NORTH KINGSTOWN -- The Rhode Island Press Association honored journalists from throughout the state Friday, April 24 with 122 awards for writing, design, photography and general excellence for work in 2014. The awards, presented during the association’s annual banquet at the Quonset “O” Club, were based on almost 430 entries in 43 categories. The South County Independent won first place in a new category introduced this year for Community Newspaper of the Year. The award recognizes overall excellence in local and regional reporting by a weekly news staff on news, features and sports. The Providence Journal won the second annual Community Outreach Award for its three Publick Occurrences forums, in partnership with Leadership Rhode Island and Rhode Island College. The forums focused on the gubernatorial election, the struggling middle class in Rhode Island and the state’s broken mental health system. The Community Outreach Award recognizes the outstanding work by a news organization beyond the printed page to benefit or engage the community that it serves. The award comes with a $500 donation to the charity of the winner’s choice. The Journal, which also won this award in 2013, will donate the money to the New England First Amendment Coalition, as it did last year. Also during the banquet, the press association reelected three officers, Paul J. Spetrini Jr. of Independent Newspapers as president, Susan H. Areson of The Providence Journal as vice president and Linda Lotridge Levin as secretary, Sarah Francis or Rhode Island Monthly was elected as the association’s treasurer, succeeding Nancy W. Kirsch. To see the full list of winners from this year's Editorial Contest, and to read judge's comments, please click here.
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