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2019 NHPA Distinguished Journalism Contest Winners List With Judges’ Comments

Feature Story

Class 4

Third Place

Ryan Lessard 

Breweries Have a Bone to Pick Over ‘Selective’ Enforcement of Dog Rules

“Nice dive into the ways that regulations and statutes that people might not think they care about affect things they clearly do. And some fun wordplay in there as well.”

Second Place

Max Sullivan, Hampton Union, 

Trump signs: Neighbors divided, not divisive

“This was a refreshing, well told feature. The photos really tied a bow on the whole package, too.”

First Place

Kathie Ragsdale, Granite State News Collaborative, 

Rest in Peace Red

“I thought this was a really well-done, sensitive profile. Especially impressive given how this subject matter (the plight of the homeless) can get dragged into well-worn cliches, and because you didn’t actually interview the subject of the story himself. The strength of your interviewing/reporting out the perspective of the people around Red was what brought this to life.”

Class 3

Third Place

Ben Conant, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, 

Community mourns Jaffrey teen

Judge did not comment

Second Place

Tim Goodwin, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, 

Visa woes force couple’s Brexit

Judge did not comment

First Place

Meghan Pierce,  Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, 

A Star In the Darkness

Judge did not comment

Class 2

Third Place

Paula Tracy, InDepthNH, 

The Secret Life of NH’s Endangered Mountain Butterfly

Judge did not comment

Second Place

Kyle Stucker,   Foster’s Daily Democrat, 

Inside Spaulding High School’s iconic clock tower

“What stood out for me in this story was how richly descriptive it is.”

First Place

Rob Greene, Manchester Inklink, 

Tiny Home Built By Student with 5K Grant Makes Big Difference for NH Refugee Farmers

“This is a really well-executed, well-balanced feature story about a cool kid with an interesting project. Great job getting his personality across and the photos also added to the story in a really nice way.”

Class 1

Third Place

Sean Hurley, New Hampshire Public Radio, 

The Snow Rangers of Mount Washington

Judge did not comment

Second Place 

Nick Stoico, Concord Monitor, 

D-Day: N.H. veterans recall service 75 years later

Judge did not comment

First Place

Hadley Barndollar, Deb Cram, Portsmouth Herald, 

Will to Walk

Judge did not comment


Feature Photo

Class 4

Third Place

Carly Hippert, New Boston Beacon, 

A Century Apart

“A rare opportunity to showcase two people 100 years apart in age.”

Second Place

Carl Russo, Derry News, 

Life imitates art

“A good eye from the photographer to capture this cute and appropriate juxtaposition of a silhouetted and a real young reader.”

First Place

Jeffrey Hastings, 

9-11 Memorial Stair Climb

“Powerful, perfectly composed image. In the print edition, it should have led the page.”

Class 3

First Place

Ashley Saari, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, 

Hive is Alive

“Great moment with the bees in flight and the faces of both beekeepers visible beneath their protective gear.”

Class 2

First Place

Harrison Thorp, The Rochester Voice, 

Hooping it up at Farm Museum’s Children’s Day

“A nice, warm-hearted photo that captures one family’s enjoyment of the day and care for one another.”

Class 1

Third Place

Mathew Plamondon, Nashua Telegraph

Celebration

“Nice, genuine emotion on the face of the young subject.”

Second Place

Mathew Plamondon, Nashua Telegraph

Night Out

“Fun image. I’m always a sucker for “meta” photos of someone taking a photo.”

First Place

Jason Moon, New Hampshire Public Radio

Birddoggers in Action

“This image tells the story perfectly — you can almost hear the people with their hands raised saying “Call on me! Call on me!!””

Feature Page 

Class 4

Third Place

Christine Carignan, Business NH, 

Barber Shops: From Dying Industry to Booming Business

“Nice use of photography and subtle color palette to match the subject matter.”

Second Place

Christine Carignan, Business NH, 

Marketing Tourism on a Dime

“Strong photography is key on this spread and the designer was smart enough to let the photo do the talking.”

First Place

Christine Carignan, Business NH, 

The Business of Beards

“This entry stood out thanks to its novel use of illustration in a way that makes the reader take notice.”

Class 1

Third Place

Matt Hannon, Nashua Telegraph, 

Take Me Home Tonight

“Colorful design and appropriate use of stock photography is nice, but the clever, unexpected headline really helps sell this page.”

Second Place

Matt Burdette, Nashua Telegraph, 

Local artist’s exhibit lands at ArtHub gallery

“When good art comes along, it pays to run it big and get out of the way. Images are well portioned and text box is colored not to get in the way of the artist’s work.”

First Place

Staff, Nashua Telegraph, 

A Flair for Fare

“Great use of color and typography to keep the look of the piece consistent across pages. Entry helped by good photography, though visual variety of each page’s main shot might have been nice.”


Photo Essay

Class 4

First Place

Jeffrey Hastings, 

Ride For The Fallen 7

“Some strong moments among a collection that really needed to be edited down to a more concise set.”

Class 1

Third Place

Mathew Plamondon, Nashua Telegraph, 

Pumpkin Festival Fun

“A good variety of photos showing the many opportunities available to attendees.”

Second Place

Mathew Plamondon, Nashua Telegraph, 

Blizzard Blast

“A nice set of photos that give a good sense of the event. The layout does not do justice to the images.”

First Place

Geoff Forester, Concord Monitor, 

Monks come to town

“A good collection of images that tell the story of the event with a variety of angles and perspectives.”


Graphic-Cartoon-Illustration

Class 4

Third Place (Tie)

Christine Carignan, Business NH, 

“Good use of stock art to create a new image.”

Nonprofits & NH / Jayson Martin, Bow Times

“The raccoon is cute. The dumpster diving one is nicely drawn and designed.”

Second Place

Christine Carignan, Business NH, 

Nonprofits by the Numbers

“Well designed information that is easy to read and understand.”

First Place

Christine Carignan, BusinessNH, 

Designing Communities for Growth

“Very attractive, and I’m not bothered by the manipulation of a photo as much as I normally would be because it is done in a skillful and thoughtful way. Works with the headline to make an impact.”

Class 2

Third Place

Peter Noonan, Manchester InkLink, 

NH Primary Secret

“Judge did not comment.”

Second Place

Peter Noonan Manchester InkLink, 

Trump Fourth of July

“Love the tie going over the gun barrel.”

First Place

Peter NoonanManchester InkLink, 

Best and Whitest

“(on all) Very nice style and use of color and humor.”

Class 1

Third Place

Matthew Burdette, Nashua, 

Patriots Pride

“Nice photoshop and design work.”

Second Place

Janis Carroll, Laconia, 

Snow, man

“Nice illustration that works with the story content.”

First Place

Tom Lynch, Union Leader, 

Who’s getting NH’s donations

“Good graphic representation, clean and easy to understand.”


Entertainment Reporting

Class 4

Third Place

Haley Dufour, New Boston Beacon, 

How to make your own NH maple syrup

“A timely story, well told. It made me glad I am well-supplied with maple syrup during this time of being closed in our homes. This story was comforting.”

Second Place

Tony Schinella, 

Long Lost Art Of Poetry Not Lost On Concord’s Currie

“I like this story because it gives me a sense of the subject and his book in a personal manner. It’s well written in a casual, conversational way. And I think it’s important to feature local poets.”

First Place

Keith Gentili, New Boston Beacon, 

Searching the area for the best New England IPA

“This is a great story all the way around — personal, informative, timely and fun. The writer knows his subject and has an effective writing style. The story is easy to read.”

Class 3

First Place

Meghan Pierce, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, 

Third act for Whitmore family at Players

“I am glad to see the depth of reporting on this story, as well as the prominence of its play on the front page. It asks and answers the right questions, and also sets the stage for follow-up stores.”

Class 2

Third Place

Constance Cherise, Manchester InkLink

Livingston Taylor: To Thine Own Self Be True

“This Q&A offered an informative and interesting read about a performer who has been around these parts for many years.”

Second Place

Constance Cherise, Manchester InkLink

Do You Believe? Manchester native Jodi Katz on the Road with Cher

“What a great story. I enjoyed learning about Jodi, and I felt the story gave me a sense of her personality and motivations.”

First Place

Constance Cherise, Manchester InkLink

Won’t You Be My Neighbor: What Would Fred think of the world we live in today?

“This is another good example of a personalized take on a national story. I liked the writer’s approach to storytelling and for being direct and focused.”

Class 1

Third Place

Meg McIntyre, Keene Sentinel, 

Newtown native’s art installation at Keene State evokes the trauma of gun violence

“Great story. The reporter did a good job telling the story succinctly and creating a sense of the exhibition and the artist behind it. This is exactly the kind of community journalism we need to maintain. Very well done and deserving of more than a third-place award. But the competition is strong.”

