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Complete List of 2020 NHPA Excellence in Journalism Contest Winners with Judges’ Comments


Note: Not all judges wrote comments.


Feature Story 

In the College Division

Third Place
Katie Hoppler –  The New Hampshire
Professor raps about fluid mechanics

Judge’s Comments: Nice job bringing the story of the UNH physics professor/rapper to light. All the facts are in the story, which is a good thing. My main criticism is you probably should have had a little more fun with the story. A more light-hearted approach would have been a better read.

Second Place
Jasmine Taudvin, Jared Burnett, Main Street Magazine 
The Neon Wheel Surfer

Judge’s Comments: Enjoyed this short feature on the enigmatic Neon Bike Guy Lance Powers. The writing was engaging. A couple of criticisms, however. The profile could have benefited from other voices besides Powers. What do UNH authorities think about they guy doing risky bike moves all over campus? Should have gotten students to comment more, too. Also, you left readers wondering about his wild political posts. I was left wondering what those posts said. The writing is good, but dig in a little more next time.

First Place
Fiona MacDonald, Main Street Magazine 
I Love Woody Harrelson

Judge’s Comments: This piece was incredibly fun and imaginative even for readers who don’t happen to be obsessed with Woody Harrelson. The piece was well-researched and written in a breezy style. I can see Fiona MacDonald’s potential as a popular entertainment writer for a magazine or website. Absolutely loved the quiz component. This feature had it all. Congratulations on your creativity and listening to your own likes and expertise.

In the non-Daily Division

Third Place
Kathie Ragsdale, BusinessNH 
Will NH’s Stages Go Dark?

No judge’s comments.

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

No judge’s comments.

First Place
Abbe Hamilton,  Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, 
Rindge farm supplies the nation with rare dahlias

No judge’s comments.

In the Daily Division

Third Place
Roberta Baker, Laconia Daily Sun 
The magic of Happy Sounds

Judge’s Comments: Good, solid look at pandemic precautions’ impact on young children

Second Place
Paul Cuno-Booth,  Keene Sentinel 
Joanne Mellady

Judge’s Comments: Compelling story of small town coming to grips with COVID-19 through early case. The lede is terrific and the story does a great job of combining the personal tragedy with the town’s attempts to get a handle on what’s going on.

First Place
Julia Ann Weekes, New Hampshire Union Leader
New Hampshire’s Own Uncomfortable Truth

Judge’s Comments: A very compelling look at NH’s slave trade through the eyes of a walking tour. It was impossible to stop reading and packed a lot of information into a relatively pointed, first-person account.


Feature Photo  

In the College Division

Third Place
Soren Frantz, The Equinox 
“Babylon: Journeys of Refugees.”

Judge’s Comments: Good photo of the presentation “Babylon: Journeys of Refugees”. Would have liked to see more of the faces of the people operating the figures on stage, but the photo is a sound illustration of the event.

Second Place
Soren Frantz, The Equinox 
Brangelina

Judge’s Comments: The “Brangelina” stage presentation had an eerie quality to it with the actors wearing masks and that weirdness was well captured in the photo. Good job.

First Place
Lauren Hellman, Main Street Magazine
Fancy Clown

Judge’s Comments: Nice collection of images showing a student in clown makeup. Don’t love the collage presentation, especially photos turned on end, but the photos are good.

In the non-Daily Division

Third Place
Christine Carignan, Business NH 
The Sassy Biscuit

Judge’s Comments: This is a fine business portrait that is well composed and features a nice sense of place (to say nothing of an inviting plate of biscuits). I would have preferred to see a photo of the subject in action, actually working in her business rather than sitting for a portrait, however.

Second Place
Christine Carignan, Business NH
Business of the Decade: Palmer Gas & Oil

Judge’s Comments: As far as staged portraits go, this is a nice image. The reflective tanker truck in the background adds an interesting visual element to the frame, and the shot is well lit. The image likely could have been made more compelling if the subject was pictured in action rather than posing.

First Place
Jessica Arnold, Granite State News Collaborative
Homeless Man

Judge’s Comments: This is a powerful image, especially the subject’s haunted (and haunting) eyes.

In the Daily Division

Third Place
Deb Cram, Portsmouth Herald
Thanking vet for his service

Judge’s Comments: The photographer has perfectly frozen a fluid moment, and done so with technical skill. The light and shadow in the frame are well balanced, and neither area loses detail. There is also genuine emotion and a sense of place in this photo, helping fully convey the situation and the scene.

Second Place
Geoff Forester, Concord Monitor
Great Grandma is Home

Judge’s Comments: This photo tells a story, and tells it well. The emotion captured on the faces of the grandmother and granddaughter, along with enough of the sign on the wall visible above them, illustrate the situation and illuminate the relief and joy the family members are feeling.

First Place
Geoff Forester, Concord Monitor
New resident

Judge’s Comments: A dynamic, visually striking image stands out in this category. The way the beaver slices through the reflective greenery reflected in the rippled surface of the water makes for an appealing scene that truly captures the viewer’s eye.


Feature Page

In the College Division

Third Place
Tom Benoit, The Equinox
Arts and Entertainment

Judge’s Comments: Illustrations bring readers to the point quickly in this presentation about Covid cases on the Keene campus. Sometimes simple is best and works well here. Not an incredible visual, but does succeed in telling the story and contributing to the overall package.

Second Place
Kiana Joler, The Equinox 
Student Life

Judge’s Comments: The presentation here is strong and makes the subject matter very clear to readers. A simple, direct illustration telegraphs the content to readers. Nice job.

First Place
Sadie Burgess, Christian McDonald, Alyssa Doust, Main Street Magazine 
Coffee For Freedom

Judge’s Comments: Compelling storytelling that could have been improved visually with photos of those interviewed. Readers are moved by people and photos of people. Understandable if some of those interviewed could not be safely photographed, but those who could be pictured would have added more power to the presentation.

In the non-Daily Division

Third Place
Christine Carignan, Business NH 
Will NH’s Stages Go Dark?

Judge’s Comments: I appreciate the clean lines and simple look of this cover. It’s effective and inviting.

Second Place
Christine Carignan, Business NH 
The CBD Boom

Judge’s Comments: Creative and thoughtful design. A close runner-up. The cannabis leaves in the oil droplets were a little over the top for my taste.

First Place
Christine Carignan, Business NH 
Hotels Find NH Hospitable

Judge’s Comments: Sleek design. Flawless.

In the Daily Division

Third Place
Janis Carroll, Adam Drapcho, Laconia Daily Sun 
King of Halloween

Judge’s Comments: Third place was a close call, but this creative and whimsical design made me smile.

Second Place
Staff, New Hampshire Union Leader 
NH Innovators

Judge’s Comments: Good use of full bleed and original photography with a clean, minimalist design.

First Place
Tom Lynch, New Hampshire Union Leader 
The allure of our lakes

Judge’s Comments: This page has it all. The designer works in original photography and graphics, historical images, and numerous fonts and colors, yet somehow manages to create a clean and cohesive product that does not look cluttered or cramped.


Photo Essay

In the College Division

Second Place
Puja Thapa, The Equinox
Keene State cleaning staff continues despite the danger

Judge’s Comments: Excellent idea and execution of this photo essay to recognize the important role of the college’s cleaning staff during the pandemic. Detailed captions add some dimension to the dedicated individuals working to keep the campus safe.

