attended the conference, which included workshops and a chance to network with colleagues from across the state.
Two Heralds were recognized for coverage of Hurricane Sandy. Anthony Rifilato of the Long Beach Herald and Alex Costello of the Oceanside/Island Park edition each picked up first place awards in the News or Features Series category for numerous stories that followed in the wake of the storm.
The six-part Road Less Traveled series, which examined alternative transportation in Nassau County, garnered a third place award. Scott Brinton was the editor and a writer for the series. Other contributors included editor David Weingrad, editor Mary Malloy, reporter Brian Croce, editor Anthony Rifilato and editorial intern Victoria Leistman. The photographers were Penny Frondelli and Justin Plotnick, and the page designer was Alyson Goodman.
For the series, Brinton, Weingrad, Malloy and Croce each wrote first-person accounts of their experiences bicycling, running, walking and kayaking around Nassau County. The judges wrote of the effort, “Nice articles and good information. The series gives readers an attitude of ‘if we can do it, so can you.’ Happy trails.”
The Heralds also boast one of the best young reporters in New York. Croce, who writes for the Valley Stream and Lynbrook/East Rockaway editions, won second place in the Rookie Reporter of the Year contest. The judges cited Croce’s ability to “tackle a wide range of challenging subjects with ease.”
Croce, 23, a native of Oceanside, graduated in 2011 from SUNY Oswego with a bacehlor’s degree in journalism. He joined the Herald in December 2011 and previously interned with the New York Islanders in the Communciations Department.
“On behalf of Valley Stream editor Andrew Hackmack and myself, we’d like to thank the judges for recognizing Brian with this award,” said Malloy, the Lynbrook/East Rockaway editor, “although it came as no surprise to us. Brian is instinctively an ‘on-the-spot’ reporter, taking on a wide variety of assignments with enthusiasm and attention to detail. We’re proud of what he has accomplished in the short time he’s been with the Herald. He has a bright future in journalism.”
Long Beach took third place for overall excellence. The judges called it an “impressive product from front to back” with strong news, sports and photography.
For the second straight year, the Bellmore Herald took one of the top honors in the Coverage of Crime, Police and Courts category, earning second place for several stories, ranging from a scandal that brought down three of Nassau County’s highest-ranking police officers to a murder-suicide in North Bellmore. The writers were Brinton and reporters Deirdre Krasula and Aaron Axelson.
Sports Editor Tony Bellissimo won third place for his story on the Baldwin boys’ basketball team’s county championship over Uniondale.
Photography awards included second place for Stephen Ryan of the Bellmore Herald in the Sports Action Photo category, and second place for Jeff Wilson of the Merrick Herald in the Sports Feature Photo category. Susan Grieco won second place in Feature Photo for her shot of the funeral of Oceanside Marine Greg Buckley, and Costello won third place for his corresponding story.
“Congratulations to all our reporters and editors, sports writers and photographers whose work earned them such important awards,” said John O’Connell, the Heralds’ executive editor. “Winning first place for the quality, depth and scope of our Sandy coverage in the Long Beach and Oceanside/Island Park Heralds is a tribute to the editors’ and reporters’ dedication to the communities they serve. And special congrats to Rookie Reporter Brian Croce.”
The Heralds also picked up several advertising awards, including first place for best multi-advertiser pages for its Halloween tips pull-out, and third place for best small space ad. Both entries were created by Jeff Negrin.
“It’s an honor to be part of such a great team,” said Rhonda Glickman, vice president of sales. “It takes a lot of talented people to win awards like we did.”
NYPA’s Better Newspaper Contest was judged by members of the North Carolina Press Association. There were more than 2,300 entries from 150 newspapers around the state. Richner Communications, the parent company of the Heralds and the Riverdale Press, placed second overall in total contest points among state newspaper chains.
Awards from the Local Media Association were also announced last weekend. Competing against newspapers from across the nation, the Heralds picked up nine awards, including three first places.
The Bellmore Herald won first place in the Breaking News category for its coverage of a home invasion in North Bellmore. The Oceanside-Island Park Herald picked up first for Best Feature, “A Chance Encounter.”
The chain was also awarded the top prize for Best Sports Section for its football, basketball and baseball/softball previews. The Lynbrook/East Rockaway Herald captured second place for Best Front Page and Scott Brinton won second for his column “Running in tribute to a 9/11 hero.”
Clifford and Stuart Richner, who publish the 15-edition Herald Community Newspapers, congratulated the staff. “It’s great to see them recognized for all the hard work they do throughout the year,” Clifford said.
Added Stuart, “Although rewards don’t begin to tell the story of what goes into turning out solid, objective, professional community newspapers, week in and week out, it is always nice to be recognized by one’s peers. I am confident that the combination of our outstanding writers, designers, sales and support staff, together with the excellent work and achievements of all or our community leaders and readers, will allow us to continue to excel and bring the best of local news to the South Shore of Long Island.”