Second Place

Peter Biello, Rachel Cohen, New Hampshire Public Radio, 

Snatam Kaur Takes The Stage at The Grammys

“This is a strong profile of a local person succeeding on a national stage, and it offers a window into her community. I like to be surprised by the people in our communities, and this story surprised me in all the good ways.”

First Place 

Julia Ann Weekes, New Hampshire Union Leader, 

The Elvis Room

“I love everything about this story — it’s a surprising topic, it’s very well written and it has strong supporting photography. The writer knows the subject and has storytelling skills. The story flows freely along and tells a specific narrative about a moment in time that was, and is, important.”


Health Reporting

Class 4

Third Place

Granite State News Collaborative

Solutions From The Frontlines 

“Heart-warming. What a great idea to have a place to, non-judgmentally, help professionals who have fallen off the tracks. Story was written with great grace and compassion.”

Second Place

Granite State News Collaborative

Hub and Spoke

“This is an amazing series on the substance abuse problem that is consuming Vermont and New Hampshire. Told clearly and straightforwardly, it lays out all the steps that have gone into creating this life-saving program and delineates how it is working and succeeding. Bravo.”

First Place

Granite State News Collaborative

Follow The Money Project

“The best story I’ve read on the opioid problem that is tearing New Hampshire apart. It laid out the facts, non-judgmentally and compassionately talking to and about the people who are being helped and why this is so important. It was billed as a piece that wanted to engage readers and it did just that.”

Class 3

First Place

Abbe Hamilton, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, 

CBD retail on the rise

“Good story. Liked how the author combined news with the touching story about Luna. Well-researched, non-judgmental on a controversial topic.”

Class 2

Second Place

Kyle Stucker –  Foster’s Daily Democrat

Nourishing help: The evolving roles of schools 

“What a great story! Heart-warming and compassionate, what a wonderful way to teach kids to share and help others who don’t have what they need. Told clearly and powerfully.” 

First Place 

Harrison Thorp – The Rochester Voice

A mental health emergency gets a slow response

“This was a great read, clear, concise, conversational. And what a kicker of an ending. The piece was very sympathetic to the subject, while also providing very helpful information about why patients aren’t always seen quickly or given the real treatments they need, while delivering a way they can still reach out and ultimately, help themselves and others. I loved that Brittany found a way to turn her ailment into a way to help others.” 

Class 1

Third Place 

Jonathan Phelps – New Hampshire Union Leader

NH residents stuck with huge health care bills from suspended ‘insurance’ companies

“Great story about a truly deplorable business that calls itself “health insurance,” then denies just about every claim. This story made me mad. Good for you for getting out there and telling the story clearly, ethically, not taking a side, just presenting the facts. This is an important article for the state of New Hampshire. I wish everyone could get their hands on it (and in other parts of the country, too). This is the best explanation of what these so-called religious insurance companies are all about.” 

Second Place

Leah Willingham – Concord Monitor

Opioid Crisis’s Impact

“What a wonderful story! I teared up reading it, and the photo was heart-wrenching, yet joyful, too. I got the same feeling from the piece that these babies are comforted and soothed just by the love of the cuddlers. Well-done.” 

First Place

Taylor Quimby – New Hampshire Public Radio

Patient Zero  

“So well-written, impressively researched, clearly written. Usually factual articles are boring. This series was not. Written in a clever, conversational voice, it explained medical concepts in an easy-to-understand and pleasing way (loved “This is what science looks like: four people, sitting in white coveralls at a plastic poker table in the middle of the woods, counting ticks with tweezers.”) Who hasn’t been affected, or a loved one, by Lyme Disease? This lays out the facts clearly and simply. Loved the one about the ticks themselves, sympathetic and yet straightforward about how they can hurt you. Very intense, and actually fun to read. Well-done.”


Business-Economic Reporting

Class 4

Third Place

Sheryl Rich-Kern, Business NH

NH’s Taxing Dilemma

“Judge did not comment.”

Second Place

Roberta Baker

Encore Boston Harbor series

“Judge did not comment.”

First Place

Michael Kitch, New Hampshire Business Review

New Hampshire’s independent bookstores turn a new page

“Good job jumping from the small store to the not-so-long-ago perspectives of the big chain bookstores that the independents all once thought would be their downfall, the back to the little guys.”

Class 2

First Place

Garry Rayno, InDepthNH, 

Northern Pass Didn’t Want To Take No For An Answer

“The world of public utilities and the regulators that oversee them can be a thicket for the normal person to maneuver. Rayno cuts through that and lets the reader grasp the issue at hand, while getting an education on utility regulation.”

Class 1

Third Place

Adam Urquhart and Mathew Plamondon, Nashua Telegraph, 

Cost of Addiction

“Judge did not comment.”

Second Place

Leah Willingham, Concord Monitor, 

Trudy Needs a Home.

“Judge did not comment.”

First Place

Michael Cousineau, New Hampshire Union Leader, 

What’s Working.

“The amount of work that went into this project alone makes it an admirable entry. The fact that it’s presented well, with such variety is a bonus, and was a pleasure to read.”


Crime and Court Reporting

Class 4

Third Place 

Mary C. Constance, New Boston Beacon, 

Telephone scams impacting residents

“This article provides valuable information to readers about how to avoid financial scams.”

Second Place

Tony Schinella, 

Bicentennial Square Attempted Murder

“The reporter deserves credit for his persistence in pursuing this local crime story over the course of two weeks, at day and night.”

First Place

Anna Berry, Annmarie Timmins, Meaghan Breen, Granite State News Collaborative, 

Piece of the Puzzle: Drug Courts in New Hampshire

“This in-depth examination of specialty courts and medication-assisted treatment provides readers with important information about the justice system’s response to the opioid epidemic. The journalists remain objective throughout, using data to present both the successes and shortcomings of new approaches.”

Class 2

Third Place

Harrison Thorp, Rochester Voice, 

Dean Smoronk: A life of drug enterprise results in lives lost

“The reporter is fearless in his pursuit of the truth regarding the subject’s potential involvement in a double murder.”

Second Place

Kyle Stucker, Foster’s Daily Democrat

A look inside ICE detention in Strafford County

“This article takes a fair and objective, yet thorough, approach to examining the treatment of ICE detainees in a local facility.”

First Place

Pat Grossmith, Manchester InkLink, 

Same man, same woman, same crime – but this time assault was deadly

“I give this article first place because it highlights the failure of the justice system to protect a victim of domestic violence and because the reporter was able to gather so much information about the crime so soon.”

Class 1

Third Place

Alyssa Dandrea, Concord Monitor

Fighting Back

“The reporter pairs moving human stories with hard facts and statistics for an impressive, authoritative package on domestic violence in New Hampshire.”

Second Place

Jason Moon, Taylor Quimby, Todd Bookman, New Hampshire Public Radio

Bear Brook: A break in the case

“This entry earns high marks for playing a role in the identification of three murder victims.”

First Place

Breanna Edelstein, Eagle-Tribune, 

Tuttle series

“Journalism steps in to protect children after a shameful failure of the authorities responsible for their care. What higher purpose could journalism serve?”


General News Story

Class 4

Third Place

Barbara Tetreault, Berlin Sun, 

City forced to close Brown Elementary School

“Strong coverage of meeting stories, which can be tedious for many reporters. Writer shows good attention to detail with some nice visual touches, like describing the mayor emptying the contents of his pockets on the table. You could feel the emotion of longtime teachers in the last-day-of -school story. I only wish the meeting stories had contained more references to the school’s 100-plus year history, and its overall importance to the town.”

Second Place

Bob Sanders, New Hampshire Business Review, 

Shaking off the shutdown

“Solid reporting, requiring a lot of digging to go beyond the material available databases. Well-researched, with insights from multiple sources in a range of industries and business sectors.”

First Place 

Kathie Ragsdale,  

Business NH, Laconia’s Balancing Act

“Clear, comprehensive look at how a small city is trying to address current and future needs. Writer provides solid examples of importance of public-private partnerships in meeting revitalization challenges. Couple things I would have liked to see: city’s population, one or two man/woman in the street comments, comparison with other NH cities on similar paths, Nonetheless, a fine piece of reporting and writing.”

Class 3

Second Place

Abbe Hamilton, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Town, mother at odds over grave decoration

“This is a problem for cemetery commissions in all small towns. Nice handling of a sensitive subject.”

First Place

Meghan Pierce, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

‘I always dreamt…he’d come home’

“The pictures really make this story pop. Well written story of a lost serviceman’s remains making the journey home, decades after he went missing. A narrative lede would have made this a stronger piece.”

Class 2

First Place

Kyle Stucker, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Special report: Rollinsford water mismanagement

“Superbly reported piece on a small water district and its users who say their water isn’t safe to drink. The reporting is solid; why not start with the human element?”

Class 1

Third Place

Grace Pecci, Dean Shalhoup and Matt Burdette, Nashua Telegraph

Fairgrounds Elementary School Bullying

“Strong reporting on a father’s fight to hold school officials accountable for the bullying of his child. Well done.”