First Place
Henry Hobson, The Equinox
Campus under quarantine

Judge’s Comments: It’s not easy to make exterior building shots look appealing, but this photo essay works to reveal the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on campus. Extra points for creativity in the writing of the captions.

In the non-Daily Class

Second Place
Katie Hawkes, New Boston Beacon
Halloween: The Drive By Trick or Treat 

Judge’s Comments: This is a fine example of community journalism — lots of local names and faces. It’s an effective use of space and a compelling array of photos.

First Place
Jen Webber, New Boston Beacon
Peace and Justice Vigil 

Judge’s Comments: The photographer and editor showed great judgment giving an important issue lots of space and a variety of looks.

In the Daily Class

Third Place
Jamie Gemmiti, Bart Bachman, Paul Klenk, Conway Daily Sun 
Messages

Judge’s Comments: The start, quiet simplicity of these images accurately portray the quiet and eery days of the pandemic.

Second Place
Stacy Harrison, Manchester Ink Link 
‘Night to Shine’ prom a magical experience for all

Judge’s Comments: Prom night is a special night, of course. These photos offer a perspective on prom night we don’t get to see unless we are there and behind the scenes. I like their energy.

First Place
Geoff Forester, Concord Monitor, 
Black Lives Matter Protest

Judge’s Comments: The photojournalist who made these images conveyed the emotions of the moment in human terms. I found them respectful and full of news impact.


Graphic-Cartoon-Illustration 

In the College Division

Third Place
Griffin Ell, The Equinox 
Canceled Spring Seasons

Judge’s Comments: While not the most original pieces presented in this category, there is no mistaking what the illustration is trying to convey. Good job creating a clear, concise graphic to draw attention to the story.

Second Place
Alyssa Doust, Main Street Magazine 
I’m fixing to fire the tiny alchemists running amuck in my heart valves

Judge’s Comments: The illustrations go perfectly with Caleb Jagoda’s words. That’s the top priority for illustrations–to properly reflect the accompanying words. But, Doust takes it a step further by making it imaginative, fun and compelling. Well done.

First Place
Alyssa Doust, Main Street Magazine 
Make This Chaos Count

Judge’s Comments: Alyssa Doust’s sketchbook art is riveting and perfectly illustrates how the pandemic affected us all. Great vision and imagination. A truly creative drawing.

In the non-Daily Division

First Place
Rob Donnelly, Christine Carignan, Business NH
Loneliness in the Workplace

Judge’s Comments: Wow. What a cover. I love this and want to see more from this artist and creative team. Clean, contemporary and precise. Very well done.

In the Daily Division

Second Place
Sara Plourde, New Hampshire Public Radio
Where They Stand

Judge’s Comments: This is outstanding work. The graphics advance the story with easy-to-use, easy-to-understand pieces of information. I applaud the teamwork required to pull this off.

First Place
Peter Noonan, Manchester Ink Link 
Drawn & Quartered, political cartoons of Peter Noonan

Judge’s Comments: Newspaper cartooning is becoming a lost art. I appreciate the time, effort and commitment on the part of the artist and the paper. Drawn and Quartered is premium content for readers.


Entertainment Reporting

In the College Division

Third Place
Caitlin Howell, The Equinox
“‘Happy Days’ is Coming”

Judge’s Comments: Interesting piece on a Covid-era theater production and what it took to create theater in unprecedented times. That said, the story read more like a sneak preview than an in-depth piece on the process. Needed more meat on the bones to compete with other more fully fleshed out stories in this category. Overall, a good job.

Second Place
Shane Jozitis, Christian McDonald, Main Street Magazine
Finding His Sound: The Journey of a Young Artist

Judge’s Comments: Good profile of local musician Ryan Farinas. Nice work detailing his musical influences. It was interesting to hear about the influence his writing teacher had on Farinas’ ability to write lyrics. Would have liked it if some lyrics had been included in the piece so readers could glimpse what kind of songwriter he is. Overall, the piece had a nice ease to it. Readable with effortless transitions. Good job.

First Place
Caleb Jagoda, Davis Cole, Main Street Magazine
The Crank Tank

Judge’s Comments: I found this profile of the musical group Haff Deece in-depth and entertaining. Though not a fan of the musical genre, the piece piqued reader interest in their process and struggles. I found myself intrigued and wondering if I was reading about a bunch of college guys who would go on to be regular folks or would one day be famous. My one critique centers on the writer’s perspective. Caleb Jagoda should have asked tougher questions of the group, particularly about the group members’ cringe-worthy statements about women. Would also have liked to see some sample lyrics so readers would not be imagining what the music is all about. But, overall, a very good profile that brings readers into the crazy lives of college student creators without judgment.

In the non-Daily Division

First Place
Mark Vogler, New Boston Beacon 
Movies: Milford Drive-In Reopens 

No judge’s comments.

In the Daily Division

Third Place
Constance Cherise, Manchester Ink Link
Not the words of one who kneels, the unyielding Hazel Scott

No judge’s comments.

Second Place
Julia Ann Weekes, New Hampshire Union Leader
Getting their kicks

Judge’s Comments: Nice story

First Place
Julia Ann Weekes, New Hampshire Union Leader
A music landmark turns 50

No judge’s comments.


Health Reporting

In the non-Daily Division

Third Place
Sheryl Rich-Kern, BusinessNH
Health Insurance Profits Surge with COVID-19 

Judge’s Comments: Reporter Rich-Kern explores far more than the head of the story might suggest. She supplies a solid overview, with pertinent sources and quotes, of COVID impacts—financial and operational—on insurers and on hospitals. I also appreciated the inclusion of the wider context, that is, how a “fragmented” HC system in the US compares with centralized systems in many other countries.

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

Judge’s Comments: Reporter Burch’s story about telemedicine’s growth, due to COVID, addresses both human and logistical issues, as it explores the benefits and challenges of putting the service in place, and then improving it. Well-written with a good, logical flow.

First Place
Bob Sanders, New Hampshire Business Review
New Hampshire’s Canadian conundrum

Judge’s Comments: Reporter Sanders took what might have been a laundry list of pending bills and instead created a very readable account of the factors contributing to the extraordinarily high cost of pharmaceutical drugs in the U.S. After exploding the myth that cheap drugs from Canada will be coming to the rescue any time soom, he provides a roadmap of possible routes to a solution. I learned a lot!

In the Daily Class

Third Place
Teddy Rosenbluth, Concord Monitor 
Health: Coronavirus

Judge’s Comments: A good series and the immediacy of the story inside the nursing home was gripping.

Second Place
Kyle Stucker,   Foster’s Daily Democrat
COVID-19 reporting

Judge’s Comments: Good topics, well researched and reported. Immediacy of the issues is crucial in this series with high reader interest. Lacks the emotional punch of the winner, though subject matter and interviews were solid. Good job overall.

