Photo courtesy of: Paul J. Spetrini Photography

Journalists representing Sherman Publishing at the 2017 Rhode Island Press Association Editorial Awards Banquet pose for a photo with the awards won for their publications: The Newport Daily News, The Independent Newspaper, Mercury, South County Life Magazine and Newport Life Magazine. 

2017 Rhode Island Press Association Contest Winners

Results for the 2016 Rhode Island Press Association Editorial Award Competition. Presented April 28, 2017

The Rhode Island Press Association is pleased to provide a list of winners and comments from judges for the 2016 Editorial Contest. The contest was judged by the Idaho Press Club. The winners and comments, when provided by judges, are provided in place order. To skip sections, please click one of the links below. 

Writing             Photography             Design             Distinction

Writing

 

1. News Story (Short)

* First place: Sean Flynn, The Newport Daily News, “Proposal aims to curb panhandling in city”

* Second place: Jacqueline Tempera, The Providence Journal, “Sanctuary under threat”

* Third place: Ethan Shorey, The Valley Breeze, “Business owner taking Sen. Doyle back to court”

* Honorable Mention: Russ Olivo, The Woonsocket Call, “Who killed Constance?”

 

2. NEWS STORY (IN-DEPTH)

* First place: Mary MacDonald, Providence Business News, “City leaders cringe at the thought, but is bankruptcy Providence's way out?”

* Second place: Eli Sherman, Providence Business News, “Will being first pay off for Ocean State?”

*Third place: Lynn Arditi, The Providence Journal, “Treating Eric”

* Honorable mention: Tony Pacitti, Providence Monthly, “Saving Superman”

Photo: Paul J. Spetrini

Mary MacDonald, of the Providence Journal, second from right, won first place in the News Story (In-Depth) category for ”City leaders cringe at the thought, but is bankruptcy Providence's way out?” during the 2017 Rhode Island Press Association Awards Banquet.

3. SPOT NEWS STORY

* First place: Sean Flynn and M. Catherine Callahan, The Newport Daily News, "House fire takes life of 7-year-old"

* Second place: Paul Edward Parker and Karen Lee Ziner, The Providence Journal, "Woman is killed by bus in crosswalk"

* Third place: Derek Gomes and Marcia Pobzeznik, The Newport Daily News, ‘It had a happy ending’

* Honorable mention: Tom Mooney and Katie Mulvaney, The Providence Journal, "Guilty: Doyle convicted of embezzlement, forgery."

* Judge's Comments: The judge commended Flynn and Callahan for “depth of coverage, including victim profile.”

 

4. INVESTIGATIVE/ANALYTICAL NEWS STORY OR SERIES

* First place: Jennifer Bogdan, Katherine Gregg, Tom Mooney and Karen Lee Ziner, The Providence Journal, “Grants misused”

* Second place: Erica Moser, The Woonsocket Call, “Broken Tail leaves a trail of broken hearts”

* Third place: Ethan Shorey, The Valley Breeze, “Mayor: Gannon's ethics complaint part of 'personal vendetta.’ ”

 

5. SINGLE-TOPIC SERIES

* First place: Karen Lee Ziner and Jacqueline Tempera, The Providence Journal, “Howdy White stories”

* Second place: Eli Sherman and Mary MacDonald, Providence Business News, “The (still) looming crisis”

* Third place: Jennifer Bogdan and Tom Mooney, The Providence Journal, “Pot and Profit”

* Honorable mention: Jen Cowart, The Cranston Herald, “STEAM education in the Cranston Schools”

 

* Judge's Comments: “The Howdy White stories were compelling, powerful examples of the plague of sexual abuse and the lengths to which institutions such as elite schools and churches will go,” the judge said.

 

6. BUSINESS STORY

* First place: Eli Sherman, Providence Business News, “Casting a long shadow: Will Rhode Island ever leave 38 Studios behind?”

* Second place: Mary MacDonald, Providence Business News, “Has the mall been worth it?”

* Third place: Jen McCaffery, Rhode Island Monthly, “Minding the Gap”

* Honorable mention: Kate Bramson, The Providence Journal, Special Report: 38 Studios.