Second Place

Mark Hayward, NH Union Leader

Conlon vs. MacDonald

“Great reporting following the many twists and turns of an embattled state’s attorney. Great job.”

First Place

Caitlin Andrews, Leah Willingham, Concord Monitor

Leung Investigation

“Dogged reporting, crisp and concise writing, solidly edited. A great staff effort, leaving no lead unfollowed. Bravo! Clear winner, among stiff competition.”


General News Photo

Class 4

Second Place

Eric Anderson, Bow Times, 

Memorial Day

“Seeing all the faces makes this a nice story telling image. Nice composition.”

First Place

Jeffrey Hastings, 

Manchester Honors Veterans

“Good photo memorializing veterans. His face really tells a story and adds interest to the image.”

Class 1

Third Place

Jeffrey Hastings, Nashua Telegraph, 

A Dazed Look

“Difficult emotional moment, captured well.”

Second Place

David Lane, New Hampshire Union Leader

After the flood

“Nice story telling image from a difficult scenario. The emotion says it all.”

First Place

David Lane, New Hampshire Union Leader

30 happy coworkers

“Excellent image. Really captured the feeling of the moment.”


Special Section

Class 4

Third Place

Staff, Berlin Sun

Jericho ATV Festival Continues to Grow

“Love the banner at the top of every page—Great for branding and segmenting this special section from the rest of the paper. The advertising is stellar and informative. It doesn’t just support the special section, it’s as much of a guide as the editorial.”

Second Place

Christine Carignan, Matthew J. Mowry, and staff, Business NH

2019 Human Resources Guide

“Production value, layout, creativity and teamwork are all outstanding. The legislative roundup is a workhorse and functions really well as the lead for a special section on HR. The workplace attack piece is a fantastic and informative read. The red box quotes are a nice flourish. Those two stories alone could merit this guide a first place finish. Loses points for some stock photography, which leave an airplane magazine feel to the piece”

First Place

Christine Carignan, Matthew J. Mowry, and staff, Business NH

Health Care Guide

“Production value, layout, creativity and teamwork are all outstanding. There is a lot of informative and compelling copy in this guide. Top notch editorial work. Excellent reporting. Leaves reader looking forward to next year’s edition and wondering who might benefit from reading this special section.”

Class 1

Third Place

Lloyd Jones, Conway Daily Sun, 

Winter Sports

“The ads are fantastic. You know you’ve produced an outstanding special section when the advertisers support it with customized display ads. The one of the dentist showing a photo of him as a winter athlete when he attended a local HS hits the community spirit trifecta. Having said all that, there are no ads w/o the hard work and enterprise of the paper’s sports staff. This is bread and butter stuff but dripping with pride and care.”

Second Place

Nashua Telegraph, 

40 Under Forty

“Production value and teamwork shine in this special section, but celebration of its community rises above all else. The quotes at the bottom of the page are a wonderful flourish that briefly take the reader out of what could otherwise be a rote process. Photography is well-executed and a very nice balance to the Q&A format of the copy.”

First Place  

Manchester Union Leader, 

New Hampshire Innovators

“Gorgeous photography. State of tech report is a good way to lead into the innovators. Fascinating profiles. This is forward-looking cheerleading. Very uplifting and beautifully presented. Top notch concept and execution.”


Magazine Cover

Class 4

Third Place

Christine Carignan, Trayce Gregoire, Business NH

NH’s Top Women-Led Businesses

“It’s hard to go wrong with a thoughtfully composed portrait featuring a smiling group. The other two just had a little more creativity this year.”

Second Place 

Christine Carignan, BusinessNH 

The Business of Beards

“The absence of eyes and nose is jarring, but the illustration is distinctive and compelling.”

First Place

Christine Carignan, Business NH 

Ageism and NH’s Workforce

“Love the clocks appearing almost like an uncontrollable torrent which is so evocative of the aging workforce issues in NH. The gray background for a cover story on ageism is gravy.”

Class 1

First Place

Lee Guerringue, Conway Daily Sun, 

“North Conway Winter, 2020”

“Gorgeous photography that sets the winter mood. Another way of looking at it is that it looks so dang cold, you want to turn the page to see if there’s anything you can do inside a heated room perhaps near a wood stove.”


Front page

Class 1

Third Place

Tom Lynch, New Hampshire Union Leader, 

15-hour hotel standoff leaves 3 dead.

“A three-story package, which actually works quite well in this configuration, straddling an anchor photo, but allowing the secondary and tertiary stories to stack. Hed use here is perfect, even with secondary heds. Column widths are a little tough to take here, however, as the first column appears to be too narrow for the approach — especially with a mug shot jammed in. Art choices are fantastic. Art placement? It seems the police officer carrying bags of evidence in front of an ambulance has far more visual impact than the two people holding the gun in a loosely framed shot. The reason this is primary makes sense (the gun), but the ambulance art would have been far more visual as an anchor art.”

Second Place

Matthew Burdette, Nashua Telegraph, 

Don’t Drink the Water.

“There are many fantastic elements brought together here, and the concept — right down to the pitcher pouring water into a glass — is fantastic. However, execution tripped this up a bit. It just feels like everything is being smashed together — headlines are pushed against columns of text. Subheds, like “The Site” are not given any room to breathe. And what seems like there’s a law somewhere demanding six-column design, when a five-on-six approach (like with the bottom stripped story) would have been more effective, helped break up the page, and maybe prevented the need to float the mug shot between two columns. The pull-quote next to the water pitcher looks great, especially wrapped around the pitcher — but then we didn’t wrap the story text around the pitcher, maybe even moving it to a wider single-column. The creativity is absolutely there. All it needs is a little push toward trying something different when it comes to column design.

First Place

Henry Metz, New Hampshire Union Leader, 

Tragedy on the Highway

“A crisp, clear layout, making it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for — and popping enough that it’s calling for readers to buy it from the newsrack. Packaging three stories on the front is not easy, but it’s mostly pulled off here, although a cleaner approach could have been moving the tertiary story to the jump page. In terms of balance, the secondary heds under the primary banner hed should have been the same size (or much closer to size), but still, the effort works. I certainly get the effort to try and put the flames above the fold, but I still would have swapped the map and the secondary photo, to help create a better photo balance, and maybe swap the primary and secondary photos, to get the flames as dominant. Headlines are solid, navigating the page is seamless, and some great thought has led this page all the way to first place.”


Sports News

Class 3

Second Place

Ben Conant, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Leaving a legacy

“Fun lede and a deft encapsulation of a busy day in track and field.”

First Place

Ben Conant,  Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Game of a lifetime

“The author captures the joy of high school sports from all angles and all sources, from the coach to the players.”

Class 1

Third Place

Tom King, Nashua Telegraph

Silver Knights

“A detailed, deftly told account of the saga of the Silver Knights. The story was told through people, not process”

Second Place

Tim O’Sullivan, Concord Monitor

Concord’s Blake officially named New York Yankees pitching coach

“The classic “local boy makes good” story, deftly told and deeply sourced — even if it was about a Yankee…”

First Place

Tom King, Nashua Telegraph, 

Super Bowl

“Its not easy to write about yet another Patriots Super Bowl in a fresh, accessible way, but the author pulls it off.”


Sports Photo

Class 4

First Place

Jeffrey Hastings, 

One Last Defensive Move

“Judge did not comment.”

Class 3

Third Place

Ben Conant, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Neal Brennan Comebacker

“Photo could have been improved with a tighter crop”

Second Place

Ben Conant, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, 

Molly Dishong alpine skiing

“Photo shows a downhill competitive skier during an event, Nicely framed and timed. Nice Photo”

First Place

Ben Conant, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Haylie Drew Long Jump

“Nicely timed and tight photo of a long jumper landing in the box with sand being pushed away, good angle, good expression on competitor.”

Class 1

Third Place

Carl Russo, Eagle-Tribune

Rare air

“Unusual photo showing good timing during a basketball game with one player leaping above his competitor as he tries to block a shot. Nice moment not seen or captured often.”

Second Place

Geoff Forester, Concord Monitor 

Biker Catchup

“Blurred bikers with a solitary bikers behind that is sharp and unblurred adding to the action of the event and giving the viewer a fresh visual not normally seen.”

First Place

Geoff Forester, Concord Monitor, 

Ouch

“We were in agreement that the newspaper version of this entry The batter’s expression and the timing of the shot was the strongest in the category.”


Sports Feature

Class 4

First Place

Steve Enman, Berlin Sun

Remembering a disaster: 50 years after the Notre Dame Arena collapse

“A lengthy retrospective of a tragic event that moves along well. The personal reflections of the writer blend well with the numerous voices of those who survived. Very interesting to hear about the warning signs that in retrospect were ignored.”