First Place 
Shawne K. Wickham, New Hampshire Union Leader
Alone in this together

Judge’s Comments: Shawne Wickham is a gifted writer and story teller. In this series of stories, “Missing school” is well written, sensitive to high
school seniors’ attitudes, and helps parents and the community understand those concerns. Excellent writing brings the story to life. “Big hearts” is another well-written story about the importance of home health care workers during the pandemic and chronic underfunding. “Alone” is another good look at the issue; good sidebar on “help being out there.” “The story on deaths puts the pandemic’s consequences in stark perspective, and “Home Front ” is stellar because of the number of Guard members the reporter interviews and includes in the story. The editor could have cut those voices to make it more concise, but the interviews and comments are so good, that they enrich the story and hold the reader’s attention. That’s a real tribute to the writer. A fine collection of stories which examine key elements of the pandemic while bringing it to life with compelling interviews and a bended storyline. Compelling graphics and layout in each case makes this series stand out. Best in the class.


Business-Economic Reporting 

In the non-Daily Division

Third Place
Kelly Burch, Granite State News Collaborative
50 Businesses, 50 Solutions

Judge’s Comments: Ambitious series of good-news business stories from the pandemic. Well-told items on Fabrizia Spirits’ capitalizing on sanitizer opportunity, on Red Wagons’ “community supported bakery,” and other examples of how businesses are coping.

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

Judge’s Comments: A good example of a business story with social dimension and broad public interest. This brings to light an important element of the COVID crisis, and is well told, with personal stories and statistics.

First Place
Bob Sanders, New Hampshire Business Review
Covid business and economy coverage

Judge’s Comments: Really thorough, compelling. Clear winner in this category, and vital reading for anyone interested in the COVID impact on state economy. Excellent case studies of issues including essential vs. non-essential businesses and paid-maternity policies. There is a strong macroeconomic look at economy reopening. Welcome analysis of businesses getting PPP/Main Street program assistance, based on program data.

In the Daily Division

Third Place
Jonathan Phelps, New Hampshire Union Leader 
The taps are still flowing

Judge’s Comments: Journalism starts with people and ends with people. And this series of stories from Jonathan Phelps proves that with in-depth looks at how the pandemic affected specific businesses. There really is no other way to tell these stories than on-the-ground reporting, and once you’re there, it’s almost impossible to go wrong.

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

Judge’s Comments: It seems everyone is talking about the gig economy now, and how workers are treated in that industry. But when Michael Cousineau started writing about it, he was in a league of his own. There aren’t many reporters who can say their work has led to a case before the U.S. Supreme Court — but when it does happen, that kind of reporting absolutely deserves recognition. And well-deserved recognition at that.

First Place
Ryan Lessard, Manchester Ink Link
Brew News Spotlight: NH’s Craft Beer Community Fights Through COVID-19 Disruption

Judge’s Comments: If someone were to say, Hey, you’ll love that series of columns dedicated solely to micro-breweries, we would’ve been like, what? Really? But they would be right. Absolutely fantastic detailed stories by Ryan Lessard providing snapshot after snapshot after snapshot of how the pandemic has affected all of us — all through the point of view of brewers. Some saw success, others not so much. But Lessard was there for the good and bad, and a decade from now when we’re looking for ways to encapsulate the impacts COVID-19 had on the world, they need to look no further than Brew News.


Crime and Court Reporting 

In the non-Daily Class 

First Place
Barbara Tetreault, the Berlin Sun 
Fallen 7 case coverage

Judge’s Comments:  The reporter thoroughly covered this sad accident, from the first news story of the actual event through all the court proceedings. It was written so well that the truck driver’s personality came through loud and clear — a druggie who didn’t much care for human life, or feel responsible for it, his own or others. Good job.

In the Daily Division

Third Place
Jeffrey McMenemy, Foster’s Daily Democrat
Dover police officer investigation

Judge’s Comments: All I can say is “Wow, this should be a movie.” What an incredible story, reported in a simple, non-judgmental way.

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

Judge’s Comments: This was a shocking story. I liked how the writer tried to stay neutral despite the horrific facts, but was very impressed with the professional, compassionate way the facts were presented. Hopefully, this will result in some action, exactly what good journalism is supposed to do. Good work!

First Place
Jason Moon, New Hampshire Public Radio 
Inside New Hampshire’s Secret List of Troubled Cops

Judge’s Comments: I loved this. Beautifully written, clearly felt, the author got the reader to become very involved in this tangle of police protocol. Very thorough, bringing in lots of outside detail to validate the case that you’re on your own with cops. It offered extremely important advice in a neutral way but the point got across. I was very moved. Bravo!!!!


General News Story

In the College Division

Third Place
Staff, The New Hampshire
2020 Election

Judge’s Comments: A key public service newspapers can provide is election coverage. The New Hampshire kept its readership informed during a hotly contested election season and one otherwise dominated by covid coverage.

Second Place
Hunter Oberst, Puja Thapa, The Equinox
11 RA’s Resign and more cases arise in the first two weeks

Judge’s Comments: Timely topic, well written, detailed, good reporting

First Place 
Staff,  The New Hampshire
UNH coronavirus coverage

Judge’s Comments: The New Hampshire has provided critical information at a critical time. Stories are detailed, timely, informative, well written and presented in an easy-to-understand fashion. Bravo!

In the non-Daily Division

Third Place
Abbe Hamilton, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Walden Eco Village Evictions

Judge’s Comments: Strong day-by-day coverage of an ongoing dispute that uprooted residents of a unique community on short notice at the start of winter, when they had little opportunity to find new housing.

Second Place
Liisa Rajala, New Hampshire Business Review
Now is the time: Black Granite Staters call for a more inclusive New Hampshire

Judge’s Comments: Extensive reporting, highly readable presentation on a subject that will become increasingly important in a state with a relatively low minority population. Especially helpful in explaining the difficulties experienced by small minority-owned businesses in securing support through federal pandemic relief programs.

First Place
Hilary Niles and John Bassett, Granite State News Collaborative
Remote Learning Progress Report

Judge’s Comments: An exceptional reporting package, comprehensive examination of the most important aspects of remote learning. Tremendous collaboration by the reporting and editing team.

In the Daily Division

Third Place
Mark Hayward, New Hampshire Union Leader
Suit over transracial adoption headed to NH high court

Judge’s Comments: An exceptionally well-reported series keying in on the disparities facing those involved in this case, and its tie to a greater systemic problem of bias across the state’s child protection agency. The reporter did a great job overlapping the story lines across the very compelling adoption case, and the much broader issue involving those working in official capacities involving these cases.

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

Judge’s Comments: The combination of expert reporting, extensive sourcing, talented storytelling, and effective application of ‘Right to Know’ laws helped produce this fantastic series – which, btw, also provided an exceptional public service.

First Place
Eileen O’Grady, Concord Monitor
Discipline and Diversity

Judge’s Comments: This series, or any segment of it, should be part of mandatory training for any new journalist – anywhere – not just at the monitor. Extremely well crafted and edited, fantastically sequenced with a striking balance between robust sourcing – but not over sourcing. Also an excellent practice of the writer to occasionally explain a reference to add clarity and context, without distracting or distancing the reader. This is award-winning work!


General News Photo

In the College Division

Third Place
Soren Frantz, The Equinox
Candidate collage

Judge’s Comments: Photo provides a look into a hotly contested campaign season. The collection of photos offers a variety of themes and emotions. Perhaps one photo could have been central theme with the other photos expanding on the collection’s campaign theme.