 

7. EDUCATION STORY

* First place: Patricia Dadonna, Providence Business News, “Is the MBA losing value?”

* Second place: Linda Borg, The Providence Journal, “Why Massachusetts Schools are better”

* Third place: Tracie Seed, Newport Life Magazine, “Decoding dyslexia”

* Honorable mention: Carla Aveledo, The Independent, “URI students struggle in face of rising debt”

 

* Judge's Comments: The judge said: “Providence Business News' MBA story was exhaustively researched, richly reported and relied on well-sourced interviews to show the personal impacts on the issue.”

 

8. RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY STORY

* First place: Joseph Fitzgerald, The Woonsocket Call, “Faith lit the way”

* Second place: Jacqueline Tempera, The Providence Journal, “Outcry over firing of gay music director”

* Third place: Nancy Kirsch, The Newport Daily News, “To forgive is ... human”

 

* Judge's Comments: The judge said that Fitzgerald’s story “highlights what is clearly a beloved tradition by making it vivid and human. I love the frame with Madeline Oliveria – it brings immediate emotion to the story, and ends it on a beautiful note. Great sourcing and quotes throughout, and an interesting mix of historical background and looking to the future. The scene-setting paragraphs are excellent, and the story has great narrative shape overall.”

 

9. REPORTING ON THE ENVIRONMENT

* First place: John Taraborelli, Providence Monthly, “Providence we have a recycling problem”

* Second place: Mary Grady, Rhode Island Monthly, “The clean-up act”

* Third place: Todd McLeish, Rhode Island Monthly, “Where the wild things are”

* Honorable mention: Todd McLeish, Mercury, “Deer in the headlights”

10. SCIENCE/HEALTH CARE

STORY

* First place: Casey Nilsson, Rhode Island Monthly, "Child interrupted"

* Second place: Ethan Shorey, The Valley Breeze, "Fighting chronic lyme"

* Third place: Don Fowler, Prime Time, "Impatient patient"

 

* Judge's Comments: On Nilsson’s story, the judge commented: “An excellent investigation into the sad state of mental health care facing children across America. Clear writing and storytelling.”

 

11. PROFILE OR PERSONALITY STORY

* First place: Philip Eil, Rhode Island Monthly, "The freshman"

* Second place: Paul Bubluski, The Mercury, "Hell and high water"

* Third place: Barry Fain and Steve Triedman, East Side Monthly, "The end of an era"

* Honorable mention: Russ Olivo, The Woonsocket Call, "When there’s no place to go"

Photo: Paul J. Spetrini

Casey Nilsson, of Rhode Island Monthly, center, won first place in the Science/Health Care Story category for “Child interrupted” during the 2017 Rhode Island Press Association Awards Banquet.

12. FEATURE STORY (SHORT)

* First place: Tracie Seed, Newport Life Magazine, "Pipe dream"

* Second place: Jonathan Bissonnette, The Pawtucket Times, "Hero comes home"

* Third place: James Bessette, South County Life, "Shifting into overdrive"

* Honorable mention: Brittany Ballantyne, The Valley Breeze, "It’s a mother and child reunion"

 

* Judge's Comments: The judge described Seed’s piece this way: “This is a fun, bright feature with an interesting variety of voices and a particularly fantastic infographic. The lead backs into the story, but it makes sense – the parade is the hook, and this digs into a traditional part of the parade people may not know much about. Fantastic quotes throughout, and a nice loop back at the end.”

 

13. FEATURE STORY (IN-DEPTH)

* First place: Jen McCaffery, Rhode Island Monthly, "Power to the people"

* Second place: Casey Nilsson, Rhode Island Monthly, "They’ve all come to look for America"

* Third place: Paul Bubluski, Mercury, "Fall River’s moon shot"

* Honorable mention: Brittany Ballantyne, The Valley Breeze, "Sisters meet again, nearly 80 years later"

 

14. ARTS REVIEW OR CRITICISM

* First place: Amanda M. Grosvenor, Providence Monthly, “See them while you can”

* Second place: Helena Touhey, The Newport Daily News, “Going out with a bang”

* Third place: Tony Pacitti, Providence Monthly, “Ghost songs”

* Honorable mention: Russ Olivo, The Woonsocket Call, “One vault, millions in mob money, and a Woonsocket thief at the wheel”

 

* Judge's Comments: The judge said Grosvenor’s piece was “insightful and surprising.”

