Editors at Eagle Newspapers were honored for their work at two recent awards ceremonies that celebrate the best journalism in Central New York and statewide.
At the New York Press Association (NYPA) Better Newspaper Contest awards held last month, Eagle Star-Review editor Sarah Hall’s election coverage took second place in its circulation division. The judges had the following comments:
“This isn’t just cleanly executed routine election work or formulaic handling; you focused on significant factors in the election… and used these to segue into a well-organized broader discussion, resulting in enjoyable and informative reads based on solid reporting.”
Also at NYPA, former Skaneateles Press editor Jason Emerson (now editor of the Cazenovia Republican) won third place in the In-Depth Reporting category. The judges said, “What begins with routine meeting coverage of a contentious issue evolves into several in-depth articles built upon long interviews and examination of public records. A reminder that covering meetings isn’t usually enough.”
Meanwhile, at the Syracuse Press Club Better Newspaper Contest, Emerson took home two awards, one for second place in the editorial category for his piece “A sad state of affairs” and another for first place in the news feature category for “Town, SRTC at odds over return of YMCA assets.” The judges said the latter featured “solid coverage of pretty stunning governmental incompetence.”
Hall took first place in the editorial category for her editorial “No district served by ‘competitive’ state aid policy.” The judges said, “This editorial’s call-to-action is clear, provocative and bold, supported by an intelligent and informed perspective.”
“I’m honored to work each day with journalists who truly care for the craft,” said Eagle Publisher David Tyler. “I’m particularly proud that Sarah and Jason took both awards in the editorial category. Their work was judged against editorials from dailies and weeklies from Binghamton to Syracuse to Watertown. To take both first and second is an indication of just how good they are as journalists and opinion writers.”
Hall also won first place in the Human Interest Feature category for “Cuse Pit Crew: It’s (for) the pits.” The judges said the story was “engaging from the first sentence, as well as informative about a relevant subject. It was well-written, using active voice and verbal craftsmanship instead of superlatives to create a scene.”
Hall and former Eagle employee Amanda Seef were awarded second place in the Investigative category for their coverage of Sunshine Week. Seef, who now works in the newsroom at YNN, also took first place in the blog category for her blog, “Do the right thing,” as well as first place column in the non-daily newspaper category for “Cracked swan eggs create uproar; harsher crimes ignored,” Judges called the column “a look at something journalists deal with at every paper: the disturbing nature of animal abuse contrasted against human-on-human violence, and the priorities we place on each.”
Seef’s photo, “Fishing access point opens on Nine Mile Creek,” won second place in the Scenic Photo category.
Finally, Syracuse Woman Magazine’s Jenna Schifferle’s piece, “Julia Wamp: Breast cancer survivor and founder of Alive! Foundation,” won second place for sports story in the special interest publication category.
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.