Second Place
Soren Frantz, The Equinox
“College Hockey”

Judge’s Comments: Photo captures an emotional moment during a high level sports competition. Reader focus is quickly drawn to the player’s expression which shares his emotion with the viewer.

First Place
Soren Frantz, The Equinox
“The real virus is fear”

Judge’s Comments: This photo tells a story seen on the faces of those surrounding the sign, which creates the initial focal point of the photo. Good composition and a good eye by the photographer.

In the non-Daily Class

Third Place
Eric Anderson, The Bow Times
Food Drive 

Judge’s Comments: Good collection of images that tell a story about community giving. All images are nicely cropped.

Second Place
Eric Anderson, The Bow Times
Snow Day 

Judge’s Comments: Nice graphic vertical image that leads your eye throughout the whole frame. Good job.

First Place
Jen O’Brien, New Boston Beacon
Protecting Pollinators 

Judge’s Comments: Nice image. You nicely captured the joy this child experiences through beekeeping.

In the Daily Class

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

Judge’s Comments: Excellent photograph showing online remote learning. One of the best remote learning photographs I’ve seen. The picture clearly shows the story of learning from home. Well done.

Second Place
Deb Cram, Foster’s Daily Democrat
COVID patient leaves hospital

Judge’s Comments: You can feel the raw emotion in this photograph. You were in the right spot to capture the emotion on her face for this historic moment.

First Place
David Lane, New Hampshire Union Leader
Celebrating 99 years

Judge’s Comments:  Great moment from a unique assignment. Excellent use of the reflection to add a graphic element to the image.


Special Section

In the non-Daily Class

Third Place
Staff, Business NH
Cap & Gown: A Special Report on Higher Education

Judge’s Comments: Another polished, sophisticated entry from Business NH Magazine.

Second Place
Staff, New Boston Beacon
The New Boston Beacon is Thankful 4 

Judge’s Comments: I appreciate the lively writing and positivity in these sections. Many newspapers have tried to give readers something positive to read about during the pandemic — The New Boston Beacon did it well.

First Place
Staff, Business NH
Small Business Finance Guide

Judge’s Comments:  All three entries from Business NH Magazine have attractive, professional design. The Small Business Finance Guide stands out for its content, with interesting and original articles

In the Daily Class

Second Place
Staff, Conway Daily Sun 
Kennett Graduation 2020

Judge’s Comments: A great entry! Found myself jumping around a lot due to story layout, but completely understand that it’s because of the sheer amount of advertising. (Clearly this is a community that supports its local students and newspaper!) Absolutely a lot to be proud of here. Great cover!

First Place  
Terry Leavitt, Conway Daily Sun
To Your Health

Judge’s Comments:  In a category with two amazing entries, To Your Health edges out the win. With a broad range of expert articles from local health care professionals, the section offers something for all ages. Layout clean, easy to follow, and has a good ad balance (pages don’t feel overwhelmed or sparse.) Well done!


Magazine Cover

In the non-Daily Class

Third Place
Christine Carignan, Business NH
Business NH Magazine – December 2020

Judge’s Comments: I appreciate the clean lines and simple look of this cover. It’s effective and inviting.

Second Place 
Christine Carignan, Business NH
Business NH Magazine – May 2020

Judge’s Comments: This cover surprised me, which I like It’s energetic and loose.

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

Judge’s Comments: For the same reasons I voted for this in a previous category, I vote for it here. The cover is clean, precise and compelling.

In the Daily Class

Third Place
Lee Guerringue, Conway Daily Sun, 
“North Conway Fall, 

Judge’s Comments: This photo is as inviting as it gets. I love everything about it.

Second Place
Lee Guerringue, Conway Daily Sun, 
“North Conway Summer,

Judge’s Comments: I love this design. It’s contemporary and modern.

First Place
Lee Guerringue, Conway Daily Sun, 
“North Conway Winter, 

Judge’s Comments: This one grabbed my attention and kept it. It’s intensely cold.


Front page

In the non-Daily Class

Second Place
Nadeane Mannion, Bow Times 
November front page

Judge’s Comments: Good use of photos — packs a punch in a small space. Colorful and well organized.

First Place
Chris Speakman, New Boston Beacon 
May 2020

Judge’s Comments: This front page could have more color and photos, but wins for the superior reportage and design, as well as the helpful index.

In the Daily Class

Third Place
Matthew Burdette, Nashua Telegraph,  
We Are There With You.

Judge’s Comments: This front page sent a powerful message of solidarity and unity with the community amid the fear and uncertainty of the pandemic’s first weeks in New England.

Second Place
Tom Lynch, New Hampshire Union Leader, 
Coronavirus impact widens

Judge’s Comments: A good mix of stories on this front page from the early days of the pandemic. Coverage from the national and state levels, as well as an interesting piece about the unique impact on one business subsector — Irish bars. Points for original photography.

First Place
Matthew Burdette, Nashua Telegraph, 
‘BERN’ING HOT

Judge’s Comments: Solid design all around. Packed with comprehensive coverage of the primary. I appreciated the original photography, which is lacking from some other entries. I also appreciated the inclusion of obscure candidates in the list of candidates and vote tallies on the front page.


Sports News

In the College Division

Third Place
Cameron Beall, The New Hampshire
Former Wildcat Prince Smith Jr. signs with the Philadelphia Eagles

Judge’s Comments: Topic is of interest to a broad range of readers, well beyond the sports pages. Story is a personal one with which the author helps readers identify.

Second Place
Claire Boughton, Tom Benoit, The Equinox
Turf Gets Put to the Test

Judge’s Comments: Lede quickly engages readers. Clear and concise explanation of technical issues. Good use of quotes. Informative.

First Place
Claire Boughton,  The Equinox
Seniors Standing Strong

Judge’s Comments: Timely topic. 1,556 word piece that keeps reader engaged from beginning to end. Good use of quotes to convey emotions and sentiments. A portfolio piece. Well done!

In the non-Daily Division

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

No judge’s comments.

In the Daily Division

Third Place
Lloyd Jones, Conway Daily Sun
Eagles cap off undefeated championship season

No judge’s comments.

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

No judge’s comments.

First Place
Lloyd Jones, Conway Daily Sun
NHIAA cancels the rest of winter sports season

No judge’s comments.


Sports Photo

In the Daily Division

Third Place
Jeffrey Hastings
I know I can

No judge’s comments.

Second Place
Jeffrey Hastings
Strong men pull for the win

Judge’s Comments: Judges liked the intensity in the subject’s face during this unique competition

First Place
Geoff Forester, Concord Monitor
Goal Stop

Judge’s Comments: First showed peak sports action enhanced by a nice crop.

Sports Feature

In the College Division

Third Place 
Cameron Beall, The New Hampshire
Pop Lacey has sights set on the NFL after canceled UNH pro day

Judge’s Comments: Lede quickly pulls in the reader. Well written. Good use of quotes. Timely topic.

Second Place
Matthew Holderman, Claire Boughton, * The Equinox 
“A Season Like No Other”

Judge’s Comments: Writer took a chance on an unusual lede … and it worked. Timely topic. Good use of quotes. Emotional at times.