15. ARTS OR ENTERTAINMENT STORY

* First place: Tony Pacitti, Providence Monthly, “Bigger than a parade”

* Second place: James J. Gillis, The Newport Daily News, “Learning the ropes”

* Third place: Casey Nilsson, Rhode Island Monthly, “Folk yeah!”

* Honorable mention: Molly Lederer, East Side Monthly, “Get dramatic”

 

* Judge's Comments: The judge said that Pacitti’s story was “fascinating, clearly written and meaningful.”

 

16. FOOD & DINING STORY

* First place: Todd McLeish, South County Life Magazine, “Eat the invaders”

* Second place: Julie Tremaine, So Rhode Island, “What’s cooking?”

* Third place: Eli Sherman, Providence Business News, “An industry on the go”

* Honorable mention: Jamie Coehlo, Rhode Island Monthly, “The ultimate guide to pizza”

17. UNIQUE/MOST UNEXPECTED STORY 

Photo: Paul J. Spetrini

Kathleen Troost-Cramer, of Mercury, center, won first place in the Unique/Most Unexpected category for “Parks and Investigation” during the 2017 Rhode Island Press Association Awards Banquet.

* First place: Kathleen Troost-Cramer, Mercury, “Parks and investigation”

* Second place: Grace Lentini, Providence Monthly, “The hot wiener: a Rhode Island icon”

* Third place: Ethan Shorey, The Valley Breeze, “Loving life at 106”

* Honorable mention: Gerry Goldstein, Rhode Island Monthly, “The Mystery of Michael Murphy”

 

* Judge's Comments: The judge described Troost-Cramer’s story as: “A wonderful kids-eye view of local playgrounds.”

 

18. SPORTS STORY

* First place: Brendan McGair, The Woonsocket Call, “A cautionary tale”

* Second place: Brian MacPherson, The Providence Journal, “Porcello found a way to weather pressure”

* Third place: Matt Metcalf, Warwick Beacon, “Paye commits to Michigan”

* Honorable mention: James Bessette, The Newport Daily News, “Striking it rich”

 

19. SPORTS FEATURE STORY

* First place: Bill Reynolds, The Providence Journal, “A pioneer who battled the odds”

* Second place: Grace Kelly, Rhode Island Monthly, “Move like the wind”

* Third place: Mark Daniels, The Providence Journal, “Hogan’s drive comes without a speed limit”

* Honorable mention: Jane Fusco and Peg Brown, Smithfield Times, “Noel Acciari”

 

20. SPORTS COLUMNIST

* First place: Bill Reynolds, The Providence Journal.

* Second place: John Gillooly, The Providence Journal.

* Third place: Brendan McGair, The Woonsocket Call.

 

* Judge's Comments: “Interesting stories and well written,” the judge said.

 

21. EDITORIAL WRITER

* First place: Randal Edgar, The Providence Journal.

* Second place: Liz Boardman, The Independent.

* Third place: Edward C. Achorn, The Providence Journal.

 

* Judge's Comments: The judge said: “Randal Edgar's editorials stood out for their clear exploration of complicated topics — unfunded liabilities and the failed rollout of a costly statewide benefits system.”

 

22. NEWS/FEATURES COLUMNIST

* First place: Mark Patinkin, The Providence Journal.

* Second place: Laurence J. Sasso Jr., The Smithfield Times.

* Third place: Fran Ostendorf, The Jewish Voice.

 

* Judge's Comments: The judge said: “Patinkin's stories are personal and riveting. Exposing those personal experiences is a vulnerable act, and it makes for compelling reading.”

 

23. ARTS/NICHE COLUMNIST

* First place: John Kostrzewa, The Providence Journal.

