Volume 18 • Issue 48 | April 14 - 20, 2006

Editorial

Awarding a community and a newspaper

There’s more than the usual deadline pressure on us this week, but we are happy about it. Over the weekend, Downtown Express won ten New York Press Association awards, including the award for best editorials, so perhaps a few more people are turning to this page this week to find out if we are really that deserving of the top prize.

We are proud that judges from the Washington State Press Association think our editorials are the best, but our ultimate judge is you – our readers – and it is your scrutiny of us, your holding us to high standards that enables us to accomplish what we do.

The Express won nine other awards over the weekend recognizing work that’s done all across the paper – by the editors, reporters, photographers, columnists, designers and the ads sales people.

Our thanks go to our readers as well as our advertisers who make this free publication possible every week.

We also know that we have a great advantage over other weekly newspapers in New York City and State — in that our beat is one of the most interesting in the world.

For the last four and a half years, the world has focused on this place we call home and we take the responsibility of covering the recovery of this vibrant, exciting community very seriously.

The other award we are most proud of is the first place prize for coverage of local government. Local government is probably bigger Downtown than most other communities in the country and we do our best to hold officials accountable and let you know what they are doing. Not only do we have a sophisticated community board dealing with complicated issues, but there is also the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, owners of the World Trade Center site, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center and the Battery Park City Authority. Lower Manhattan is also a primary focus of both the governor and mayor. We enjoy having so much to cover.

It’s clear that weekly newspapers still fill an important niche in people’s lives and the need may be even more in Lower Manhattan where larger news organizations often skim over neighborhood concerns. While daily newspapers are sadly losing readers drained away by the Internet and TV, weekly newspapers are going strong. We focus on community news — schools, development and preservation issues — that affect our readers every day, in the neighborhoods where they live. We cover these issues and events every week, week in and week out, all year.

The ads we won awards for were mostly for small businesses. Our ad sales and graphics people understand the importance of serving the needs of these business owners, and on the editorial side of the paper, we understand how hard things have been for many of these entrepreneurs and have devoted a lot of space and time to reporting on their problems.

We say this not for a pat on the back – we got that over the weekend – but just to emphasize that we are part of this community – another one of its small businesses — and relish covering it. We think the judges were saying this is an exciting place to be. They are right.


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