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2020 NHPA Excellence in Journalism Contest Professional Finalists

Judges could but were not compelled to choose first, second and third place winners. In categories where there are fewer than three finalists, the judge could have awarded any combination of places – for example, first and second but no third, or second and third but no first, or just second place. 

In addition, judges could decide none of the entries in a category were deserving of recognition.

Winners of lifetime achievement awards and rookie of the year will be announced in July.

We are hoping for an in-person awards banquet in September to announce the final placings of the finalists.

In alphabetical order by news organization, except for individual awards, the finalists are:

Excellence in Collaboration and Partnership

Class 1 

Concord Monitor  – Partnership with Report for America and community supporters

Granite State News Collaborative Partners – Covid Coverage

New Hampshire Public Radio – NHPR: ¿Qué Hay de Nuevo, New Hampshire?

First Amendment Award

Class 1 

Concord Monitor – Staff  – Pushing for public access to Perkins Report

Laconia Daily Sun  – Rick Green  – Secret land deals

New Hampshire Union Leader  – Mark Hayward and staff – Police discipline hearings closed to public

Class 2

Charles G. Douglas  – Bow Times  – Bow No Vote of Confidence

Journalist of the year 

Roberta Baker  – Laconia Daily Sun 

Carol Robidoux  – Manchester Ink Link  

Tony Schinella 

Dennis Joos Memorial Award

No winner.

Community Service Award

Class 1 

Keene Sentinel – Jack Rooney, Meg McIntyre –  Pandemic Parenting

Laconia Daily Sun – Roberta Baker  – – ‘Perfect Poison’, lingers in NH homes

New Hampshire Union Leader – Shawne K Wickham – What I miss

Class 2

BusinessNH – The Business NH Magazine Small Business Survival Guide   –

General Excellence, daily newspaper 

Concord Monitor

Nashua Telegraph

New Hampshire Union Leader

General Excellence, non-daily newspaper

Berlin Sun

New Boston Beacon

New Hampshire Business Review

General Excellence, magazine


General Excellence, radio

New Hampshire Public Radio 

General Excellence, digital presence 

Manchester InkLink 

New Hampshire Public Radio

New Hampshire Union Leader 

Photographer of the year

Geoff Forester  – Concord Monitor  

Jeffrey Hastings 

Editorial writing 

Class 1 

Bill Bilodeau – Keene Sentinel 

Matthew Burdette  – Nashua Telegraph 

Roger Carroll – Laconia Daily Sun

Class 2

Charles G. Douglas, III   – Bow Times  

Matthew J. Mowry  – BusinessNH 

General news story

Class 1 

Concord Monitor – Eileen O’Grady – Discipline and Diversity

New Hampshire Union Leader – Mark Hayward  – City ordered to rehire ‘racist’ cop; status unclear

New Hampshire Union Leader – Mark Hayward  – Suit over transracial adoption headed to NH high court

Class 2

Granite State News Collaborative – Hilary Niles and John Bassett     – Remote Learning Progress Report

New Hampshire Business Review – Now is the time: Black Granite Staters call for a more inclusive New Hampshire

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript  – Abbe Hamilton  – Walden Eco Village Evictions

Spot news story

Class 1 

Manchester InkLink  – Pat Grossmith, Stacy Harrison  – Man with Trump flag on truck drives by protesters outside police station, pulls gun, gets arrested

Manchester InkLink  –  Kathy Staub  – Activists surround homeless camp: ‘We are the perimeter for our unhoused neighbors’

Tony Schinella – Shooting At Concord’s Second Start School Was A Student Suicide

Class 2

Exeter Newsletter  – Alexander Lacasse – Exeter woman votes topless after anti-Trump shirt disallowed

Investigative story/series

Class 1 

New Hampshire Public Radio  – Todd Bookman  – N.H. Towns Pay Millions To Settle Claims Against Police; Details Often Hidden From Public

New Hampshire Union Leader  – Kevin Landrigan –  ‘Affiliated’ PACs moved $100k to 10 NH candidates

Tony Schinella  – Concord School District Releases Leung Sexual Misconduct Report –

Class 2

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript – Abbe Hamilton – Hancock: Town had cause to fire police chief

Granite State News Collaborative  – Ryan Lessard  – NH Police Departments Use Psych Screening Inconsistently.

New Hampshire Business Review  – Bob Sanders  – Where did the $40m in Covid contracts go?

