Volume 77 / Number 45 - April 9 - 15, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since

Villager wins11 awards from N.Y. Press Assn.

The Villager garnered awards in an impressively broad range of categories in the New York Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest for 2007.

Downtown’s hometown community newspaper took three first-place awards, five second-place awards and three third-place honors. The awards were handed out at NYPA’s annual spring convention in Albany last weekend.

One hundred and seventy New York State newspapers, mostly community weeklies, submitted 3,455 entries for the contest.

The entries were judged by members of the North Carolina Press Association, who, in their comments, praised The Villager for having “excellent writing,” “very solid coverage” and “gorgeous photos.”

The Villager won first place for Coverage of Business, Financial & Economic News. Entries in this category included Bonnie Rosenstock’s article on Angelo Fontana’s being forced to close his E. 10th St. shoe store because of soaring rent and Julie Shapiro’s profile of Leonard Cecere, owner of the Something Special mailbox and key store on MacDougal St., plus Shapiro’s article on Lower East Siders’ struggle to keep open the Cherry St. Pathmark.

“These stories were very well written and several were very descriptive and evoked real emotion. Very well done!!!” the judge for this category wrote.

The Villager also won first place for Obituaries. Entries in this category included Albert Amateau’s obituary of Moe Fishman, a veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade who fought in the Spanish Civil War and in later years lived in Penn South, and Jerry Tallmer’s obituary of famed writer Norman Mailer.

“Excellent job in an extremely difficult category to judge with many outstanding entries,” the judge wrote. “The Villager’s obituaries were interesting to read, detailed and well written.”

Q. Sakamaki, the intrepid East Village international photojournalist, won first place in the Picture Story category for his photos of Turkey at a crossroads as Muslim fundamentalism is taking hold there.

“Gorgeous black and white photos that begged to be looked at again and again,” the judge wrote of Sakamaki’s photos. “Each photo is great on its own, but together in this two-page spread, they are really eye-catching.”

The Villager won second place for Coverage of Religion. Entries in this category included Alyssa Giachino’s profile of Madina Masjid at E. 11th St. and First Ave. — a mosque that caters to cab drivers — and Rosenstock’s article on the Lower East Side mikvah, an Orthodox Jewish ritual bath.

“Of the stories I read, Alyssa’s ‘spiritual pit stop’ was my favorite,” the judge for this category wrote. “An excellent read that took me to a place few outside the city would ever see. Bonnie’s mikvah story led me to wonder about similar places here,” the North Carolina judge noted. “Both stories provided coverage a cut above the others.”
The Villager’s headlines throughout the paper earned second place for Headline Writing.

“Good play on words, draws attention to stories,” the judge commented.

Sakamaki also took second place for Art Photo for his intriguing shot of the glass-fenced balcony encircling the New Museum’s Sky Room on the Bowery.

“This image made me look once, twice, three times to make sure I missed nothing. Excellent work!” the judge commented.

Lincoln Anderson, Villager associate editor, won third place for Spot News Coverage for his reports on the terrifying night of March 14, 2006, that saw crazed gunman David Garvin kill two Sixth Precinct auxiliary officers, Eugene Marshalik and Nicholas Pekearo, and restaurant worker Alfredo Romero Morales.

“Very solid coverage of a tragic situation that could have resulted in even more deaths,” the judge wrote. The Villager also won third place for Coverage of Local Government. Entries in this category included Anderson’s article on Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s clash with Councilmember Tony Avella over his proposal to reform the community-facilities zoning bonus, Amateau’s article on a public hearing on the Tenant Protection Act, Josh Rogers’s report on a short-lived plan to put Department of Sanitation garbage trucks on Pier 40 and an article by Matt Townsend on Community Board 3’s review of the Cooper Square Hotel’s liquor license applications.

“Interesting mix of stories, thorough understanding of the issues and excellent writing make for great coverage,” the judge commented.

In addition, the newspaper garnered three awards in advertising categories: second place for Best Color Ad Created by the Newspaper, for an ad for Downtown Little League; second place for Best House Ad/Ad Campaign; and third place for Best Advertising Campaign – Small Space, for an ad for Li-Lac chocolates shop.

Colin Gregory, the newspaper’s retail ad manager, was responsible for the Li-Lac ad and did the concepts and pre-layout for the D.L.L. ad.

“We are delighted to be recognized by our peers for excellence in a broad range of editorial, photography and advertising categories,” said John W. Sutter, The Villager’s publisher and editor. “Congratulations to our staff, who believe in the mission of strong community journalism, and our readers and advertisers who make it all possible.”




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