2014 Rhode Island Press Association Contest Winners

(Results for the 2013 Rhode Island Press Association Editorial Award Competition. Presented May 2, 2014)

The Rhode Island Press Association is pleased to provide comments from judges for the 2013 Editorial Contest. The winners and comments are provided in place order. 

 

1- News Story (Short)

First Place: The Providence Journal, New York’s top cop booed at Brown, Thomas J. Morgan

Nicely balanced piece on an incident at Brown. Does a nice job of tracing down who did what to create this outcome, along with capturing the color.

Second Place: The Barrington Times, Professor’s case study leads to confrontation with town manager, Josh Bickford

Good watchdog reporting that reveals local officials’ attempt to hush up news that doesn’t put them in a good light.

Third Place: The Providence Journal, Missing girl found at Cheaters, Amanda Milkovits

A complete and concise account of a shocking incident making news in the community. Nice inclusion of context.

 

2- News Story (In-Depth)

First place: The Providence Journal, A hometown boy’s sad legacy, W. Zachary Malinowski

Great storytelling and great reporting come together in this fine piece recounting the sad tale behind the headlines. Well done.

Second place: The Providence Journal, Class of ’88, Alisha Pina

Nice look behind the scenes at the longtime friendship bonds of two different-party candidates for governor. Good work!

Third place: The Providence Journal, Young addict finds road to recovery, Lynn Arditi

Tracing down the story behind a promising young woman’s detour down the road of drug addiction.

 

3- Spot News Story

First place: The Warwick Beacon, Beating the Blizzard of 2013: Thrust into Nemo’s Fangs, John Howell

Great lede and an excellent narrative. Scene setting was very well done. The reporter took an interesting angle with the story and provided very comprehensive coverage with a human view.

Second place: The Providence Journal, Report of gun closes campus, Amanda Milkovits and Thomas J. Morgan

This story does a nice job in capturing the pandemonium. Clearly a very through report of quickly changing news. The storify is a good addition and the writing is very crisp.

Third place: The Woonsocket Call, Six-alarm blaze guts Uxbridge building, Joseph B. Nadeau

Very complete story that presents what happened clearly. Reporter did a good job coupling official sources with witness reports.

 

4-Investigative/Analytical News Story or Series

First place: The Providence Journal, The Dream at 50, Paul Davis, Alisha A. Pina, Tatiana Pina

A broad-reaching well-balanced series incorporating historical narrative, contemporary stories and by-the-numbers analysis of issues and themes.

Second place: The Providence Journal, The cost of a bullet, W. Zachary Malinowski

A comprehensive analysis of the personal, societal and economic impact of gun violence.

Third place: The Providence Journal, DMV’s stalled computer project, Bruce Landis

The numbers and lack of concise answers from officials make this a smart, quick read on yet another reviled government project.

 

5- Business Story

First place: Providence Monthly, Up All Night, Erin Swanson

Smartly written and presented article about people who work in night club scene. Nice vignettes from workers, accompanied by excellent photos and good layout. Really captured what it is like to work late night entertaining people.

Second place: Providence Business News, Life after Sandy, Rhonda J. Miller

Exhaustively researched story about small family business trying to come back from damage caused by Superstorm Sandy. Great depth of research to capture the challenges these people face in restoring their businesses. Well-written.

Third place: The Providence Journal, Innovation in the Making, Kate Bramson

Well-written feature on a complicated subject.

 

6-Education Story

First place: The Providence Journal, A different kind of education, Carolyn Thornton

Sensative, well told and well written story about a complex subject. The story conveys a sense of how difficult things must have been for Alexander, while revealing who he is and why he is so positive.

Second place: The Pawtucket Times, Remembering Mr. Burrillville, Jon Baker

Reporter did an excellent job of sharing Skee’s life through lively writing and utilizing several sources closest to Skee. Great details make one feel like I knew Skee a little bit.

Third place: Rhode Island Monthly, Not your daddy’s Voke-ed, Mary Grady

Mary went the extra mile in the reporting and researching of this story, which is what makes it so strong. An engaging read from start to finish that is written with confidence that comes from solid reporting.

