Volume 75, Number 47 | April 12 - 18 2006


Doing community news that matters

For the second year in a row The Villager has won the Stuart C. Dorman Award for Editorial Excellence, the top award in the New York Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.

The honor makes all our hard work over the last year even more gratifying. Although we’re immensely proud that the judges felt The Villager’s news coverage, writing, photography, editorials and editorial page, design and overall quality were deserving, we also know that we have a great advantage over other weekly newspapers in New York City and State — in that our beat is one of the most interesting in the world.

That fact is reflected in the judges’ comments. For example, the judges noted that we have a very active and engaged letters page, in which our readers respond to pressing issues — often ones that have been brought to light by preceding letters or columns in The Villager.

Similarly, our Progress Report, which won first place, was another direct product of community input. All the articles were written by local leaders and individuals passionately involved in and committed to their neighborhoods and local block associations and organizations.

The fact simply remains that Greenwich Village, the East Village and Lower East Side, Soho, Noho, Chinatown, Little Italy, Chelsea and Union Square and Gramercy — in short, the neighborhoods we cover — are among the most dynamic, colorful, contentious and exciting places on earth. And it’s the people who live, work and play here that make these areas so special.

Add to the mix the Village’s rich history and the artistic creativity and political ferment that have always flourished here and you have all the ingredients for more great stories than you could ever write or photos that you could ever capture.

What’s also clear is that weekly newspapers still fill an important niche in people’s lives. While daily newspapers are sadly losing readers drained away by the Internet and TV, weekly newspapers are going strong. Community news — as well as other news offered with a community angle or perspective — is what The Villager and other weeklies offer. While daily newspapers cover the whole city and the whole globe, we mainly focus on our neighborhoods. We cover them every week, week in and week out, all year. It’s our job. We like to think we know our neighborhoods better than most, since we’re covering them more than most — nonstop, in fact.

So, upon winning the highly coveted Dorman Award, we’ll take a pause to pat ourselves on the back, and, of course, to thank all our readers and contributors.

But from preservation and quality of life to development, housing, parks, schools, bar overproliferation, politics, community boards, gay civil rights and stray sidewalk voltage, the news doesn’t stop. Because Downtowners — active, committed and creative — never do. Here’s looking forward to another busy, exciting year of news stories to cover, Villager style.

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