Crime-Court Reporting

Class 1 

Foster’s Daily Democrat – Jeffrey McMenemy  – Dover police officer investigation

New Hampshire Public Radio  –  Jason Moon  – Inside New Hampshire’s Secret List of Troubled Cops

Tony Schinella – Merrimack County Attorney Dropped Ball On Our Cases: Rape Victims

Class 2

Berlin Sun  – Barbara Tetreault – Fallen 7 case coverage

Health Reporting

Class 1 

Concord Monitor – Teddy Rosenbluth – Coronavirus

Foster’s Daily Democrat  – Kyle Stucker -COVID-19 reporting

New Hampshire Union Leader – Shawne K. Wickham  – Alone in this together

Class 2

BusinessNH – Sheryl Rich-Kern – Health Insurance Profits Surge with COVID-19

Granite State News Collaborative – Kelly Burch  – As The Dust Settles, Looking At Telehealth Post-Pandemic

New Hampshire Business Review   – Bob Sanders  -New Hampshire’s Canadian conundrum

Feature story

Class 1 

Keene Sentinel – Paul Cuno-Booth – Joanne Mellady

Laconia Daily Sun – Roberta Baker -The magic of Happy Sounds

New Hampshire Union Leader – Julia Ann Weekes – New Hampshire’s own uncomfortable truth

Class 2

BusinessNH  – Kathie Ragsdale  – People of the book: The literary treasures found, and searched for, in NH’s used bookstores

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript  – Abbe Hamilton  – Rindge farm supplies the nation with rare dahlias

New Hampshire Business Review – John Angelo  – People of the book: The literary treasures found, and searched for, in NH’s used bookstores

Business-economic Reporting 

Class 1 

Manchester InkLink   – Ryan Lessard  – Brew News Spotlight: NH’s Craft Beer Community Fights Through COVID-19 Disruption

New Hampshire Union Leader  – Michael Cousineau  – Working from home? No break on Mass. taxes

New Hampshire Union Leader  – Jonathan Phelps  – The taps are still flowing

Class 2

Granite State News Collaborative  – Kelly Burch  – 50 Businesses, 50 Solutions

Granite State News Collaborative  – Sheryl Rich-Kern  -Pandemic may have a crushing impact on women’s long-term careers

New Hampshire Business Review  – Bob Sanders – Covid business and economy coverage

Entertainment Reporting

Class 1 

Manchester InkLink  – Constance Cherise  – Not the words of one who kneels, the unyielding Hazel Scott

New Hampshire Union Leader  – Julia Ann Weekes  – A music landmark turns 50

New Hampshire Union Leader  – Julia Ann Weekes  – Getting their kicks

Class 2

New Boston Beacon – Mark Vogler  – Movies: Milford Drive-In Reopens

Columnist of the Year

Class 1 

Jonna Carter  – Conway Daily Sun 

Mike Cote  – New Hampshire Union Leader

Nate Graziano  -Manchester InkLink  

Class 2

Chase Binder  -Bow Times 

Keith Gentili   – New Boston Beacon  

Dr. Richard E. Johnson – Bow Times

Sports news 

Class 1 

Conway Daily Sun – Lloyd Jones – NHIAA cancels the rest of winter sports season

Foster’s Daily Democrat  –  Mike Whaley – Spaulding’s first hoop championship is truly one of a kind

Conway Daily Sun – Lloyd Jones  – Eagles cap off undefeated championship season

Class 2

New Boston Beacon  – Erik Fey  – Saddleback Maine, New England’s Ultimate Test

Sports feature

Class 1 

Conway Daily Sun  – Steve Angers – Bill Thompson retires

Nashua Telegraph  – Tom King -Staying Sharp

Nashua Telegraph  – Tom King  – Lasting Legacy

Class 2

Berlin Sun – Paul Robitaille – Manikian becomes first woman to win Can-Am race

New Boston Beacon  – Scott Gaillard  – The Emotional Roller Coaster of Deer Season

New Boston Beacon  – Keith Gentili  – Hiking Crotched Mountain

Sports columnist of the year

Class 1 

InDepthNH  – George Liset

Nashua Telegraph – Dean Shalhoup

Sports feature photo

Class 1 

Concord Monitor   – Geoff Forester  – Dejected

Sports photo

Class 1 

Concord Monitor – Geoff Forester  – Goal Stop

Jeffrey Hastings  – Strong men pull for the win –

Jeffrey Hastings – I know I can –

Sports page –  none submitted

General News photo

Class 1 

Foster’s Daily Democrat  – Deb Cram – COVID patient leaves hospital

New Hampshire Union Leader – David Lane   – Celebrating 99 years

New Hampshire Union Leader – David Lane – Remote learning brings joy, struggles for kids, teachers

Class 2

Bow Times – Eric Anderson  – Snow Day

Bow Times – Eric Anderson  – Bow Times – Food Drive

New Boston Beacon   –  Jen O’Brien  – Protecting Pollinators

Spot news photo

Class 1 

Conway Daily Sun  – Jamie Gemmiti – West Side garage a total loss

Jeffrey Hastings   –  – Woman rescued from the Merrimack River

Jeffrey Hastings  – – Firefighters battle intense vehicle fire

Class 2

 Bow Times  – Eric Anderson   – Snow Day

Feature photo

Class 1 

Concord Monitor  – Geoff Forester  – New resident

Concord Monitor  – Geoff Forester – Great Grandma is Home

Portsmouth Herald – Deb Cram – Thanking vet for his service

Class 2

BusinessNH  – Christine Carignan -Business of the Decade: Palmer Gas & Oil

BusinessNH  – Christine Carignan – The Sassy Biscuit

Granite State News Collaborative  – Jessica Arnold   – Homeless Man

Picture essay

Class 1 

Concord Monitor  – Geoff Forester   – Black Lives Matter Protest

Conway Daily Sun  –  Jamie Gemmiti, Bart Bachman, Paul Klenk  – Messages

Manchester InkLink – Stacy Harrison  – ‘Night to Shine’ prom a magical experience for all