 

7-Religion and Spirituality Story

First place: Rhode Island Monthly, Sister Act, Brian C. Jones

An inspiring story of a woman and how she lives out her faith through action and how that has benefited her community over four decades.

Second place: The Providence Journal, For parents, marriage debate is personal, Edward Fitzpatrick

An eye-opening view through the eyes of two long-married elderly parents on the same-sex marriage issue and its religious and moral implications.

Third place: The Jewish Voice & Herald, Anti-Semitic acts in Budapest stun Habonim congregants, Nancy Kirsch

Powerfully evocative of the shadows of the past. Very nicely written and not over-written. The facts speak for themselves.

 

8- Reporting on the Environment

First place: SO Rhode Island, Bringing Back Misquamicut Beach, Michael Clark

The reporter used detail very well here. Excellent ground-level view of a situation that focused on the realities of disaster’s aftermath. The sources in this story have a real and intimate voice. There has been a lot of reporting on Superstorm Sandy—this story does it in a new way.

Second place: Rhode Island Monthly, Trash Mountain, Mary Grady

This is an in-depth look at an out-of-sight problem. Lively narrative, with a good mix of anecdotes and data. Story was clearly VERY thoroughly reported.

Third place: The Providence Journal, Hurricane of 1938, devastation to RI, Thomas J. Morgan

Good narrative, and an interesting way to frame a look back. Reporter did a great job of scene setting, with a perfect balance of human stories and wider devastation.

 

9. Science/Health Care Story

First place: The Providence Journal, Trevor’s mystery, Felice J. Freyer

Absolutely heartbreaking story revealing the limits of what we know about science, genetics and disease.

Second place: Rhode Island Monthly, A Mother’s Momentum, Casey Nilsson

A sweeping, comprehensive story of how a mother and physician made it her mission to find the cure for her son’s rare disease, with some success. Good reporting.

Third place: Newport Life Magazine, Easy Access: Is the search for affordable health care over?, Christine B. MacDonald

A clear and simple explanation of how one business owner navigated the difficulties of access to health care to an affordable solution that appears to work. An eye-opener.

 

10- Profile or Personality Story

First place: Rhode Island Monthly, A Hawk in the Ring, Casey Nilsson

Nicely detailed, well sourced, compelling topic; created an immediate connection from the opening anecdotes.

Second place: Warren Times-Gazette, Neighbors mark loner’s ‘life well-lived’, Ted Hayes

A surprising tale of neighbors who go the extra mile and the mystery surrounding a familiar town figure.

Third place: The Providence Journal, Taber’s still making it up as he goes along, Alisha A. Pina

Great word pictures. This short profile sketches a vivid personality.

Honorable mention: The Pawtucket Times, Sister Act, Jon Baker

No comment given.

Honorable mention: The Portsmouth Times, Unbreakable: A parable in 12 parts, Jim McGaw

McGaw uses novel approach to what could be a predictable medical feature.

 

11-Feature Story (Short)

First place: The Providence Journal, A view from North Providence, Michael P. McKinney

Rich details and excellent writing bring Henry’s story to life. The pacing is exceptional as McKinney guides the reader through this powerful story.

Second place: Newport Life Magazine, Stepping into St. Patrick’s Day, Christine B. MacDonald

A beautifully written story about Irish dance and culture. Well reported, rich in detail and full of lively writing.

Third place: The Providence Journal, Mummy on the move, Thomas J. Morgan

Absolutely fabulous story giving the reader a rare glimpse into the ancient Egyptian world of mummification. Great passages of fly-on-the-wall narrative.

Honorable Mention: The Westerly Sun, Nurturing their inner ‘Wow’, Cynthia Drummond

Well written and inspiring story about a small town program that boosts young women’s confidence.

 

12-Feature Story (In-Depth)

First place: The Providence Journal, Finding a place to care for Aiyana, Lynn Arditi

This trains a floodlight on an issue of great importance to your state and does so through an intimate family story. It combines excellent journalistic and narrative skills making it poignant intellectually and emotionally. You could hand this out to journalism students and say, “this is how it should be done.”