Class 3

First Place

Ben Conant, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, 

Helping student-athletes ‘make the most of it’

“Well-rounded portrayal of subject as a coach and a person. Several effective voices, although a couple could have been introduced a bit earlier; relieve the one-sFioource tone of early story. Finished the story feeling I had a good sense of why this coach was so successful on and off the field. Would have liked to see his response to what his seniors had to say about their biggest lessons.”

Class 2

First Place

Mike Whaley, Foster’s, 

Recovering Friel recounts near-death experience

“For what is essentially a one-source story, this is a powerful portrayal of an incredible ordeal. Detail and description sharply provide a chilling feel for what Greg Friel endured. His disdain for U.S. treatment could have been mentioned more clearly earlier and a source cited for why that treatment is not available here. That hid the frustration aspect that Friel felt until deep into the story.”

Class 1

Third Place 

Lloyd Jones, Conway, 

Camden Bailey

“The story of Camden Bailey is an uplifting one with very good insight into his mindset regarding which surgery to use and why. His parents, particularly his father,convey the changing emotions from shock pride and encouragement over Camden’s spirit and fight. Note: Only the original article was judged since the others submitted were later updates rather than sidebars.”

Second Place

Tom King, Nashua Telegraph, 

Lyzsczyk will catch on quickly at Rivier

“A well-written, detailed story of an athlete pursuing a relatively unusual life-long dreams despite constant assertions that “you can’t do this.” Marika Lyzsczyk had an obvious love of baseball and met the challenges. The input of the Rivier coach indicates some at least are willing to judge on merit, not stereotypes.”

First Place 

Tim O’Sullivan, Concord Monitor

Basketball helps Pembroke star senior overcome anxiety

“A solid portrait of a student-athlete dealing with a challenge other than a physical injury and succeeding. Noah Cummings’ journey has been long and at times difficult and the story shows how a growing love of basketball in particular helped him cope off the court as well as on. The story would have been stronger had Cummings’ earlier coaches, especially Alosa, been able to say how they dealt with Cummings. Another interesting voice, if available, would have been Welch. Overall, an interesting tale.”


Sports Feature Photo

Class 4

First Place  

Jeffrey Hastings

Celebrating Boston Style

“Judge did not comment.”

Class 1

Third Place

Adam Urquhart, Nashua Telegraph

A Cut Above

“Sometimes it is just the quirky events that catch your eye. A higher crop here would have helped .”

Second Place

Geoff Forester, Concord Monitor

 Soccer Champs Again

“Nice photo of a girls soccer team celebrating a championship.”

First Place

Geoff Forester, Concord

Baseball bubble

“Photo showing a young pitcher throwing a pitch while blowing a bubble gum bubble. Nice job seeing this during the game and photographing it well. Could have been much stronger if photo was cropped tighter, bringing the viewer closer to the point of interest, the boy’s expression and bubble he was blowing while playing.”


Sports Columnist

Class 2

Third Place

Andrew Sylvia, Manchester Inklink

“Some thoughtful analysis here, especially on the Bruins’ non-call. Solid stuff.”

Second Place

George Liset, InDepthNH

“Pleasant conversational pieces. Enjoyed the camaraderie on the rivers.”

First Place

Mike Whaley, Foster’s Daily Democrat

“Nice historical context on McGilvray (plus seven sources) and Coakley/girls’ basketball, good topics and research, readable and interesting.”

Class 1

Third Place

Alan Greenwood, Nashua Telegraph

“Readable stuff with a point of view.”

Second Place

Hector Longo, Nashua Telegraph

“The NFL receives a well-deserved and well-written bashing, and it’s good to see an injured H.S. athlete get his proper due – good idea to include comments from opponents, too.”

First Place

Dean Shalhoup, Nashua Telegraph

“Especially enjoyed the deep dives into the first trip to Boston Garden and into the 50-year anniversary of the championship team.”


Sports Page

Class 1

Third Place

Alan Greenwood, Nashua Telegraph,  

Stanley Cup Final Game 7

“Judge did not comment.”

Second Place

Alan Greenwood, Nashua Telegraph

Pats are 9-1

“Nicely tiered layout. Sharp headlines.”

First Place

Alan Greenwood, Nashua Telegraph, 

Victorious

“Clever headline, great photos, cleanly delivered.”

 


Spot News Photo

Class 4

Third Place

Tony Schinella

Single-Vehicle Rollover Crash Reported In Concord’s West End

“Nice color from the emergency lights as they illuminate the snowy scene.”

Second Place  

Keith Gentili, New Boston Beacon

Ice Jam 2: Back to the River

“The image nicely captures the color and texture of the ice, but I would have preferred to see the ice jam in a bit more context — were structures threatened? Did it attract visitors? Also, the photo was not well-served by being published at only two columns. When you have a strong image, run it BIG!”

First Place

Jeffrey Hastings

Paramedics Revive Dogs Rescued From Fire

“Great photo. Dramatic, big in scope and context yet personal and intimate at the same time.”

Class 3

Second Place

Ben Conant, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Pinning down votes

“I like everything about this photo except the fact that Elizabeth Warren’s eyes are closed.”

First Place

Ben Conant, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Blaze of Glory

“Lovely photo — the depth of field, the heat ripples, the color of the flag, the men holding it are all perfectly captured. Bonus points for the light yet appropriate pun in the headline.”

Class 2

First Place

Harrison Thorp, The Rochester Voice

Veterans get a warm thank you for their service

“This is a warm photo that captures a powerful moment. There are technical flaws with the image, such as a slow shutter speed that blurs the subject’s movement, and compositionally I would have preferred to see the recipient’s face, but overall the scene and moment is nicely portrayed.”

Class 1

Third Place

Mathew Plamondon, Nashua Telegraph

Only a Drill

“Strong, colorful image jumps off the page.”

Second Place

Mathew Plamondon, Nashua Telegraph

River Action

“An interesting lead image that invites the viewer to explore the frame and notice details of the rescue.”

First Place

Ali Oshinskie, New Hampshire Public Radio, 

Bear Brook Victims Identified

“It’s no easy task to make a news conference photo interesting, especially one that features a prominent PowerPoint slide. However, this image manages to thread that needle, shedding light for the first time on the victims of a long-unsolved crime.”


Spot news reporting

Class 4

First Place

Barbara Tetreault, Berlin Sun, 

Driver charged with killing 7 in horrific Randolph crash

“A heartbreaking story. Great detail here and all of the right sources are there.”

Class 3

Second Place

Meghan Pierce, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Teen burned in Tesla crash dies

“Heartbreaking story. Very well done. Very good use of quotes.”

First Place

Ashley Saari, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript 

KSC student injured in Dublin crash

“What a dramatic story. Great detail. High praise for the level of thoroughness.”

Class 2

Second Place

Harrison Thorp, The Rochester Voice

Gunman shoots at officer, holes up in woods

“Solid spot news story, with good detail surrounding the drama of the moment.”

First Place

Kyle Stucker, Foster’s Daily Democrat 

‘People will die’: Body bags protest urges opening shelters

“Very complete and contextual spot news story. Even has a few unexpected quotes.”

Class 1

Third Place

Michael Cousineau, Todd Feathers and Mark Hayward, New Hampshire Union Leader

15-hour hotel standoff leaves 3 dead

“A daylong standoff is a challenge to follow. Very well done, as it walks the reader through the chaos and tension of the incident.”

Second Place 

Adam Drapcho, Michael Mortensen, Laconia Daily Sun 

Two friends killed when boats collide

“You rarely read a tragedy story this personal. The reader felt for the community there, and the magnitude of the loss. Very nicely done.”

First Place

Staff, New Hampshire Union Leader

Tragedy on the Highway

“Most impressive same-day coverage. No stone left unturned. And the significance of the tragedy is not lost. Excellent work.”


Investigative Story/Series

Class 4

Second Place

Tony Schinella, 

Concord School Officials Not Credentialed Series

“A nice job informing the public about the basic requirements that the state expects from educators, and how they were not being followed. Reading the stories, you got the sense educators figured no one would check! Forgot about the journalists.”

First Place

Granite State News Collaborative

Hub and Spoke Investigation

“Every angle was covered here, and I think looking at what Vermont did and how it might play out in NH was valuable.”

Class 2

First Place

Nancy West, InDepthNH

Should Police Investigate Their Own After Officer-Involved Shootings?

“An important question covered from several different angles and, importantly, including the voices of both a victim’s family and a police officer put in a bad situation.”

Class 1

Third Place

Caitlin Andrews, Leah Willingham, Concord Monitor 

Leung Investigation

“A nice job here going beyond the basics of the arrest to look at the system that allowed the teacher to remain in a position of authority.”

Second Place

Casey McDermott – NHPR

Lawmakers’ Personal and Public Interests Often Overlap

“I thought this story stood out because it included legislators discussing the difficulty of avoiding conflicts or the appearance of conflicts given they are essentially unpaid.”

First Place

Casey McDermott – New Hampshire Public Radio 

As Lobbying in N.H. Grows More Complex, It’s Nearly Impossible to Follow the Money

“A fine effort to track a complex subject. The fact that it was difficult to track is a key part of the story.”


