Riverdale Press, Herald win 18 state awards from New York Press Association

More than 20 members of the Herald Community Newspapers team attended the annual New York Press Association Spring Conference in Saratoga Springs over the weekend, where the newspaper group earned 18 state awards.
More than 20 members of the Herald Community Newspapers team attended the annual New York Press Association Spring Conference in Saratoga Springs over the weekend, where the newspaper group earned 18 state awards.

It was a big night of wins for your local paper and all of Herald Community Newspapers as the New York Press Association honored the best of the best this past weekend.

The Herald papers earned 18 statewide awards overall at the event in Saratoga Springs, including four first places.

Creative director Jeffrey Negrin earned two of them — one for a Salute to Israel special section honoring the country on its 75th anniversary that he did with deputy editor Jeffrey Bessen, and the other for best special section cover he did for a Your Health & Wellness special section focused on mental health.

“Good editorial design in a mix of visual metaphor, eye-catching imagery and strategic typography,” judges from the Tennessee Press Association said. “This cover expertly made all three elements with ease. The use of a stark gray background was such a great decision for keeping the colorful main image large and in-charge.”

Daniel Offner, a senior editor who leads the Rockville Centre Herald, earned a first place in religion coverage for his stories centered not just on the issues plaguing the Diocese of Rockville Centre, but on how many churches adapted to life after the Covid-19 pandemic.

First place also was awarded to The Riverdale Press in the Bronx for best editorial page, honoring former editor Gary Larkin and executive editor Michael Hinman.

“The editorial section is diverse, eye-catching and well-balanced in design,” judges said. “Topics are relevant to readers, well-written, and provide a wide variety of topics of interest.”

The Riverdale Press also earned a second place for coverage of crime, police and courts given to Larkin, reporter Eric Harvey, and former reporter Stacy Driks. Harvey won a second place of his own for best feature story on civil rights attorney Clarence Jones, who hosted Martin Luther King Jr., in his Riverdale home back in the 1960s, just in time for him to write his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

The Riverdale Press also won second place for the Past President’s Award for Editorial Excellence — an award the paper has regularly placed in over the years, including first-place wins in 2020 and 2021.

This year, the judges called The Press a “strong newspaper with rich and newsy content from front to back” with an “engaging editorial page and eye-catching front pages.”

The Nassau Herald in the Five Towns won second place for advertising excellence, with special kudos to its special sections, its dance workshop ad designs, and for its annual Christmas wrapping paper project.

The Nassau Herald also won second places for special sections/niche publications-newsprint for RichnerLive’s Top Lawyers section, as well as best multi-advertiser pages for its Halloween section.

The Nassau Herald won third place in editorials written by Bessen, Hinman and former Malverne/West Hempstead Herald editor Mark Nolan. The editorials focused on project-based learning, a call to replace special political elections with gubernatorial appointments, and calling out the Nassau County Bridge Authority.

“Variety of editorials concern topics in which most readers are interested (like) education, elections and transportation,” judges said. “All three presented clearly, and were well-written.”

Nolan also won third place for column writing for the Lynbrook/East Rockaway Herald.

Nolan’s column selection “covered a range of topics,” judges said, “and they were all smooth to read.” One that really grabbed the judges’ attention was on graduation rates, saying Nolan “explained the high number of graduates was misleading in a clear, simple way.”

Negrin won a third place of his own for best media kit and sales collateral, something the judges said should be a “model for media kits everywhere.”

Honorable mentions went to sports editor Tony Bellissimo for sportswriter of the year, the Rockville Centre Herald for advertising excellence, former East Meadow Herald editor Mallory Wilson for in coverage of education, Larkin for feature story, and photo editor Tim Baker for feature photo in the Malverne/West Hempstead Herald.

Overall, more than 140 newspapers submitted 2,530 entries in 65 categories, and nearly 380 awards were handed out.

New York Press Association awards Herald Community Newspapers Riverdale Press Editorial design Special section cover design Mental health coverage Religion coverage Best feature story Nassau Herald Advertising excellence