Second place: The Providence Journal, The Station Nightclub: Forged by Fire Ten years after, Tracy Breton

Heartbreaking and inspiring, this piece was deftly told with a keen ear for detail.

Third place: The Westerly Sun, Local dairy farmers are keeping it in the family for now, Cynthia Drummond

A clear snapshot of a world in flux, this story brought me into that world and provided the right amount of data to make me understand it.

Honorable mention: The Providence Journal, Rising to the Challenge, Richard Salit

I was captivated. I felt present at something amazing that few people ever see and that is thrilling.

 

13-Arts Review or Criticism

First place: The Providence Journal, Fine and Dandy, Bill Van Siclen

The best reviews allow the reader to view the piece or performance through the eyes of the reviewer, and then to make up his or her own mind as to whether it’s to their liking or not. This review accomplishes that and more, in great detail and with remarkable color.

Second place: The Providence Journal, Philharmonic wraps up season with Mahler Two, Channing Gray

Expressive, lyrical and knowledgeable writing that in itself is almost musical. Concise but very enlightening.

Third place: The Providence Journal, To Follow ‘Trance,’ Stay Alert, Michael Janusonis

In a strong field of very good entries, this one stands out for capturing what the reader needs to know and feel to decide if he or she might want to see this movie or not.

 

14-Arts or Entertainment Story

First place: Rhode Island Monthly, Opening Act, Ann Hood

This story is a great example of how a story can show the heart of a program in a way this is relatable and impactful to the reader. In this case, first person anchors the story and hooks the reader. Good sourcing and quote choice. The reader really gets invested in these kids. A good read from beginning to end.

Second place: Rhode Island Monthly, The New Girl, Alyssa Giacobbe

This is really a fresh take on a story like this—love getting the view from the everyman. Really nice sourcing and quotes as well as strong, engaging writing. Nice job.

Third place: The Providence Journal, A gift rooted in survival, Alisha A. Pina

A really engaging story that makes great use of the subject’s charisma and quotes. Good sourcing that makes reader care more about the subject. Nice writing.

 

15-Food & Dining Story

First place: Providence Monthly, Pop goes the restaurant, John Taraborelli

A very enjoyable and informative read. I like how this story captured in great color and detail a national trend that is emerging in the magazine’s readership area. It was the only entry that really achieved that, and as a result took me somewhere as a reader that was new, interesting and made me curious to learn more. The writing was clear, the reporter delved into the reasons fueling this culinary trend and the description of the food and preparation was well done—as it should be for this category.

Second place: Providence Monthly, What’s Cooking in PVD, Julie Tremaine and Grace Lentini

This is a nice job by the reporters of identifying a series of dining trends and compiling them all into a wonderful, interesting package. Kudos in particular to the sections on “Ocean-to-Table Eating” and “Tiny Dining.” The reporter did a great job of explaining why owners and eaters are embracing the concepts. The writing throughout the package was crisp, clear and snappy. The reporter writes in a style and manner that give the stories and her writing authority and it appears from reading the sections the reporter has done her homework in gathering the facts about the locations and places that are jumping on board with each specific trend.

Third place: The Providence Journal, Where are the women chefs?, Jenna Pelletier

Of all the entries in this category, I found this story tackled the most interesting, ‘newsy’ of subjects. It’s a great question to explore and I’m guessing endemic across the nation’s restaurants and kitchens. The reporter does a wonderful job of exploring the challenges of these local female chefs, whether it’s adapting to a men’s lockeroom mentality in the kitchen to the constant juggle between career and other things, like raising a family. I enjoyed in particular the piece on chef Soave-Nadeau because she really explored the challenges of being a female chef in a world dominated by men. One area where the story would have been helped would be some exploration of national context, in other words some facts or statistics about female chefs nationally. What is the percentage of male to female or other facts articulating the disparity between men and women in this workplace.

 

16-Unique/Most Unexpected Story

First place: The Providence Journal, A view from Westerly, Donita Naylor

Fascinating look at some bygone offices, with nice art. Would liked to have learned more about the history of these positions.