First Place 
Cameron Beall, The New Hampshire
The long road back to normalcy for UNH head coach Mac

Judge’s Comments: Strong lede, well written, conveys emotion, maintains reader interest througout.

In non-Daily Division

Third Place 
Keith Gentili, New Boston Beacon
Hiking Crotched Mountain 

No Judge’s Comments.

Second Place
Paul Robitaille, Berlin Sun 
Manikian becomes first woman to win Can-Am race

No Judge’s Comments.

First Place 
Scott Gaillard, New Boston Beacon
The Emotional Roller Coaster of Deer Season 

Judge’s Comments: An unusual column topic, well-told. Wonderful conversational style.

In the Daily Division

Third Place 
Tom King, Nashua Telegraph
Lasting Legacy

Judge’s Comments: A heartfelt tribute to a community leader.

Second Place
Tom King, Nashua Telegraph, 
Staying Sharp

Judge’s Comments: An off-the-beaten-track look at how the pandemic changed the world of sports, and how some folks adapted.

First Place 
Steve Angers, Conway Daily Sun
Bill Thompson retires

Judge’s Comments: A wonderful deep dive into a sport that rarely gets its due. And an empathetic, lively portrayal of a local legend.


Sports Feature Photo

In the Daily Division

First Place
Geoff Forester, Concord
Dejected

Judge’s Comments: Nice moment.

Sports Columnist of the year

In the Daily Division

Second Place
Dean Shalhoup, Nashua Telegraph

No Judge’s Comments.

First Place
George Liset’s, InDepthNH

Judge’s Comments: A clear winner, and one of the best entries in any category. An encyclopedic knowledge of all things fishing, shared in a friendly, conversational style.


Sports Page

In the College Division

Third Place
Claire Boughton, The Equinox 
“Turf gets put to the test”

Judge’s Comments: Very informative page layout.

Second Place
Claire Boughton, The Equinox
“2019 Highlights”

Judge’s Comments: Creative use of photography as well as creative placement of headline and text.

First Place
Claire Boughton, The Equinox 
The Faces Behind the Cameras

Judge’s Comments: Creative and well done graphic which could have competed with the story for attention. However, using the text in short bursts makes the overall page work very well and is very readable. Good job.


Spot News Photo

In the non-Daily Division

First Place
Eric Anderson, Bow Times
Snow Day 

No Judge’s Comments.

In the Daily Division

Third Place
Jamie Gemmiti, Conway Daily Sun
West Side garage a total loss

Judge’s Comments: Judges commented that various colors of light at the scene aided in drawing you into the image.

Second Place
Jeffrey Hastings
Firefighters battle intense vehicle fire

Judge’s Comments: Good catch on a spot news event. We especially liked the framing with the family in the background

First Place
Jeffrey Hastings
Woman rescued from the Merrimack River

Judge’s Comment: Judges thought the image was spot on as a breaking news image. Nice coverage of a water rescue. Caption info was detailed and added to the package.


Spot news reporting 

In the non-Daily Division

First Place
Alexander Lacasse, Exeter Newsletter 
Exeter woman votes topless after anti-Trump shirt disallowed

Judge’s Comments: Solid retelling of the incident, and clearly a good interview

In the Daily Division

Third Place
Kathy Staub, Manchester Ink Link
Activists surround homeless camp on courthouse lawn

Judge’s Comments: Really more of an issues piece in some ways than spot news, but fair enough, the reporter went after learning of a development at an event and came back with a good story about an important issue. Might have ranked higher, but a couple quibbles: No time in the lead, no estimate of the size of the homeless encampment, and the statement that more people arrived and left during the day left one to wonder how many and who – homeless or supporters?

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

Judge’s Comments: Pieced together as much as possible of the event using the tools at hand – power of observation and the trusty scanner – with limited direct official information.

First Place
Pat Grossmith, Stacy Harrison, Manchester Ink Link
Man with Trump flag on truck drives by protesters outside police station, pulls gun, gets arrested

Judge’s Comments: Good, solid spot news reporting with plenty of details. Story well told, and nice job getting those mug shots.


Investigative Story/Series

In the College Division

First Place
Hunter Oberst, The Equinox
“NH Supreme Court Rules Unanimously In Favor Of Keene State Journalists”

Judge’s Comments: While arguably more of a news story than an investigative piece, the author does a solid job of capturing the importance of this U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the public’s right to know. All the key players are represented here — the teacher, her since graduated students, the attorneys for the school and the city — reflecting the thoroughness of the reporting. My only regret is that I never had a journalism professor like Marianne Salcetti when I was in college.

In the non-Daily Division

Third Place
Abbe Hamilton, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Hancock: Town had cause to fire police chief

Judge’s Comments: Solid story, good followup of timecards in an investigation led by town.

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

Judge’s Comments: Well reported, easy to understand analysis of how $40 million in federal COVID dollars were spent in New Hampshire.

First Place
Ryan Lessard, Granite State News Collaborative
NH police departments use psych screenings inconsistently

Judge’s Comments: Solid reporting on this enterprise investigation looking at how the state’s police officers are evaluated psychologically. With police misconduct making headlines seemingly daily, particularly the killing of unarmed Black people, makes this very timely.

In the Daily Division

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

Judge’s Comments: Not a sexy story, but an important one about dark money in politics. Solid reporting and always a fan of Landrigan’s concise style. Wish there’d been a followup or two.

Second Place
Tony Schinella
Concord School District Releases Leung Sexual Misconduct Report

Judge’s Comments: Why secrecy in government, particularly the high-handed way in which school districts use student and teacher confidentiality to mask actions is revealed here. Solid reporting.

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

Judge’s Comments: Timely, extremely thorough look at use of force by police in the state. Well reported and excellent use of public records to tell a compelling story. The clear winner among a field of strong entries.


Editorial Writing 

In the non-Daily Division

Second Place
Matthew J. Mowry, BusinessNH

No Judge’s Comments.

First Place
 Charles G. Douglas, III, Bow Times

No Judge’s Comments.

In the Daily Division

Third Place
Matthew Burdette – Nashua Telegraph

No Judge’s Comments.

Second Place
Bill Bilodeau – Keene Sentinel

No Judge’s Comments.

First Place
Roger Carroll – Laconia Daily Sun

No Judge’s Comments.


Podcast Limited Series 

In the Daily Division

Second Place
Lauren Chooljian, Jack Rodolico, Staff, New Hampshire Public Radio, 
Stranglehold

Judge’s Comments: A compelling subject, with execution that varied substantially between episodes in terms of exploring its premise. At its best, it offered a glimpse behind the curtain into a Byzantine electoral process and the personalities involved; at its worst, it veered into navel-gazing and sometimes felt like it was cheering the system it aimed to question. Some audio mixing and transitions felt a little jarring, and some episodes felt like they could have been cut to half their length and been better for it. Still clearly a project that took a good deal of effort from many reporters and worthy of recognition, but lacked the polish and sharper focus of the winning entry.

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

Judge’s Comments: A solid, tightly reported series on a topic of broad public importance. The narrative was well crafted and did a good job of exploring the many ways that secret bad-cop lists fail everyone, including those on the list themselves. Good journalism.