Editorial Writing

Class 4

Third Place

Matthew J. Mowry, Business NH

“Nice, playful and short write ups about important issues and topics.”

Second Place

Patrick Cronin, Hampton Union

“A second try to life free and fly” is the standout. I found it incredibly disheartening to read state lawmakers’ decision to disregard – and poke fun of – young people’s policymaking endeavors. It does not cultivate civic engagement – only stifles it. Like The Exeter Newsletter’s editorials, the Hampton Union fulfills the newspaper’s duty of facilitating conversation and promoting participation in their community.”

First Place

 Patrick Cronin, Exeter News-Letter

“The Exeter Newsletter’s  editorials are well-written, well-reasoned and well thought out. The school committee piece imploring elected officials and the school district administration to break their silence with regard to a principal’s monthlong absence is what holding officials accountable is all about. What they asked of officials and administrators is not unreasonable. Moreover, I love how The Exeter Newsletter team uses the editorial page/corner as a conduit to not only hold officials accountable but also express the newspaper’s values and principles – particularly the Pride piece. Finally, the suicide-prevention piece provides a much-needed public service.”

Class 1

Third Place

Matthew Burdette – Nashua Telegraph

“An excellent variety of topics. Matthew’s piece about the overblown event is the standout and offers insight into the newspaper’s principles and values.”

Second Place

Bill Bilodeau – Keene Sentinel

“Bill’s pieces here do not stray away from taking on complex issues, and he appears to excel at distilling them in a way that the average reader can digest. Overall, his columns reveal a confident, competent writer who offers smart solutions and is not afraid to hold power accountable. His piece about the tax-fiscal narrative that New Hampshire Republicans have instilled in voters is a very compelling argument, and gave me the impression Bill posses lots of institutional memory.”

First Place

Casey Junkins – Nashua Telegraph

“Casey’s three submissions contain that Goldilocks’ middle, hitting the right mixture of narrative and facts that inform the reader how the newspaper arrived at their opinions/stances. All are persuasive and well thought out with the death penalty being the standout. The cat piece is eccentric, and what local newspaper editorials are all about.”


Podcast Limited Series

Class 1

Second Place

Taylor Quimby, New Hampshire Public Radio

Patient Zero

“Very interesting and the short format is enjoyable and workable.”

First Place

Lauren Chooljian, Jack Rodolico, New Hampshire Public Radio  News, 

Stranglehold

“Excellent podcast. Really detailed and thorough, but still really enjoyable. You just listen and enjoy.”


Podcast – Reoccurring

Class 2

First Place

Wayne D. King, InDepthNH, 

NH Secrets, Legends and Lore

“While it’s’ the only entry, it still earned its first place finish. Possibly and acquired taste, NH Secrets, Legends and Lore has a unique taste and NH flavor.”

Class 1

Second Place

Nick Capodice, Hannah McCarthy, New Hampshire Public Radio

Civics 101

“Good podcast on tough topics. It was very informative.”

First Place

Sam Evans-Brown, New Hampshire Public Radio

Outside/In

“Very good and really enjoyable. It was easy to follow and made me want to listen. That was a key.”


Best Use Social Media

Class 1

Third Place

Dan Tuohy, New Hampshire Public Radio

New Hampshire Presidential Primary

“This is a good example of how media organizations can use social in their on going reporting.”

Second Place 

Staff, New Hampshire Public Radio, 

Exploring Route 4

“This is a great example of how social media should be integrated into special projects.”

First Place

Dan Tuohy, New Hampshire Public Radio

Trump Rally

“This is simply great. The samples of work submitted superbly capture the emotion of the rally/campaign event, and are am excellent example of how social media should be used by media outlets as another tool in reporting the news to their audience. One of the most important things is producing content specifically for social, rather than just repurposing content from other mediums, and this seemingly represents that well. The interview with the woman at her first campaign event is especially great.”


Best Use of Audio – Feature

Class 1

Third Place

Jason Moon, New Hampshire Public Radio

Tired of Campaign ‘Manipulation’ N.H. Voters Get Trained in the Art of the Bird Dog

“This piece from Mr. Moon does a great job of taking the listener into the room and the thought process of a political activist in 2020. It could have benefited from either a better, more aggressive question, or at least examples of them, and/or reaction from political campaign staff or campaigners themselves on how they feel about birddogging. Without hearing the other side, the listener is left wanting more.”

Second Place

Sean Hurley,  New Hampshire Public Radio

Wind, Footsteps, White Snow: Spending The Night At Mount Washington’s Harvard Cabin

“Mr. Hurley has given us a wonderfully painted audio picture of the lives of the two care takers of this cabin on Mount Washington. The reporter’s own voice, sound bites from subjects of the piece, and well-place nat sound all come together for to take the listener on a journey with Mr. Hurley. Somewhat disappointingly, that journey is only somewhat skin deep, and misses opportunities to dive into the many “why’s” this piece could have examined. Why do the caretakers do what they do? Why would anybody want to hike Mount Washington in the winter at all? Why was that other climber killed? Why is the reporter interested in this story? Does he have a connection to mountain climbing, a kin to John Krauker? Sadly without a deeper explanation of at least one of these whys, the piece is too full of what’s, and fails to leave a more lasting impression the listener.”

First Place

Todd Bookman, New Hampshire Public Radio

Model Citizen? No. But Exeter Man Is At Center of First Amendment Dispute

“Mr. Bookman has found a wonderfully colorful character in this excellent story. He succeeded for the listener’s benefit to get the subject of the piece to really open up, walking us through a seemingly small-town feud between one man and the police that could actually have national consequences. It is a wonderfully painted audio portrait of a flawed yet self aware man trying to take on city hall. The story suffers from a jumbled and somewhat confusing beginning however, and misses a real opportunity later in the piece to discuss the national implications of such a law in the era of fake news.”


Best Use of Audio – News

Class 1

Third Place

Todd Bookman, New Hampshire Public Radio

Poor? Found Not Guilty? N.H. Sends You a Bill, Anyway

“This is a solid piece of reporting that makes excellent use of story and character to discuss an important issue that was coming up in the state legislature. It is a great example of what daily, sport reporting should be, going beyond a simple headline like, “this bill was introduced.””

Second Place 

Annie Ropeik, New Hampshire Public Radio

The Aftermath of Racist Bullying in Hampton School

“This is a great piece of reporting on the apparent discrimination of a young girl in a New Hampshire school. It thoroughly examines the issue with compelling characters The first part, however, is stronger than the second, offering better characters and more emotion.”

First Place

Lauren Chooljian, Jack Rodolico, New Hampshire Public Radio

Stranglehold: The Identity Crisis

“This ambitious project chronicling the New Hampshire primary is stunning. In the sample episode given to the judges, nearly every possible angle around the primary’s identity—to the state, its residents, and even the reporter herself—is examined. This is an important piece of local journalism, and indeed an important piece of history, and deserves to be highly commended.”


Best Use of Video –  Feature

Class 4 

Second Place

Tony Schinella

Long Lost Art Of Poetry Not Lost On Concord’s Currie: Watch

“Mr. Schinella of Patch should be commended for continued use of video in his stories. I would award him one award for each of the categories.”

Class 2

Second Place tie

Kyle Stucker, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Fueled by sobriety: Dover man running 50 marathons in 50 states

Kyle Stucker, Foster’s Daily Democrat

A family in arms

“The two entries from Seacoast online should be awarded a tied 2nd place award. They both show commendable work towards using video as a part of their reporting and the production value is good. One thing I would suggest for both stories is trying to find a more YouTube native approach. For the arm wrestling piece, a better angle might be, “How to be your dad at arm wrestling.” For the drummer/runner piece, a more detailed look at his past and inspiration would make a more compelling piece overall.”

Class 1

Second Place

Cecily Weisburgh and Samantha Hayes, Keene Sentinel

Walldogs in Keene: An unforgettable journey

“This is also a great feel-good piece, but unlike the story about the horses used in rehabilitation, lacks focus and runs too long. While interesting overall, the piece would have benefitted from focusing in on one or two murals, their specific backstories. This would also limit the number of characters, allowing us to get closer to two or three people instead of a cast of many. Overall well done though.”

First Place

Samantha Hayes, Keene Sentinel,  

Trusty steeds changing lives

“This is a great feel-good piece that has strong characters and elicits strong emotions from the viewer. The audio could be better, and some of the sound bites could be tightened, but overall well done.”


Best Use of Video – News

Class 4

Second Place

Tony Schinella 

Granite Staters Mourn Friends, Family At Homeless Persons’ Vigil

“Mr. Schinella of Patch should be commended for continued use of video in his stories. I would award him one award for each of the categories.”

Class 1

First Place

Dan Tuohy, New Hampshire Public Radio, 

Candidates Give Their Elevator Pitch

“What’s always refreshing is when media outlets—in particular local ones—try new ideas. It’s perhaps even more refreshing when the idea is well executed. This series from NHPR is just that: a good idea well executed.”