Second place: Rhode Island Monthly, Spring Fever, Ann Hood

Beautifully written recollection of good times and bad that comes full circle in the end. Clean descriptions that put the reader at the dining table.

Third place: The Providence Journal, A mystery set in stone, Richard C. Dujardin

Nice ancient mystery story with a modern twist and good balance between the two. Too bad Mellon ducked your questions.

Honorable mention: The Barrington Times, Family demands memorial, Josh Bickford

Definitely one for the are-you-kidding-me file. Clearly written and well-balanced.

 

17-Sports Story

First place: The Warwick Beacon, Marathon madness, William Geoghegan

Nice way to cover a community story—filled with interesting anecdotes.

Second place: The Providence Journal, Many views to one big blast, Brian MacPherson

Good job providing a fresh perspective on an event that received tremendous coverage.

Third place: The Providence Journal, It was the best of times, Kevin McNamara

Good use of personal anecdotes to show how the event went from small time to big time.

 

18-Sports Feature Story

First place: The South County Independent, Urban Legend, Bill Koch

A long read made worthwhile with some great descriptions of what made Wilson great, but didn’t shy from why his career didn’t take off. Kudos to getting Wilson to open up about his past and showing the path for great athletes doesn’t always mean a path into the big leagues. A great chronicle of a little redemption years in the making.

Second place: The Providence Journal, In his darkest hours, Red Sox reliever Britton was able to see the light, Tim Britton

Sometimes people, and athletes especially, don’t like to talk much about mistakes let alone ones so public. Britton didn’t need to get drama from solely his writing, just by the quotes from multiple people. Quotes from the player and those that know him are vivid and honest, making it all the more an impressive story.

Third place: The Warwick Beacon, A True Teammate, William Geoghegan

The lede draws you in right away (a 4-2, 62-lb QB?) and keeps the reader interested. The description and accompanying photo of Eva with the team is great. Wonderful to see a group of college guys embracing a kid like him. Would have been even better to quote a player but it’s obvious in the story what he means to the team and vice versa.

 

19-Sports Columnist

First place: The Providence Journal, Bill Reynolds

Very strong column on Belichick in wake of Hernandez arrest carried the entry. The column on Cousy’s wife’s death also showed a tremendous depth of knowledge on the subject, certainly one the writer gained in writing a book on Cousy. THe Providence/Rob Phelps column was a good look back at a player after his playing career is over.

Second place: The Providence Journal, Jim Donaldson

The column on the Boston Marathon bombing was strong—on what surely was a chaotic day without a lot of answers. It hit the right themes. I really enjoyed the Brady column and the details included. Sportswriters get to see things that most fans don’t. The column put fans into a scene they wouldn’t get the see.

Third place: The Pawtucket Times, Brendan McGair

I enjoyed the strong opinion in each of this entry’s columns. The writer brings an authoritative voice in both high school columns and a sense of outrage to the Ortiz piece with nice perspective from Ortiz’s previous public comments.

 

20-Editorial Writer

First place: The Westerly Sun, Robert Laux-Bachand

The writer tackled some weighty, complicated issues. Editorials were instructive and informational without being dry—it was easy to follow the arguments. The writer also clearly did research and—it seemed—some independent reporting, or at least built on the news being reported. Additionally, the writer called the responses and specific actions, including from the public.

Second place: The Sakonnet Times, Bruce Burdett

By telling stories and using conversational prose, the writer’s point was that much more powerful in each of the entries. These were a pleasure to read, raised good questions and did not pull punches.

Third place: The South County Independent, Liz Boardman

The piece from March 28 was very strong. It had a clear argument, emotion without sentimentality—such a topic could easily become maudlin—and proposed a solution. The other editorials were also thought-provoking and compelling. All pieces raised interesting, creatively-presented questions. I liked the use of Facebook comments and how the writer wove information together without quotes, making the pieces move briskly.