Podcast – Reoccurring

In the Daily Division

Third Place
Roger Wood, InDepthNH
Roger Wood podcast

Judge’s Comments: Good information with informed subjects, but lacks the polish of the first- and second-place entries. Some topics may be too niche and/or too dense to hold less-engaged listeners’ attention. That said, a public service to get knowledgeable figures on the record at length on topics of public import.

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

Judge’s Comments: An excellent idea for providing a primer to help understand the political news of the moment. In some places sourcing and overviews of issues were a bit thin, but that’s less a knock on the reporters than a reflection of the fact that this is a “101”-level introduction, not an in-depth exploration. I hope this series continues for years to come, and that listeners benefit from it.

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

Judge’s Comments: Solid, in-depth reporting. Good blend of sources, well-edited and mixed. Could benefit from some more use of natural sound in some places, but overall strongly reported and well done.


Best Use Social Media

In the College Division

First Place
Emma Bishop, The Equinox
“Equinox Facebook Page”

Judge’s Comments: The Equinox Facebook page gets the nod here based on its ease of use. And kudos to the writers responsible for the text intended to attract readers to the stories.

In the Daily Division

Third Place
Staff, New Hampshire Public Radio
Vote 2020

Judge’s Comments: Instagram is the perfect venue to showcase the photography of these stories. Less community involvement compared to the other top entries.

Second Place 
Keith Spiro, Manchester Ink Link
Communicast Bridges the Gaps between Print and Public Interest

Judge’s Comments: Fascinated with this simple use of the Zoom interview. Love how this pandemic-related social project didn’t focus on the hard news, but instead pivoted to pandemic-related content that delivers utility, shares stories, and connects the community.

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

Judge’s Comments: This is the gold standard of New Hampshire news organizations using social media during the pandemic. Sometimes, the layout gets a little busy, but the sheer depth and breadth of connecting readers to storytelling via social media is unsurpassed


Best Use of Audio – Feature

In the Daily Division

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

Judge’s Comments: This is a nice, slice of life story, but somewhat lacks focus. Also it could have been clearer that the young man who had COVID on the trail had been out of quarantine for three days. 

Second Place
Sean Hurley,  New Hampshire Public Radio
It Was Almost A Year Without A Santa Claus

Judge’s Comments: This is a fun, light-hearted story with strong characters and funny moments.

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

Judge’s Comments: This piece received from me something better than first place—I was so impressed with Ms. Chooljian’s story I sent it to several friends and colleagues! It is an absolutely wonderful piece of journalism, embodying the best of what good storytellers can do when they get out of the way of a story. If journalists indeed write the first draft of history, this piece is an excellent artifact for future historians to understand the tension and emotions of this crazy period we have all just lived through. It is an exquisitely edited piece of audio. I imagine someone with lesser talent would have badly bungled a piece with this much raw power and emotion. But Ms. Chooljian expertly guides us through the characters’ feelings of loneliness, powerlessness, regret, and love—right back to the unending banal-ness life. Not moments after this couple was reunited are we met with a discussion of cheeses, as if Larry David had scripted the scene himself. I’m not sure if the awards have an overall best-in-show category, but if you do, I would full-throatedly nominate this piece for it. Bravo.


Best Use of Audio – News 

In the Daily Division

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

Judge’s Comments: This is a solid report on an important and likely under-covered constituency: refugees and immigrants (particularly from less well known Asian countries). It seems constrained by the scope of the story however, limiting itself to the political outreach of a single campaign. A stronger piece would have used that as a jumping off point, exploring the lives and through them the issues faced by the characters and communities Ms. McDermott has skillfully introduced us to.

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

Judge’s Comments: Firstly, New Hampshire Public Radio should be commended for lifting up and giving airspace to the voices heard in this piece. Far too often journalists and producers focus on the process rather than the words, covering the tension caused by an event rather than the tension that brought us to this moment in time. The producers of this piece have skillfully selected and edited powerful moments from this rally that pull the listener in. This, however, may work to the detriment of the piece, because after so effectively hooking me in, this piece left me wanting more.

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

Judge’s Comments: Much like the piece on the Black Lives Matter Rally, this report also left me wanting more. A story with twists and turns like this—and great (video with) audio to give it texture—comes along rarely in local reporting. Mr. Bookman adroitly explores the story with his Ira Glass like voice and copy. But this story would have benefitted by really hunting down the other aspects of the story. Go show up at the Ice Castle’s headquarters and get them saying on the mic they won’t talk to you. Surely this woman, if she was told to stop bringing up the issue at town meetings, has irked some town official or councilman enough to talk. Or perhaps there was video/sound from a previous meeting where she complained? This is the type of story Don Hewitt would have loved, and I have no doubt Mr. Bookman’s could have delivered a great piece rather than a good one.


Best Use of Video –  Feature

In the College Division 
    
Second Place 
Benajil  Rai, The Equinox
“Pumpkin Palooza”

Judge’s Comments: Good job showing a how the Keene campus handled a long-standing community event during the pandemic.

First Place 
Benajil Rai, The Equinox
“Music Tech Major Pedro Paez”

Judge’s Comments: Good video showing how the Covid-19 pandemic affected one student on the Keene campus and his reliance on drumming to cope with isolation. Good storytelling. Getting other voices into this piece would have made it better.

In the Daily Division

First Place
The Civics 101 Team, New Hampshire Public Radio
Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire Graveyards

Judge’s Comments: This is the only video (series) that should be awarded in this category. New Hampshire Public Radio and the producers of this series should be commended for this effort to tell important and overlooked stories of BIPOC person from our history. I have no doubt that this series took a ton of work. I will say, however, that sometimes less is more. I love the two hosts, but wish they were better and more fully produced.


Best Use of Video – News

In the College Division

Third Place 
Benajil Rai – The Equinox
“U.S. elections”

Judge’s Comments: Good video leading up to the fall presidential election with lots of interviews with students. That said, somehow the video lacked the passion and energy of the 2020 election. Those interviewed talked about political divisions, but it would have been more compelling to film that. Otherwise, good job.

Second Place 
Benajil Rai – The Equinox
“KSC SPDI Club makes boxes from trash”

Judge’s Comments: Loved this video about reusing 3D printing platforms to make boxes. Very nice presentation with a sense of fun, especially at the end when some of the students were shown wearing the boxes on their heads. Perfect considering that this could have been dry and boring fodder. Bravo!

First Place 
Benajil Rai – The Equinox
“KSC Students share their experiences during COIVD -19 pandemic”

Judge’s Comments: This video does an excellent job of showing how the Covid-19 pandemic upended student life. It was important to show what the students were doing in their spare time instead of just showing a parade of talking heads. Footage of the international student learning Arabic and the student who used her spare time to paint were pivotal pieces of storytelling.


Columnist of the Year

In the College Division

First Place
Angelique Inchierca, The Equinox

Judge’s Comments: What a refreshing collection of columns on topics that generally live in the shadows of today’s public discourse: deafness, Down syndrome, suicide. While timed to coincide with awareness months, the writer goes beyond the statistics to infuse each column with an explanation of how her life has been touched in some way by each of these issues. Nicely done!

In the non-Daily Division

Third Place
Dr. Richard E. Johnson, Bow Times
“Doctor’s Corner”

No Judge’s Comments.

Second Place
Chase Binder, Bow Times
“What to do on the road”

No Judge’s Comments.