* Second place: John Taraborelli, Providence Monthly.

* Third place: Todd Corayer, So Rhode Island

* Honorable mention: Alexander Castro, Mercury.

 

* Judge's Comments: The judge described Kostrzewa’s work as “really well researched and reasoned with solid writing backing it up.”

 

24. HEADLINE WRITING

* First place: Tony Pacitti; Staff; Julie Tremaine, Providence Monthly.

* Second place: Evan Crawley, The Newport Daily News.

* Third place: Seth Bromley, The Woonsocket Call.

* Honorable mention: Janine Weisman, Mercury.

Photography

 

25. GENERAL NEWS PHOTO

* First place: David DelPoio, The Providence Journal, “Supporters and protesters square off”

* Second place: Richard W. Dionne Jr., The East Providence Post, “ ‘I will not be intimidated’ “

* Third place: Richard W. Dionne Jr., Barrington Times, “Yoga pants: ‘He was very, very offensive.' ”

 

* Judge's Comments: The judge commended DelPoio: “Way to get a first-person perspective!”

 

26. SPOT NEWS PHOTO

* First place: Richard W. Dionne Jr., The East Providence Post, “No holiday from heroin”

* Second place: Steve Szydlowski, The Providence Journal, “Tempers flare”

* Third place: Steve Szydlowski, The Providence Journal, “Wind-whipped flames”

* Honorable mention: Bob Breidenbach, The Providence Journal, “A day on the beat”

Photo: Paul J. Spetrini

Ernest A. Brown, of The Woonsocket Call, right, won first place in the Feature Photo category for "The beer necessities” during the 2017 Rhode Island Press Association Awards Banquet.

*Judge's Comments: “Great capture!” the judge said of Dionne’s winning photo. “Reads immediately and the shallow DOF cleans up the background nicely.”

 

27. FEATURE PHOTO

* First place: Ernest A. Brown, Woonsocket Call, “The beer necessities”

* Second place: Richard W Dionne Jr, Bristol Phoenix, “The Fourth is in the air”

* Third place: Kris Craig, The Providence Journal, “Sheepishly staring”

* Honorable mention: Harold Hanka, The Westerly Sun, “Wyoming Dam”

 

* Judge's Comments: “Nice use of reflection by the photographer,” the judge said of Brown’s photo.

 

28. PERSONALITY PHOTO OR PORTRAIT

* First place: Kendall Pavan St. Laurent, The Bay Magazine, “Old-school cinema”

* Second place: David DelPoio, The Providence Journal, “Hoping for help from drivers”

* Third place: Brad Smith, Providence Monthly, “Natural meets industrial”

* Honorable mention: Brad Smith, So Rhode Island, “An uncanny hobby”

 

* Judge's Comments: The first-place entry showed “great execution -- emotion, props and lighting tell the story,” according to the judge.

 

29. SPORTS PHOTO

* First place: Paul J. Spetrini, The Independent, “Back to the top”

* Second place: Glenn Osmundson, The Providence Journal, “I thought you had it?”

* Third place: Paul J. Spetrini, The Independent, “Back and better than ever”

* Honorable mention: Harold Hanka, The Westerly Sun, “Skimfest”

 

* Judge's Comments: While commending all the winning entries, the judge said that “Pulling in the second place team during their group photo was the deciding factor” in Spetrini’s first-place honor.

 

30. PHOTO SERIES/PICTURE STORY

* First place: David DelPoio, The Providence Journal, “A final goodbye to Enzo”

* Second place: Jason Evans, Rhode Island Monthly, “Folk yeah!”

* Third place: Stacey Doyle, The Bay Magazine, “Down on the family farm”


*Judge's Comments: The judge said that DelPoio’s work “Felt like a photo essay and was tightly edited.”

Design

 

31. BEST NEWSPAPER FRONT PAGE

* First place: Danny Crandall, The Woonsocket Call, “Encapsulating a lifetime of memories”

* Second place: Pat Erickson, The Valley Breeze, “June 2”

* Third place: Darryl Greenlee and Lisa Lagreca, “Who will lead on pensions, benefits?”