Columnist of the Year

Class 4

First Place

Keith Gentili, New Boston Beacon

“Judge did not comment.”

Class 2

Second Place

Rob Azevedo, Manchester Inklink

“Not without its flaws, but Azevedo’s writing is at its best when tackling small characters and moments that otherwise would get little ink, and sussing out what in those moments and people is more broadly relatable to readers.”

First Place

Chandra Bozelko, Foster’s Daily Democrat

“Focused, topical work on America’s prisons, rehabilitation and related issues. Manages to be insightful but not overly preachy or self-congratulatory on a serious issue affecting our entire country.”

Class 1

Third Place

Dean Shalhoup, Nashua Telegraph

“Dean Shalhoup’s column focuses on reporting fascinating stories from Nashua’s historic citizens – both notorious and celebrated — that are fun reads with good reporting with captivating story-telling. Both in prose and subject matter, Mr. Shalhoup’s column is engaging and undoubtedly widely liked by the paper’s audience. While not jaw-dropping in terms of impact on the community, they are fun columns that build community through history.”

Second Place

Mark Hayward, New Hampshire Union Leader

“With a flair for telling a good story, Mark Hayward gets beyond the typical column of covering city affairs by finding interesting stories that shed light on what are often bigger issues or simply tell a story that readers will be delighted to read. The latter is the case with his story on an Albanian immigrant who raises pigeons, while his story on day-to-day struggles with poverty in an area of Manchester called The Zone and The Zone puts a human face on what it means to live in poverty. His story of Tyanna Crawford, 11, living with a house full of guys, is another example of finding and developing a story with good research and several interviews, all to relay to readers how one family’s run-in with drug addiction, divorce and mixed families can end with hope. Entertaining writing, good subject matter.”

First Place

Ray Duckler, Concord Monitor

“Hands down, Ray Duckler of the Monitor gets our enthusiastic nod for New Hampshire’s top columnist of the year. In his column on Human trafficking he does a great job finding and interviewing two victims who have long-since turned their lives around, but recount the hopelessness of their experiences. In his column on a murder-suicide of a loving couple that turns tragic, he artfully makes it a story of the mental illness (rather than it being a case of domestic assault) that unites two families as they grieve their collective loss; and in a story on homelessness, he scores a big coup by getting an interview with Allie Eckersley, the adopted daughter of a Boston Red Sox baseball legend, to share her story and message that anyone can be homeless, and that often it’s state in a person’s life often brought on by mental health issues. Excellently written and researched, Duckler also has a knack for finding that story in the rough that sizzles.”


Photographer of the year

Third Place

Mathew Plamondon, Nashua Telegraph

“A good variety of work that reflects a command of the various assignments in daily newspaper work.”

Second Place

Jeffrey Hastings

“A good collection of work demonstrating an ability to produce strong images from a variety of assignments.”

First Place

Geoff Forester, Concord Monitor

“A wide variety of solid work with several really outstanding images. Heads and shoulders the best work among the entrants.”


Excellence in Collaboration and Partnership

Third Place

Granite State News Collaborative, 

Granite Solutions Project

“Granite State News Collaborative, The Granite Solutions Project is by its nature a collaboration of news organizations in New Hampshire on the topic of behavioral health. The series examines the overlap between the justice system and the state’s behavioral health crises. In addition, the group hosted “Solutions from the Frontlines: A community behavioral health conversation.” The event gave those they had interviewed, who may not have had the opportunity to be heard, tell their stories to state and local policy and lawmakers.”

Second Place

Nashua Telegraph, 

PFAS

“The Nashua Telegraph staff in collaboration with reporter Ken Liebeskind reported that the NH U. S. Congressional delegation is introducing further legislation to take action against PFAs after the Telegraph has covered this issue for over a year. This work has earned The Telegraph a second place in excellence in collaboration and partnership. U.S. Sen. Jean Shaheen introduced the Safe Drinking Water Assistance Act in 2017. However, the EPA has not released information related to the EPA Action Plan on this matter. The Telegraph has followed the bills, informing the public on the status of these proposed regulations. The drinking water for their readers is at stake. The collaboration with Liebeskind has provided his journalistic work on this matter as well as helping to inform local reporters. By keeping the story before its audience with help from a contributing reporter, The Telegraph could inform their readers on this critical threat that would not have been possible as frequently by their own staff.”

First Place 

New Hampshire Public Radio, 

Primary Candidate Forums

“New Hampshire Public Radio in collaboration with New Hampshire Public TV produced candidate forums that are the first place awardees of the excellence in collaboration and partnership award. Using the expertise of Laura Knoy with NHPR reporters and the video expertise of NHPTV, both news organizations together produced a set of radio and TV one-on-one interviews with the candidates. This collaboration brings together two public media in New Hampshire that avoids redundancy and covers important ground for the New Hampshire Primary news coverage.”


Community Service

Class 4

Third Place

Judi Currie, Business NH, 

Climate Change and Sustainability

Judge did not comment.

Second Place

Matthew J. Mowry, Judi Currie, Business NH, 

Nonprofit Supplement

Judge did not comment.

First Place  

Judi Currie, Ray Carbone, 

Business NH, Affordable Housing Crisis

“The lack of workforce housing is a problem throughout NewEngland, and this series of articles presents — in language all can understand — the impacts of the dearth of affordable homes in N.H. The article also focuses on solutions, such as “tiny homes,” an option that is making headway in other states.”

Class 2

Third Place  

Laura Aronson, Carol Robidoux, Manchester Ink Link, 

2019 Municipal Election Voters Guide

Judge did not comment.

Second Place  

Nancy West, Garry Rayno and Paula Tracy, InDepthNH, 

InDepthNH.org Saves Journalism in NH

“Great work in exposing, and championing, the ongoing battle for transparency — in this case related to the names of officers with dubious records (or worse). A wonderful public service, and much-needed, given the current erosion of news outlets.”

First Place 

Bob Charest, InDepthNH, 

A Life Behind the Scenes Where the True Giving Happens

Judge did not comment.

Class 1

Third Place 

Roberta Baker, Laconia Daily Sun,  

Workers with Disabilities

Judge did not comment.

Second Place 

Roberta Baker, Laconia Daily Sun, 

Combating anti-Semitism

Judge did not comment.

First Place 

Alyssa Dandrea, Concord Monitor, 

Fighting Back

“A Well-written series about domestic violence in the Granite State. The series not only explored the problem, but effectively laid out available programming to help offenders as well as victims.”


First Amendment

Third Place   

Nashua Telegraph –  Nashua’s Assessing Office

“Great reporting. I commend the Telegraph’s efforts in supporting Mrs. Ortolano’s initiative. After reviewing all the entries I chose this one as my third place pick due simply to the efforts The Telegraph made in helping Mrs. Ortolano. It was that role the paper played in affecting the outcome that stood out to me most.”

Second Place  

Laconia Daily Sun – Behind Closed Doors

“It is no coincidence that these articles written about lack of public notice are outlined with that very idea in mind. Great job investigating these issues and allowing the reader to draw their own opinions. I felt the article about the city buying two parcels of land was a particularly good example of this paper serving as a “watchdog” in their community since it shed light on what could be a future issue of not releasing minutes from non-public meetings quickly enough. This entry I chose as my second place selection because of not only the initiative this reporter and newspaper took but also the way the information was presented. There was something fishy going in both cases and this newspaper put boots on the ground to get to the bottom but in both cases there were two side of the story. Rather than choose a side and present a biased article Mr. Green took an extra step in adding “Pros and Cons” to both issues.”

First Place 

Exeter Newsletter – Judge: ACLU-NH’s suit over criminal defamation law can proceed

“This is a perfect example of how small town journalists can protect the rights of the citizens they serve. The initiative Mr. LaCasse took in notifying the ACLU about this case helped to shed light on a vague and arbitrary statute that could be used for personal vendettas and to unconstitutionally dampen freedom of speech. After reviewing all entries, I chose this as my first place selection because of the actions the journalist and the newspaper took to bring attention to this case. It was obvious that Mr. Frese would have been forced to comply if not for the help of the ACLU and I felt the ACLU’s involvement was directly related to the actions Mr. LaCasse took.


General Excellence – radio

First Place

New Hampshire Public Radio

“During the 2019 political year, New Hampshire Public Radio did an excellent job both covering the primary season in NH but also keeping the broad sweep of issues its audience cares about. From the serious nature of the November 1st Weekly Roundup to the collage of such a rich variety of audio stories, NHPR has earned this year’s General Excellence in Radio first place award.”


General Excellence – magazine

First Place

Business NH

“Is there any stone left to be unturned by Business NH??

This publication delivers a truly award-winning representation of profiles, news, features, and items of interest not only to NH business owners, but any reader. Exceptionally diverse, informative, important and engaging coverage – a critical information source for the entire state’s business community.”