First Place
Keith Gentili, New Boston Beacon
“Cannon Fodder”

No Judge’s Comments.

In the Daily Division

Second Place
Jonna Carter, Conway Daily Sun

Judge’s Comments: In a year where Trump sucked all of the air out of every room, Carter uses a light touch and solid humor to make her points and show the disdain many felt toward him, and perhaps even NOT turning off a few of his deluded fans.

First Place – Tie
Mike Cote, New Hampshire Union Leader
“Business Editor’s Notebook”

Mike Cote is solid. A concise writer who knows how to craft a sentence, get to the point — he actually has a point — and backs up his opinions with solid reporting.

Nate Graziano, Manchester Ink Link
“Not That Profound”

Judge’s Comments: My favorite in a class of topnotch entries. His COVID column about a group of regulars supporting a local joint truly captured the story of the last year in a way that many columnists and reporters did not. Nice to see such a writer with a well-rounded perspective, from community to music to personal reflection and family life.


Photographer of the year 

Second Place
Jeffrey Hastings

Judge’s Comments: Strong collection of photos.

First Place
Geoff Forester, Concord Monitor

Judge’s Comments: The Photographer of the year winner presented a solid collection of images that illustrates what it is to be a photojournalist at a daily paper.


Excellence in Collaboration and Partnership 

Second Place – Tie

Eileen O’Grady, Teddy Rosenbluth, Concord Monitor
Partnership with Report for America and community supporters

Judge’s Comments: The Concord Monitor is tied for second place for excellence in collaboration and partnership. While they hired two reporters that allowed them to cover more stories in both the education and health bests, the submissions lack the indepth reporting that could have come from this collaboration. However, they also collaborated with Granite State News Collaborative (GSNC) and that strengthens their position in this competition. The publication of GSNC reporter stories in the Monitor makes the Monitor a strong partner in the Covid Pandemic stories reported by GSNC and distributed by the Monitor.

Daniela Allee, Cori Princell, Patricia McLaughlin, New Hampshire Public Radio
NHPR: ¿Qué Hay de Nuevo, New Hampshire?

Judge’s Comments: The NHPR submission for Excellence Collaboration and Partnership is tied for second. Believed to be the first daily Spanish Newscast in New Hampshire, NHPR collaborated with the Granite State News Collaborative to provide the news show “¿Qué Hay de Nuevo, New Hampshire?” for the Latino population and other Spanish speakers. NHPR has done an excellent job informing the Spanish speaking public in NH on the Covid Pandemic and the 2020 elections with this new service.

First Place 
Granite State News Collaborative Partners 
Granite State News Collaborative Partners Covid Coverage

Judge’s Comments: The Granite State News Collaborative is outstanding in their coverage of the pandemic both in range and depth of stories and thus wins the category of Excellence in Collaboration and Partnership. When it comes to a pandemic, the journalism needs to have a large scope and a large staff to really cover the intricacies of the topic. The Granite State News Collaborative was able to accomplish this.


Community Service

In the non-Daily Division

First Place  
Matthew J. Mowry, Christine Carignan, Business NH
The Business NH Magazine Small Business Survival Guide

Judge’s Comments: The Small Business Survival Guide from Business NH wins first place in the NHPA community service award for its generosity in going beyond their ad base and its scope in extending beyond their normal coverage to benefit small businesses during the pandemic.

In the Daily Division

Third Place  
Shawne K Wickham, New Hampshire Union Leader
What I miss

No Judge’s Comments.

Second Place  
Jack Rooney, Meg McIntyre, Keene Sentinal
Pandemic Parenting

No Judge’s Comments.

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

No Judge’s Comments.


First Amendment

Third Place  
Mark Hayward and Union Leader editorial staff
Police discipline hearings closed to the public

No Judge’s Comments.

Second Place 
Rick Green, Laconia Daily Sun 
First Amendment Award

No Judge’s Comments.

First Place –  tie

Concord Monitor
Pushing for public access to Perkins Report

Judge’s Comments: Great reporting and wonderful perseverance in illuminating a pattern of awful behavior by a teacher whose awful conduct was allowed to continue by the school district.

Charles G. Douglas, III, Bow Times
Bow No Vote of Confidence

Judge’s Comments: While brief, the article describes the reporter’s initiative and stick-to-itiveness in pursing a confidential lead to a conclusion resulting in transparency for taxpayers and leadership changes for the police department.


General Excellence – Radio

The First Place 
New Hampshire Public Radio

Judge’s Comments: Solid local journalism anchored with strong voices from New Hampshire communities. Todd Bookman’s story chronicling a homeless camp and the lack of good solutions for a persistent issue was a particular highlight, with residents of the camp expressing a nuanced view of their situation and the community’s response.

General Excellence – Magazine

First Place 
Business NH

Judge’s Comments:  A very nice publication. Solid reporting and writing. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it does a nice job of informing, providing rankings and resources. Loved the Number Crunch. Makes me wish my state had something comparable.


General Excellence – Digital Presence

In the College Division

First Place  
The Equinox

Judge’s Comments: Congratulations to all who participated in the creation and design of this outstanding website. Informative, attractive, easy to navigate with quick access to social media accounts. Some New Hampshire newspaper websites could learn a thing or two here.

In the Daily Division

Third Place  
New Hampshire Union Leader

Judge’s Comments:  This site is getting better year after year. Some confusing navigation, but visually appealing

Second Place 
Manchester Ink Link

Judge’s Comments:  Great site organization and layout. This is what a hyperlocal site should look like

First Place  
New Hampshire Public Radio

Judge’s Comments:  This site gets high scores for each of the category’s criteria. I love the breadth of coverage on the site and the balance of the various media–podcasts, video, copy, etc.


General Excellence College Newspaper 

Second Place 
Main Street Magazine

Judge’s Comments: The Main Street Magazine staff is the first to admit the publication is not a “newspaper” in the traditional sense. Yet, it deserves recognition in this category for the creativity and enthusiasm it brings to its pages and the University of New Hampshire community. An extraordinary outlet for writers, photographers, artists, and designers.

First Place 
The Equinox

Judge’s Comments: The Equinox is a complete college newspaper, covering news, student life, the arts, sports, opinion, and — as you would expect in the first-in-the-nation primary state — politics. Good writing. Good photography. Good design. Congratulations!


General Excellence Non-Daily News 

Third Place 
Berlin Sun

Judge’s Comments: This paper has a great sense of its community and is not afraid to tackle some challenging issues. Fun to see so much of the community represented on its pages … in one form or another.

Second Place 
New Boston Beacon

Judge’s Comments: What a local newspaper should be: from hard news and features all the way down to space devoted to local churches. And so many ads!

First Place
 New Hampshire Business Review

Judge’s Comments:  Very sleek design, packed with solid content and commentary.


General Excellence Daily Newspaper

Third Place 
Nashua Telegraph

Judge’s Comments: Another solid entry with a nice variety of local coverage. Great to see the history features and the many letters to the editor, which indicates to me that readers are very engaged with the paper.

Second Place 
Concord Monitor

Judge’s Comments: I was very impressed with the Monitor. Consistently strong leads, great design and use of photos. A good mix of topics in local coverage, a paper I would want to be getting at my doorstep.