 

21-News Columnist

First Place: The Providence Journal, Bob Kerr

With each opening line, Kerr draws the reader in and then bit by bit unfurls details that, in the end, leave the reader with a satisfying, sometimes uncomfortable story. Well done.

 

22-Arts/Feature/Niche Columnist

First place: Providence Monthly, Emily Dietsch

Witty, informative, refreshing.

Second place: The Providence Journal, Karen Lee Ziner

Entertaining, off-the-beaten-path glimpses of R.I. life.

Third place: SO Rhode Island, Bob Curley

Informative, insightful artist profiles.

Honorable mention: Your Smithfield Magazine, Ron Scopelliti

Keep it quirky! Keep it nerdy! Very enjoyable.

 

23-General News Photo

First place: The Newport Daily News, Back in Flight, Dave Hansen

Judges had a really hard time deciding between the top two entries. This entry impressed the judged with its perfect framing. Your eye goes from the falcon to the ship back to the falcon. All of the judges agreed that we would have been very happy to bring this image back from this assignment.

Second place: The Providence Journal, Policing the party, Glenn Osmundson

Fantastic image under difficult lighting conditions. Tells the story well, nicely layered and it has wonderful colors. The judges could almost hear the thumping music in the background.

Third place: The Westerly Sun, Mighty Fine Trophies, Grace White

Really nice, clean, simple moment. Connection between captain and girl is timeless … a connection that all photojournalists aspire to. Well done picture from a general news assignment.

 

24-Spot News Photo

First place The Providence Journal, “I’m shmacked”, Glenn Osmundson

Great emotion on the faces of people as a chaotic scene—had the most human interest of the entries.

Second place: The Providence Journal, Mill Fire, Steve Szydlowski

The silhouette of a man walking below the fire makes the photo rise above other entries.

Third place: The Providence Journal, Bomb Squad, Steve Szydlowski

A good edit choice at the moment the officer is lowering inside the bag.

 

25-Feature Photo

First place: The Providence Journal, The Race is On, Bob Thayer

We liked the way the dog mimicked the sign, nice light and great shadow. A whimsical picture—nice find.

Second place: The Providence Journal, Vintage RI, Frieda Squires

This reeks of nostalgia. Colors—marquee, towels, suits—all complement each other. This is an image says “this is what summer is like.” Nice rhythm in their bodies.

Third place: The Providence Journal, A Second Look, Bob Thayer

This takes some anticipation—and realizing that a photo is there. Nicely framed, nice contrast in colors—the red towel, blue sky.

Honorable mention: The Providence Journal, RI Shoveling Out, Glenn Osmundson

Big discussion about whether this was general news or feature, but we like the layering and how your eye moves through the frame.

 

26-Personality Photo or Portrait

First place: The Providence Journal, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Frieda Squires

We can see the personality of the subject come through in the photo, in addition to it being a nice moment. The photo was well-composed such that its impact is maximized. Great energy in the photo.

Second place: The Providence Journal, Surely he jests, Sandor Bodo

This photo, from top to bottom, is elegantly lit but in a way that is simple and clear. We loved all the color and body language in the photo.

Third place: The Providence Journal, The New face of family life, Steve Szydlowski

This is a fun, playful photo that is imaginative and well executed.

Honorable mention: The Westerly Sun, Honoring our Heroes, Jill Connor

No comment given.

 

27-Sports Photo

First place: The Woonsocket Call, Coming Down to the Bitter End, Ernest A. Brown

Encapsulates winning and losing all in one photo. The image really tells a story and has great layering. An excellent find by the photographer, with whom we sympathize about the poor placement of the caption.

Second place: The Providence Journal, Jacob Hornoff sack, Glenn Osmundson

A unique angle for a great peak-action photo. It’s neat to see bodies totally horizontal like that. You can really feel the pain when that guy lands.

Third place: The Providence Journal, Jarrod Saltalamcchia, Glenn Osmundson

Good use of color and great anticipation by the photographer. It is a unique angle of a great moment.

Honorable mention: The Standard Times, RIIL State Championships, Evan Crawley

No comment given.

 

28-Photo Series/Pictorial

First place: SO Rhode Island, A Look Back, James Jones

Superb photography with good lighting technique.