Class 2

New Boston Beacon  – Katie Hawkes  – Halloween: The Drive By Trick or Treat

New Boston Beacon  – Jen Webber   – Peace and Justice Vigil


Class 1 

Manchester InkLink   – Peter Noonan   – Drawn & Quartered, political cartoons of Peter Noonan

New Hampshire Public Radio  – Sara Plourde -Where They Stand

Class 2

BusinessNH   – Rob Donnelly, Christine Carignan   – Loneliness in the Workplace

Front page 

Class 1 

Nashua Telegraph  – Matthew Burdette  – ‘BERN’ING HOT

Nashua Telegraph – Matthew Burdette  – Nashua Telegraph – We Are There With You.

New Hampshire Union Leader  – Tom Lynch  – Coronavirus impact widens

Class 2

Bow Times – Nadeane Mannion 

New Boston Beacon – Chris Speakman 

Magazine Cover

Class 1

Conway Daily Sun  – Lee Guerringue  – NoCo Winter

Conway Daily Sun  – Lee Guerringue – NoCo Summer

Conway Daily Sun  – Lee Guerringue – NoCo Fall

Class 2

BusinessNH  – Christine Carignan, Rob Donnelly  – Business NH Magazine – April 2020

BusinessNH  – Christine Carignan – Business NH Magazine – May 2020

BusinessNH  – Christine Carignan  – Business NH Magazine – December 2020

Feature page

Class 1 

Laconia Daily Sun  –  Janis Carroll, Adam Drapcho  – King of Halloween

New Hampshire Union Leader  – Tom Lynch  – The allure of our lakes

New Hampshire Union Leader  – Staff – NH Innovators

Class 2

 BusinessNH  – Christine Carignan  – Hotels Find NH Hospitable

 BusinessNH  – Christine Carignan  – The CBD Boom

 BusinessNH  – Christine Carignan  – Will NH’s Stages Go Dark?

Special Section

Class 1 

Conway Daily Sun – Kennett Graduation 2020

Conway Daily Sun  – To Your Health

Class 2

BusinessNH   – Small Business Finance Guide 

BusinessNH  – Cap & Gown: A Special Report on Higher Education 

New Boston Beacon  – The New Boston Beacon is Thankful 

Best Use of Audio – News

New Hampshire Public Radio   – Todd Bookman – When Ice Castles Attraction Melts, Where Does Water Go? Neighbor Alleges Straight Into Her Basemen 

New Hampshire Public Radio   – Todd Bookman and Sarah Gibson – Black Lives Matter Holds ‘Day of Action’ at N.H. State House 

New Hampshire Public Radio   – Casey McDermott  – How One Campaign Is Organizing An Often-Overlooked N.H. Voting Bloc: Immigrants and Refugees  

Best Use of Audio  – Feature

New Hampshire Public Radio  – Lauren Chooljian  – Pandemic Diaries: One Couple’s Story of Isolation and Love in a Nursing Home

New Hampshire Public Radio  – Sean Hurley – It Was Almost A Year Without A Santa Claus

New Hampshire Public Radio  – Sean Hurley  – Is A Beautiful N.H. Hike Still A ‘Beautiful Hike’ Right Now?

Best Use of Audio  – Sports – No entries

Best Use of Video – News – No Winners

Best Use of Video – Feature

 New Hampshire Public Radio  – The Civics 101 Team – Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire Graveyards

Best Use of Video – Sports – No Entries

Podcast – Limited series

New Hampshire Public Radio  – Jason Moon, Lauren Chooljian  – Document: The List

New Hampshire Public Radio  – Jack Rodolico, Lauren Chooljian, Staff  – Stranglehold

Podcast – Reoccurring

InDepthNH  – Roger Wood – Roger Wood podcast

New Hampshire Public Radio  – Sam Evans-Brown, Taylor Quimby, Justine Paradis  – Outside/In

New Hampshire Public Radio  – Hannah McCarthy, Nick Capodice, Jacqueline Helbert  – Civics 101

Best Use of Social Media

Manchester InkLink – Keith Spiro – Communicast Bridges the Gaps between Print and Public Interest 

New Hampshire Public Radio  – Vote 2020 

WMUR-TV  – KC Downey, Kirk Enstrom, James Lalli  – Utilizing Social Media To Connect With Audiences During COVID-19

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