First Place 
New Hampshire Union Leader

Judge’s Comments: Boy, this was a tough category. It was a pleasure to read through the entries, each of which had their strengths and must be highly valued by their readers (or should be). I thought the Union Leader had it all, strong reporting/writing, judicious use of photos, a clean design and practical information that I’m sure readers find invaluable. Well done.


Lifetime Achievement From 2019

John DiStaso political reporter for WMUR-TV where he leads the New Hampshire Primary Source newsletter. Before moving to WMUR in 2014, John spent 24 years covering the Statehouse and politics at the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Nancy West editor of IndepthNH.org and founder of the New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism. Also a former New Hampshire Union Leader reporter who has won countless awards for her reporting.

Former New Hampshire Union Leader Publisher Joseph McQuaid whose leadership brought the newspaper into the digital age made sure the people of Greater Manchester and New Hampshire were kept informed and connected.

Dean Shalhoup senior reporter for the Nashua Telegraph. Dean started his journalistic career at the Telegraph in 1971, as a high school junior and to this day his reporting reflects the heart and soul of the city.

Lifetime Achievement From 2020

Veteran statehouse and political reporters  Kevin Landrigan of the New Hampshire Union Leader and Garry Rayno of IndepthNH.

A graduate of Keene State College, Kevin worked for the Nashua Telegraph for 26 years, starting out as a sports reporter.  Later he worked for NH1 before moving the Union Leader where he leads the newspaper’s legislative coverage. 

Garry started his journalism career in 1983 at the Argus Champion’s New London office. He was editor of the Hillsboro Messenger served as Rochester Bureau Chief and Statehouse Bureau Chief for Foster’s Daily Democrat before moving to the New Hampshire Union Leader. Garry now directs the State House coverage for InDepthNH.org. 

And also in 202, a staple of New Hampshire journalism for more than 40 years David Tirrell-Wysocki of the Associated Press and later as the Executive Director of Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications. 


Lifetime Achievement 2021

Editorial cartoonist for more than 40 years, Mike Marland. 

Over the years Mike has drawn cartoons for 11 newspapers from all over the state, starting out at the Littleton Courier. Mike spent the bulk of his career, almost 30 years, skewing politicians for the Concord Monitor, and while officially retired from editorial cartooning, he still submits occasional visual commentaries to Indepth.nh.org.

Marland continues to draw a rural humor comic strip, R.F.D. syndicated by King Features Weekly Service and is the main gag writer for the long-running King Features daily comic strip Barney Google & Snuffy Smith.

Mike is simply one of the best known, most respected, most revered journalists in the state. He doesn’t roam the 
Statehouse halls, in fact, he has never stepped foot in the Statehouse. But make no mistake he knows more about state government, its officials and their peccadilloes than just about anyone and he can synthesize complex situations in a drawing and maybe a word or two.

Mike generated more than a few controversies over the years, like five months after 9/11, when he portrayed President George W. Bush flying a plane into the twin towers, labeled “Social Security” and “Medicare.” The image caused an uproar – from readers, national media outlets, and even the White House. He apologized, but later concluded, “No, I can draw whatever the hell I want.”

A New Hampshire native, Mike grew up in Lyman and attended Lisbon High School where he was a big fan of Mad Magazine and inspired by political cartoonists like Herblock and Jeff McNally.

“I’m kind of burned out,” Marland said announcing his retirement. “I’m finding it harder to come up with a fresh take on New Hampshire’s unfair tax system for the umpteenth time, for instance, or the latest crop of pompous gun nuts.”
“Also, it’s hard to make fun of people and portray them as evil or idiots when they’re actually evil or idiots to begin with. Parody may be dead,” Marland said.

“He’s an institution in the state,” said Mike Pride, former Concord Monitor editor. “I love the caricatures that he did of people in power; he just had a way of portraying them that was so true to who they were and what they look like.”

Jeff Feingold, editor of NH Hampshire Business Review said “Mike is literally one of a kind in New Hampshire. In all my years as a journalist here, no one has been able to do the things he has in the way he has. Mike is fearless and funny and can draw with the best of them — the most important attributes of any great cartoonist.”

Four decades-plus newspaper veteran from the Lakes Region, Mike Mortensen.

Said his former managing editor at the Laconia Daily Sun Roger Carrol, “Michael Mortensen is probably New Hampshire journalism’s best kept secret.

For more than 40 years he’s been plying his craft with his own brand of humble professionalism, which has kept him off most people’s radar.”

“Working with Mike is a privilege, said Carrol. “He is highly respected – revered even – in the Lakes Region. He is the consummate team player who understands that it’s the details that matter in our business. He spells everyone’s name right, nails the facts and asks delicate questions in ways that elicit thoughtful answers.”

Mike was at The Laconia Citizen from 1979 to 2011, where he covered municipal government and general news assignments. He later worked as wire editor, regional news editor, news editor, editorial writer, and managing editor. He did it all, covering everything from fires and police calls to city government and presidential primaries. 

During his time at The Citizen the paper three times received the Newspaper of the Year Award — in 1991 and 1993, when he was regional news editor, and in 2001 when he was managing editor. And last year he shared a NHPA award for Breaking News.

Thomas Caldwell fellow editor at the Laconia Citizen said “Mike embodies the best in journalistic integrity, always striving to get both sides — or all sides — of a story. He has never hesitated to get out on the street and knock on doors to reach those who might have a perspective to share, and always encouraged other reporters to do the same. In editing stories, he could immediately pick up on a buried lede or a missing fact and make sure it got incorporated into the report.”

Whether editing obituaries or writing editorials, Mike has always taken a keen interest in the people in the news, giving everyone their due while also holding them accountable. That goes for the reporters he mentored, giving strict guidance but always in a supportive manner. The young reporters he counseled always expressed appreciation for his help.

In addition to his newspaper work, Mike has served on the board of the Laconia Endowment Educational Foundation, has sung in the New Hampshire Music Festival Symphonic Chorus, and currently serves on the Vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church in Meredith. 

Mike is the kind of journalist who is always willing to volunteer for unexpected assignments and make the extra phone calls to unearth the details that make a story better.


Journalist of the Year

Third Place
Tony Schinella

Said the judge of Tony’s work “Tony Schinella’s comprehensive story style and sentence structure are impressive. His attention to detail and background add to the quality of the work. Schinella answers all the reader’s questions and provides a complete article..”

 

Second Place 

Roberta Baker, Laconia Daily Sun

Said the judge of Roberta’s work “Roberta Baker’s articles give voice to all sides of an issue. Life is complicated, so Baker helps the reader work through the issues. You feel informed after reading Baker’s articles. That is the job.”

 

First Place

Carol Robidoux, Manchester Ink Link

Said the judge of Carol’s work “Thanks to the articles by Carol Robidoux, I know Lexi and Brandon and of their struggles. I know of Wesley’s story. I wonder how they are doing today. What more can a journalist do than tell a story and bring it to life? Carol gives the reader plenty of facts and figures, but, more importantly, she also introduces the people that data represents.”

Said the judge of all the entries:

This was an outstanding group of journalists. In more than 20 years of judging, I have never enjoyed reading the entries more than this class. New Hampshire Press can be very proud of its journalists.

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