Second place: Rhode Island Monthly, The Afterrmath, Michael Cevoli

A series of elegant photographs of a devastating scene.

Third place: The Providence Journal, Actually Andy, Kris Craig

This series has a nice lead photo—a mom’s kiss—that helped bring a human touch to the story.

 

29-Headline Writing

First place: The Providence Journal, Peter Donahue

Makes best use of words in tight spaces, being clever while keeping the heads spot-on with the content. The “Dark side of the sun” headline is really good.

Second place: The Woonsocket Call, Seth Bromley

Good plays on words while still nailing the stories’ topics. Particularly liked how the heads even played off the photos nicely.

Third place: The Newport Daily News, Various Dates, Scott Barrett

Sports headlines so often lead themselves to puns and cute wordplay, but it’s important to try to go beyond what’s been written 8,000 times, while still pulling in the reader. Two of three hit the mark here.

 

30-Special Section

First place: Rhode Island Monthly, High School Reunion, Staff Members

Great design. Interesting photos. Awesome concept for something like this.

Second place: Newport Life Magazine, A Passage in Time: 375 Years of Quite Progress, August 2013, Christine B. MacDonald, James E. Garman

Well designed. Makes history approachable and fun.

Third place (tie): Newport Life Magazine, Best of Newport County, May/June, 2013, Staff Members

Simple, elegant—makes great use of photos. Easy to engage with readers.

Third place (tie): The Warwick Beacon, All City, Kevin Pomeroy

Great—and different—approach to this kind of section. Clear display and good use of cutouts to add interest.

 

31-Best Newspaper Front Page

First place: The Providence Journal, Ray Capobianco

Great centerpiece design—strong art and typography complements it. Great use of san serif headline font to convey a newsy story. Labels also well balanced. Clean arrangement of elements.

Second place: The Providence Journal, Michael Lennahan

The centerpiece used compelling art with a strong story. Nice to see secondary photos of both men. The only thing I would fix is to create a horizontal version of the series logo. The stacked version is too bulky and deep. Train art also well played. An interesting photo composition in what could have been a boring photo. Well done overall!

Third place: The Newport Daily News, Jonathan Zins

Overall design uses well-chosen typography and font weights. Centerpiece is a well-executed alternative presentation of a topic that is best told in this format. Giving the readers the details, costs, etc. in an easily-digestible format really drew us in. Good use of color to highlight hierarchy.

One nit: The pull-quote repeats the message of the deck head. You could have had less story out there and more negative space/breathing room between the story and alternate presentation elements.

 

32-Best Cover

First place: SO Rhode Island, A Locavore’s Holiday, Staff Members

Beautiful cover! Beautiful photo! Clever use of the cutting board.

Second place (tie): Providence Monthly, Shine On, Staff Members

Elegant. Captivating. Smart.

Second place (tie): Rhode Island Monthly, Best of RI, Staff Members

Awfully well done. Clever idea. Draws reader to keep looking at it.

Third place: Newport Life Magazine, ‘Tis The Season, Staff Members

Cute photo! Really captures a sense of place. Nice use of type.

 

Honorable mention: Providence Monthly, The Highs and Lows of 2013, Staff Members

Excellent use of illustration and type. Reader knows what they are picking up.

Honorable mention: Rhode Island Monthly, 36 Reasons We Love Rhode Island, Staff Members

Clever use of type. I enjoyed every word. Loved the lobster!

 

33-Best Feature Front Page

First place: Rhode Island Monthly, Opening Act, Carolyn Marsden

Nice! You immediately catch on to what the story is about.

Second place (tie): Providence Monthly, The thrill of the Hunt, Corey Grayhorse

Great effort, all the right elements. Would have placed first, but it’s too cluttered right now.

Second place (tie): Rhode Island Monthly, The New Girl, Staff Members

Very fun!

Third place: The Providence Journal, The e-volution of libraries, Dave Weyermann

Great cover, but we wanted story to start out there, too. A lot of space for a big refer—no matter how well done.

