The Vineyard Gazette won 30 awards for excellence in journalism in reporting, photography, graphic design and advertising — both in print and digital publishing — in the annual competition for newspapers in New England this year.
It was a record number of awards. There were 14 first-place prizes, including one for the Gazette website launched in October 2012.
Sponsored by the New England Newspaper and Press Association, the contest spanned a 12-month time period from August 2012 through July 2013. In addition to the overall website prize, the Gazette won special recognition for digital strategy excellence as well as three other digital prizes, including another first place for website design.
“They’ve managed to bring the charm of their locale and publication onto the web. Definitely feels like the read for the Vineyard,” judges wrote.
Earlier this year, the Gazette's website won an honorable mention in the national Eppy Awards, sponsored by Editor & Publisher magazine.
The New England awards, announced at the NENPA annual convention in Boston, honored both companywide and individual achievement.
The Gazette won first place in general excellence in advertising — the top prize on the business side. Graphic designer Jane McTeigue was named best designer. The Gazette also won first prize for its media kit, the folder of information that describes the company’s business and advertising rates.
On the editorial side, Sara Brown won four awards including three first-place prizes. She won top honors in general news reporting for her coverage of the Harris Interactive Poll, a public opinion poll commissioned by the Gazette in the spring of 2013 to gauge community views on a range of issues. Ms. Brown and Remy Tumin shared a first-place prize in social issues reporting for a story they wrote about people who work multiple jobs on the Vineyard. It was Ms. Tumin’s second consecutive victory in the category. Ms. Brown and contributor John H. Kennedy shared a first-place prize for an in-depth story about the Island health care system.
Ivy Ashe won first place in sports reporting for a story she did about Island race car drivers. This marks the third consecutive year that Ms. Ashe has won a first-place prize in sports reporting. She also won a second-place prize intransportation reporting for an story about the Steamship Authority. Tom Dunlop won first place in obituary writing for his piece about the life of the late Tom Hale. Olivia Hull won third place in education reporting for her profile of Michael Halt, outgoing principal of the West Tisbury School.
In photography, Ray Ewing won first place in the personality category for his picture of Phoenix Russell and an alpaca. Photographers Timothy Johnson and Alison Shaw were also honored.
The Gazette won first place for its editorial and commentary page and second place for overall design went to Stephen Durkee, director of graphics and design. “The conservative, classic feel is very appealing,” judges wrote about the Gazette design.
The competition this year included more than 3,000 entries from weekly and small daily newspapers from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. There are five circulation categories: two daily, two weekly and one specialty publication category.