* Honorable mention: Jason Armstrong, The Providence Journal, “A whale of a mural”

 

32. BEST COVER

* First place: Patricia Cahill-Taft, Veronica Musch and Janine Weisman, Mercury, Water World;

* Second place: Meghan H. Follett, The Bay, August cover.

* Third place: Meghan H. Follett, East Side Monthly, July cover.

* Honorable mention: Veatsna Sok, East Side Monthly, January cover.

* Judge's Comments: The judge said, “It was hard to judge this category. So many beautiful photos, great illustrations and beautiful composition.”

Photo: Paul J. Spetrini

Scott Barrett, at left, won first place in the Best Sports Front Page category for "40 Love" during the 2017 Rhode Island Press Association Awards Banquet.

33. BEST FEATURE FRONT PAGE

* First place: Meghan H. Follett, The Bay Magazine, “Down on the family farm”

* Second place: Newport Life Magazine, “Top 10 groundbreakers”

* Third place: Danny Crandall, The Woonsocket Call, “Underneath it all”

* Honorable mention: Mike Nicolau, The Newport Daily News.

 

34. BEST SPORTS FRONT PAGE

* First place: Scott Barrett, The Newport Daily News, “40 Love”

* Second place: Joy Haynes, The Providence Journal, “Over and out”

* Third place: William Geoghegan, The Independent, “Rebels take Providence”

* Honorable mention: Brendan McGair, The Woonsocket Call, “It’s about everyone”

Distinction

 

35. GENERAL ELECTION
COVERAGE

* First place: Staff, The Providence Journal, "Ballot questions"

* Second place: Marcia Green,  Ethan  Shorey, Sandy Seoane and Brittany Ballantyne, The Valley Breeze, "All politics is local"

* Third place: Staff, The Newport Daily News, "General election coverage"

 

* Judge's Comments: The judge commended all three winning entries: “Great coverage all around.”

 

36. SINGLE-TOPIC ELECTION COVERAGE

Category received less than three entries and was not judged.

 

37. SPECIAL SECTION 

Photo: Paul J. Spetrini

Jacqueline Tempera, of the Providence Journal, far right, was named Notable New Reporter of the Year during the 2017 Rhode Island Press Association Awards Banquet. 

* First place: Rhode Island Monthly, “My favorite place”

* Second place: Hey Rhody, “Summer day trips”

* Third place: Rhode Island Monthly, “Best of Rhode Island”

 

* Judge's Comments: “Strong, lively writing across the board. I'm especially impressed by ‘My Favorite Place,’ a unique take on the typical travel special section,” the judge said.

 

38. BEST DIGITAL PRESENTATION

* First place: The Providence Journal, “State primary”

* Second place: The Bay Magazine, “Happy trails: your guide to hiking in the East Bay”

* Third place: Hey Rhody, “13 summer day trips in Rhode Island”

 

39. DISTINGUISHED REPORTER OF THE YEAR

Category received less than three entries and was not judged.

 

40. NOTABLE NEW REPORTER OF THE YEAR

* First place: Jacqueline Tempera, The Providence Journal.

* Second place: Erica Moser, The Woonsocket Call.

* Third place: Alexander Castro, Mercury.

 

* Judge's Comments: Of all three award winners, the judge commented: “A talented crew of young reporters showcasing poise, breadth and depth. RIPA is well-served with this lot of new arrivals. A welcome reminder that journalism still attracts”

 

41. PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

* First place: Steve Szydlowski, The Providence Journal.

* Second place: Harold Hanka, The Westerly Sun.

* Third place: Michael Derr, The Independent.

 

* Judge's Comments: The judge complimented Szydlowski’s work for its “great mix of general and spot news along with portrait and feature images.”

 

42. COMMUNITY OUTREACH AWARD

Category received less than three entries and was not judged.

Photo: Paul J. Spetrini

Staff members from Providence Media, which produces So Rhode Island, Providence Monthly, East Side Monthly and the Bay, show off their awards following the 2017 Rhode Island Press Association Awards Banquet, held April 28, 2017 at the Quonset 'O' Club in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.