 

34-Best Sports Front Page

First place: The Providence Journal, Ray Capobianco

This is how a postgame cover should look. It’s simple, but brilliant in that it contains absolutely every pertinent element in a clean fashion. You have the star as the main art—Blount set a team record. The reaction secondary photo—Pats win. The columnist on the right. Multiple multimedia teases—a beautiful slideshow setup to refer to the gallery, and the short and sweet interactive talker box. Draw me in, give me the news and don’t distract me—this cover does it all.

Second place: The Woonsocket Call, Seth Bromley

I like all the visual elements involved: side-by-side-by-side main art, a big headline with a side saddle deck, a colorful (and informative) info box for all of the weekend’s games and, of course, the visually striking cutout in the middle. I look at this and I feel like I’m getting what I need to prepare for a big weekend of football. Two small issues—the rule between the main headline/deck and the stories below can go to air things out, and what’s up with the goalie in the top left of the banner?

Third place: The Narragansett Times, Evan Crawley

This edition was historic and the boldness of the cover really fit the occasion. Big headline, full-page celebratory photo … I loved it. It was the most unique entry in the contest. The only knocks are minor-the “Championship Edition” headline is in such a light-faced type that it almost disappears on the page, and I feel like a lot of the text butts up to the margins. An inset of a few points on the cutline and body text would tighten and clean up the presentation.

 

35-Best Digital Presentation

Category did not meet minimum amount of entries to be judged.

 

36-Best Use of Digital Tools

First Place: Rhode Island Monthly, “Engaged,” Jennifer Steffy Swanson

This is a nicely designed website with strong writing and interesting content. The articles are useful and fun to read. The photos are appealing and well matched. You’ve made a nice font selection. I liked the blog articles and appreciated having the Twitter feed easily displayed. If I were a bride, I would find your site easy to easy and, sorry for the pun, engaging.

Your entry description highlighted the planning tool, but its placement on the website makes it a bit difficult to find. The interactive tool is a great use of the web and really is awesome. You should find a better way to show off such a handy item.

 

37-Community Outreach Award

Judges in this category were encouraged to provide feedback for all of the entries received. 

 

WINNER: The Providence Journal, Publick Occurrences Forum

A civil society is essential to the workings of a democracy. Congratulations to the Providence Journal for its organization and sponsorship of the Publick Occurrences forums. This series of public policy discussions not only informed participants but also challenged them to become more involved in the process. The organizers cleverly used technology in their gatherings to broaden the process. It is encouraging to see how this organization values the importance of civil discourse.

 

Independent Newspapers, Independent Spirit Awards

Most volunteers do amazing work and make a real difference in their communities. They are heroes, but often their work goes unrecognized. The staff of Independent Newspapers saw there was a need in their communities to shine a light on these good works and committed the time and resources to honor these deserving folks. We all should follow their example.

 

The Newport Daily News, Legislative Breakfast

It is essential to hold out public officials accountable for their actions, but it can be difficult for the public to engage the local legislators in a discussion. Sadly, a number of civic groups no longer sponsor community forums. The judges were impressed that the Newport Daily News recognized the importance of such gatherings and made the effort to sponsor the Legislative Breakfast. We are glad this will become an annual event.

 

Providence Business News, Health Care Summits

Health care is one of the most complicated public policy issues facing out country. Cheers to Providence Business News for going above and beyond to foster an informed and civil discussion.

 

Rhode Island Monthly, Rhode Island Monthly’s Best of Rhode Island

The staff of Rhode Island Monthly deserve praise for supporting arts education and for providing students with the chance to see a live performance. Arts education is shockingly undervalued. Rhode Island Monthly saw an opportunity to use their event to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of young people and support artist in their community. Impressive!

 

The Warwick Beacon, The Dueling Mayors

The judges agreed this was an outstanding community effort by the Warwick Beacon. Painting a stripe on a road does not seem like a big deal, but because of their efforts, The Warwick Beacon made it the focal point of civic pride. Like ripples in a pond, the good feelings engendered by this project will spread, fostering more community spirit. Nice work!

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