General Excellence – Digital Presence

Class 2

Third Place 

InDepthNH

“The homepage is clean and easy to follow, although the summary text is surprisingly small. Special projects are highlighted in the right rail (although some of them are months old). The site makes it clear in several spots that it means to tackle serious issues in the state, such as energy, education, politics and mental health. It all plays out very well on mobile, with an easy-to-follow scroll.

Some writing is dense, relying on jargon and lengthy quotes. Others, such as coronavirus updates, are long but easy-to-read, with the help of breaker heads and charts. The article page also provides an unobstructed environment to focus on the article, with no ads on the borders.

Save for the charts offered in coronavirus updates, there is not much by way of multimedia on the site (videos, photo galleries, PDFs, etc.).

There is no opportunity for comments/engagement on the article pages, but the Facebook page yields some commenting. I would suggest more posts with tease text to get the conversation going – those tend to have more engagement in general.”

Second Place 

Manchester InkLink

“The top of the homepage offers lots of clear entry points for important coronavirus news – a headline ticker, a link to recent coronavirus stories, open restaurants and cop logs. The homepage gets a bit busy from there, however, with the “recent posts” rail appearing at first glance to be one long string of text and not a great distinction between ads and editorial offerings as you scroll down. It starts to clear up again with the labels offered from Police & Fire down. And it all displays much better on mobile.

The article page is quite busy with lots of things moving around all around the article and I found myself scrolling quite a bit before finding the actual article text – and then had to scroll back up realizing I had missed the byline (although the link back to the author’s page is a nice feature).

Stories are quite long and some of the writing, such as city hall coverage, is a bit laborious (overly complicated sentences, jargon). Breaker heads do help move the reader along, as well as inline photos. I appreciated the in-story hyperlinks when I found them, but there could be more, both to external links and related stories back to their own site.

The Infogram chart in the declining arrests story is a good feature for the reader, although I did not come across much else by way of multimedia or digital layers (including hyperlinks).

Very few comments/engagement on the article page, but an impressive Facebook follower size. I would suggest more posts with tease text to get the conversation going – those tend to have more engagement in general and as evidenced by the various posts on the Manchester Ink Link Facebook page itself that offer it.

The Opinion section leads to an impressive roster of guest columnists, but something indicating their last post would avoid clicking to find years-old posts.”

First Place  

The Rochester Voice

“The carousel is robust and clean, although the headlines below it under the category labels could use some spacing out, as it all looks a bit jumbled, especially in relation with the advertisements. That being said, the headlines themselves are eye-catching, compelling the reader to click on them, and suggest a good mix of hard news, issue stories and community must-knows.

The section landing pages could use some bolded headlines or something to differentiate it from the summaries, which are otherwise the same size, font, etc. The premium content slide-out is effective but not obnoxious and easy to close on desktop. On mobile, it’s aggressive and not easy to figure out how to bypass it. Unfortunately, it’s either broken or the contest login timed out, as I tried logging in three times and it kept refreshing the page with no opportunity to log in. Then it appeared I was logged in but it still wanted me to subscribe. Same behavior on mobile.

A review of the date stamps suggests frequent updating of news sections.

The article page is relatively clean, although the same video ad appearing three times within a short article was distracting. Coronavirus stories include a graphic/photo, although the site offers very little multimedia (video, photo galleries, graphics) otherwise to enhance coverage. Article length is appropriate, especially for mobile consumption. The writing style is easy-to-read but still authoritative.

It’s worth noting that something is making one of the ad positions on the article pages fall over the story with no way to remove it.

There does not appear to be an opportunity to comment or engage on the stories on the site and a quick review of the Facebook page shows little engagement there (maybe because the posts are only links, no tease text to get people talking).

With limited resources, the Rochester Voice offers a good mix of hyper-local news, keeping its community informed at a time when it needs it most.”

Class 1

Third Place 

Nashua Telegraph

“The homepage has a clean, easy-to-follow layout, with a focus on COVID-19 coverage front and center. A poll encourages reader engagement, although aside from Facebook, that appears to be the only opportunity on the site to do so (aside from the “print” option of submitting a letter, and there appears to be plenty of those!). The Facebook page has a good following and posts do appear to solicit engagement (including one with 205 comments and 145 shares!).

Section landing pages are also easy to navigate, although they appear to stop loading after five pages, offering only about a week’s worth of news.

There is an attempt to offers some multimedia, however the COVID-19 “map” is the photo other sites have run, and it opens in a tab that overrides the site (not a great user experience). A link to a lawsuit isn’t actually hyperlinked. Rather than photo galleries, multiple photos are posted throughout an article, helping to keep the reader scrolling down. I did not find videos and the YouTube accounts appears to be inactive.

Mobile presentation could benefit from breaker heads, links to related content to break up the long scroll on article pages. Mobile otherwise translates well and is easy to read.

Article pages offer an interesting feature, italicizing all direct quotes. This helps toward “trusting news” efforts. The writing and content choices lean toward procedural but sufficiently communicate the very local news of the day. The site accomplishes the publisher’s goal of providing “a quality, hyper-local website filled with news that you can’t get anywhere else.””

Second Place 

New Hampshire Union Leader

“Needless to say, coronavirus news is front and center and well labeled. A sponsor is prominently labeled as allowing for free access (although I was later prompted to login, despite having logged in at the start and the suggestion of unmetered access due to the sponsor).

The share buttons on the homepage take up a lot of real estate and are a bit distracting (at a point I’m not sure if I’d be ready to share on social, anyway, since I haven’t read the story).

The time stamp is prominent, allowing me to navigate around the site, looking for the most recent news. Sections are also listed chronologically.

Reader engagement is also prominent throughout the site, with a question asking readers what they want to know on the homepage and a button to request news also on the homepage and on the article pages. Comments are not a feature on the article page, although the paper has a robust Facebook presence, with frequent posts and lots of conversation.

The homepage starts to get a bit clunky toward the bottom as you get into the “latest news timeline” section. That is a nice feature on the side of the article pages, but it’s confusing on the homepage with all that is around it. Good mobile experience overall.

Regarding multimedia: There does not appear to be a spot collecting the paper’s videos, if there are any, and a check of the YouTube account suggests the last one was from 5 months ago. The photo gallery section appears to load one gallery per week, a collection of single images from throughout the week. However, section fronts indicate the number of photos including with the article in the summary and the article page feature strong staff photos throughout the story as a vehicle to keep people scrolling (as well as frequent break heads in most articles).

The article page offers easy navigation to the next article, with a preview of what’s to come seen as you hover over the left or right arrows. The left arrow kept getting into my way as I read the article, however. Many staff-written articles featured a bolding of names throughout, making it easy for the reader to see who was quoted or mentioned. I was surprised to not see any hyperlinks or other linking to related content produced by the paper or elsewhere.

The reporter’s photo and links to other content is a good feature in the spirit of transparency and trusting news.

Good mix of well-written stories, related to coronavirus’ local impact and other news. The navigation bar reveals a ton of sub-sections, and I was happy to see “Solutions Journalism” listed among them (with recent content!).”

First Place 

New Hampshire Public Radio

“The homepage is clean and offers a simple chronological scroll of top stories, updated frequently throughout the day, with no other hierarchy. The reader must scroll and follow the next-page prompts or find the category they are interested in in the navigation. There are pros and cons to such a design, but I’m sure readers who follow the page have sorted out how to find what they are looking for and know where they left off the last time they looked. The mobile experience is good, with summaries indicating whether audio is included with the article.

Several section landing pages offer a summary at the top walking the reader through various ways they can keep informed, e.g. signing up for a newsletter, following a blog, listening to related podcasts and submitting reader questions.

This being the website of New Hampshire Public Radio, it goes without saying there’s a robust offering of podcast shows, with both national and local programming. The choices are well displayed on the Programs & Podcasts landing page.

Article pages include transcripts of audio clips that ran on NHPR News radio. There are links to other related content the reader may be interested in and that keeps them engaged with the site, as well as hyperlinks throughout the stories to add depth and perspective to the story. Hearken and Google Forms also keep readers engaged by asking them to let NHPR know what else they want to know.

Interactive graphics with instructions on how to use them help readers sort through coronavirus stats. The NH Primary landing page is also very user friendly, allowing the reader to simply click on a candidate’s headshot to find more information and all of the site’s coverage on them. Cleverly, Joe Biden is now shaded blue and Donald Trump is red.

Other multimedia include slideshows, indicated as a watermark on summary images, occasional videos, pdfs and maps.

The few ads on the site are unintrusive but colorful and eye-catching nonetheless.

The writing is clear and often, particularly when it was used on the radio, concise.

Overall, it’s clear the reader comes first for this site, with content and presentation always serving them, what they need to know and how best to tell them.”


