Volume 17, Number 47 | April 15 — 21, 2005

Downtown Express wins 6 press awards

Downtown Express won six New York Press Association awards last weekend including ones for coverage of business, the Tribeca Film Festival and for photographic excellence.

Six marks a NYPA personal best for the Express, which won five awards last year in the Better Newspaper Contest and three in 2003, the first year the association allowed free publications to enter.

“Winning awards like this is always a thrill and a tremendous motivator for the whole staff of our newspapers,” said John W. Sutter, publisher and editor. “I am honored to work with such a talented group of people committed to producing quality community newspapers in the heart of the big city.”

Jane Flanagan, the paper’s arts editor, received a second place award for best column in Division 4, the highest circulation category. Judges from the Texas Press Association wrote: “Columnist manages to move big, national issues to local and personal levels.” Flanagan’s submitted columns were about living near potential terrorist targets Downtown, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge’s effectiveness and an archbishop’s declaration that voting for John Kerry would be a sin.

Judges wrote the paper’s “quick-style writing does the trick in a tough category—” Coverage of Business, Financial & Economic News, for which the Express won a second place award while competing against business publications and newspapers of all circulations. The paper was narrowly beaten by Business First of Buffalo which “has a slight edge in a very tough category,” according to the judges. Express “reporters show enterprise and think outside the box of traditional business stories. Range of coverage is superb.”

The two issues submitted by the Express for business included the paper’s annual Progress Report, as well as articles about developer Bruce Ratner’s plans to build a Frank Gehry-designed tower Downtown, an interview with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on Downtown economic projects, the opening of Bloomingdale’s in Soho, funding difficulties with the Hudson River Park, and business components of the Film Festival.

Last year’s preview of the Tribeca Film Festival won second place for Best Special Section. “Nicely done with attention to keeping it local,” the Texas judges wrote. “Well designed, too.”

The Progress Report with renderings of the proposed World Trade Center train center, memorial and Freedom Tower on the cover, took second place in the Best Special Section Cover category. “Simple headline catches reader’s eye – clear, bright photos — makes me want to read the entire section,” the judges wrote. Brett C Vermilyea, Downtown Express art & production director, swept the category by also taking first and third place awards for his work for The Villager, which like Downtown Express, is owned by Community Media L.L.C. The best cover was for The Villager’s City Homes section and included photographs by Elisabeth Robert. It was also published in the Express.

Downtown Express won third place in the Photographic Excellence category. Robert took the cover photo in both issues submitted (one of a Downtown Soccer League game and the other of a family who just moved back to their home across from the W.T.C.). Lorenzo Ciniglio’s pictures of the W.T.C. ceremonies on Sept. 11, 2004 and Milo Hess’ photo of the Tribute in Light exhibit as well as photos by Ramin Talaie and Corky Lee were all featured in the submission.

An ad for Jinsey Dauk designed by Vermilyea took second place for Best Small Space Ad.

The Villager won 16 New York Press Association awards including NYPA’s most-coveted one – the Stuart C. Dorman — given to the paper that accumulates the most award points in editorial categories. The paper’s associate editor, Lincoln Anderson, won a first place award for In-Depth Reporting and The Villager also won first place for Coverage of Crime, Police and Courts, Obituaries, Headline Writing and for Picture Story. The paper took second place in Coverage of Local Government and the judges praised the paper’s reporting on the 9/11 Commission hearings, which was written by Josh Rogers and also appeared in Downtown Express. “They show why an issue in a large city like N.Y.C. is important to their readers,” judges wrote. “Good coverage of 9/11 panel. Excellent way to bring in local opinion.”

Gay City News, the third paper owned by Community Media, won four awards including first place in Classified Advertising and third place in Coverage of the Arts and Advertising Excellence.

Despite competing against larger newspaper chains, Community Media finished first in the city and fifth in the state in editorial and advertising points, amassing 310. Southampton Town Newspapers, Inc. finished first in New York. One hundred and eighty-nine papers entered the contest submitting 4,159 entries. The winners were announced April 8 and 9 in Albany at NYPA’s annual convention.

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Downtown Express is published by
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Phone: 212.242.6162 | Fax: 212.229.2970
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