General Excellence Non-Daily

Third Place Tie

The Exeter Newsletter and The Hampton Union

“This publication and its counterpart Exeter News-Letter are tied for 3rd place. Both pubs are packed with informative news, entertaining features, well designed pages and ads, all contained in a balanced and well-conceived layout. Both utilize excellent photography and graphic elements.”

Second Place 

New Hampshire Business Review

“This publication serves two audiences well. It has valuable content for business owners and those who serve them, as well as highly informative and engaging material for the general reader who may be seeking more information about businesses serving them or their community.”

First Place

 Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

“A clean read, engaging content, good flow, great mix of editorial content, catchy headlines, images and graphic elements.”


General Excellence Daily Newspaper

Third Place 

Conway Daily Sun

The judge did not comment

Second Place 

New Hampshire Union Leader

“A front page with photos that pop — and local photos to boot — makes this paper a very easy and pleasant read.

Stories have solid ledes, and are decent lengths — not too long, not too short. However, headlines sometimes get a little small, competing with summary boxes that should be secondary, not competing for primary placement.

There is a huge push to keep the front of the paper as local as possible, and it shows. Where many dailies might shove local stories into a B-section, the Union Leader pushes the national news there. And that’s the way to a reader’s heart — especially when a lot of that national and world news can be found online.

But it’s when you get to the B-Section and later sections that you see the disconnect. The layout here, with the left-rail briefs, works very well — but it’s absent from A1. The Business page also suffers, primarily because it feels like there isn’t much to offer.

The Flavors page has great photos and content, but strange layouts past the section cover. It’s like there is a rule to have side-by-side stories, which is not the most modular approach.

While sports also has some layout issues, it’s nice to see a good mix of both local and national — giving readers all the news they want, while ensuring they are still getting everything they need from their neighborhood, right in these very pages.”

First Place 

Concord Monitor

“Won’t lie, the Concord Monitor captured us with its well-crafted flag. Not sure if this is a modernized version of an older flag, or if this is just how it’s always looked — it appears fresh and inviting. And made us want to look more.

Front page design — and overall design — is simple, but easy to navigate, which is so important. A lot of thought goes into how everything packages together, and it really shows here.

Stories are compelling, with strong ledes. But the mapping of the paper suffers from lack of local stories after A1, slamming readers with a bunch of wire stories until we get to the B-Section.

Yet, from there, the paper really picks up steam again, with crisp and interesting anchor art, catchy headlines, and a chance to see your neighbor.

From a design standpoint, the paper chooses to use keyword jumps, which are fine — but if the keyword on the actual jump page is going to be as small as it is, there needs to be a headline over it. Otherwise navigation does become difficult.

Sports sections are absolutely beautiful, although non-square logos and such should not be treated like they are indeed square (meaning, text should wrap around the image, not the imaginary box the image is in).

Font usage, headline-writing, and photos pop, especially in sports, which really carries the paper — and would be better if there was more local coverage inside.

But when it’s all said and done, it’s The Forum that really captures us. This is a solid section, complete with political haikus, in a beautifully designed section that makes you want to reach each and every word.

The cover price seems a bit steep for a daily, but what you get inside seems more than worth it. This is something that would take a good hour or so, at least, to read through each day. And it’s an hour well-spent.”


Dennis Joos Memorial Award

Kyle Stucker, Foster’s Daily Democrat’

Homelessness in Dover, Rochester and Somersworth.

“The Dennis Joos Memorial Award goes to Kyle Stucker for his reporting on homelessness for Fosters. Fosters Managing Editor Glenn Sabalewski credits reporter Stucker as the reason there is a Tri-City Mayors’ Task Force on Homelessness in Dover, Rochester and Somersworth. “Somersworth Mayor Dana Hilliard has gone so far as to say Kyle’s reporting has kept people warm and kept them alive,” Sabalewski said in his letter of nomination. The five stories submitted were well written with strong leads, photos and lots of links for context. Stucker provides a number of perspectives including teens, a couple whose relationship is based on giving to others, and a free car given to a homeless man.”


Lifetime Achievement
(These descriptions are compiled excerpts from supporting documents submitted with the entries)

Kevin Landrigan

Kevin LandriganKevin has been an influential New Hampshire journalist for more than three decades. 

He is esteemed by his colleagues, respected by politicians and policy makers of all stripes from Concord to the nation’s capital because of his relentless dedication to quality professional journalism.

A graduate of Keene State College, Kevin worked for the Nashua Telegraph for 26 years, starting out as a sports reporter and later moving up to senior political reporter and State House bureau chief. 

After a short stint in broadcast news for NH1, where he covered a little bit of everything, he returned to his passion for newspaper journalism at the New Hampshire Union Leader in 2016, where his coverage of politics, social issues and notable Granite Staters has been beyond comparison.

Kevin, has covered the New Hampshire presidential primary since 1980 and is considered a must-follow for the nation’s elite political journalists. For more than a quarter century politicians have come and gone in Concord, but one thing has remained constant: Kevin roaming the halls of the Statehouse and darting from hearing room to hearing room in the Legislative Office Building.

He’s also a truly genuine, compassionate gentleman who is quick to share his deep institutional knowledge with his peers. He also appears to have the cell phone number of everyone of any importance in the state.

Garry Rayno

It’s hard to imagine the State House press room without the reporting Garry Rayno has done on government, business and politics in New Hampshire during his 37 years – and counting – as a journalist.

Garry was hooked on news the day he left teaching english and history for his first full-time news job in 1983 at the Argus Champion’s New London office. 

He became assistant editor before leaving to become editor of the Hillsboro Messenger. Then was hired as Rochester Bureau Chief for Foster’s Daily Democrat. He became State House Bureau Chief a year later and then moved on to the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Garry now directs the State House coverage for InDepthNH.org, reports many of its stories and writes its weekly column Distant Dome.

His reporting has spanned the news spectrum, from local planning, school and select boards, to national issues such as electric industry deregulation and presidential primaries. 

Garry has reported on every important issue from education to energy to New Hampshire’s seemingly intractable pockets of poverty.

He brought to life the adjudicative hearings on the Northern Pass transmission project so when regulators denied the developer’s application to build the biggest energy project since the Seabrook nuclear power plant, citizens had the facts to understand why. Yes of course, Garry covered the Seabrook power plant controversies decades ago, too. 

But Garry is best known for his institutional understanding of the state, his never-ending curiosity and his ethical, unbiased reporting.

David Tirrell-Wysocki

David has been a staple of New Hampshire journalism for more than 40 years. After graduating from college in Boston, David arrived in NH in 1974, as a reporter for WKNE in Keene, then WKXL in Concord, before moving to the Associated Press in 1977, where he was known for his tenacious reporting, impeccable accuracy and gracious compassion.

Former AP colleague Joe Magruder recalls Joe was as savvy as he was friendly and outgoing. Never afraid to ask tough questions, Joe often looked for an edge to get a better story, as when he tried to walk into the State Prison during a fire and riot by blending in with a group of officials including the governor and attorney general. “That one didn’t work,” says Magruder.

Dave covered stories big and small, always treating his sources with respect. He was present for the 1986 Challenger explosion, reporting just feet away from Christa McAuliffe’s family. In the 1990s he broke the story that the deaths of a former state trooper’s wife and adopted son were like homicides and not the result of a freakish auto accident. And he was a crucial component of the Associated Press’ presidential primary coverage for three decades.

Dave was an integral part of the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications since its inception, first serving as curriculum coordinator and then stepping up as Executive Director in 2007 where he greatly expanded the school’s classes and workshops and building collaborations with other organizations before retiring last year.

Said Joseph McQuaid, former publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader “David has done so much for the school. He’s pumped life and energy and heart into it.”

But Dave is not done, he continues to write and report, at a more manageable pace, for clients including Concord Hospital, New Hampshire Charitable Fund, Fiddlehead Magazine and Five Rivers Conservation Trust.


Journalist of the Year

Third Place

Hadley Barndollar, Portsmouth Herald

“A reporter who starts with the people, including kids traumatized by their parents’ addictions. Barndollar uses specific cases—a lost green card, in one story—as a springboards for some solid, data-filled reporting that puts the New Hampshire case in a national context.”

Second Place 

Carol Robidoux, Manchester Inklink

“Nice writing, great ledes and Robidoux even does some of her own photography. She dives into the city’s homelessness challenge, talking to the homeless, reporting residents’ concerns, and giving plenty of space to the folks who are doing the good work of addressing the situation. She did a great job unpacking what must have been a dynamite meeting—with the mayor vetoing a unanimous vote of the board. This being an online publication, Carol can and does include lots of supporting material—letters from the ACLU, etc.”

First Place 

Bob Sanders, New Hampshire Business Review

“What an impressive batch of stories. All extensively researched and with a wide range of sources—important sources— included. Supporting statistics are seamlessly woven into these highly readable stories. Sanders made wonkish topics, such as ESOPs and the Opportunity Zone tax break, relevant and interesting to this non-business person.”

 

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