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Hudson Reporter staff wins awards for investigative reporting, Sandy layout
Jun 02, 2013 | 3384 views | 0 0 comments | 104 104 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Hudson Reporter Senior Staff Writer Al Sullivan, staff writer Amanda Palasciano, and Senior Graphic Artist Lisa M. Cuthbert picked up awards on May 23 at the Garden State Journalists Association’s 66th Annual Journalism Awards Dinner at The Chart House in Weehawken.

Each year, the association’s Memorial Journalism Awards recognize the year’s best in print and broadcast journalism. This year’s awards are for the year 2012.

The annual contest is open to all reporters, editors, graphic artists and photographers (print, online and broadcast) who live, work in, or produce stories about New Jersey.

The Reporter newspaper chain, with offices in Hoboken and Bayonne, publishes eight newspapers: The Hoboken Reporter, Bayonne Community News, Weehawken Reporter, Jersey City Reporter, Secaucus Reporter, North Bergen Reporter, Union City Reporter, and the West New York Reporter. The company also publishes Jersey City Magazine and 07030, which focuses on life in Hoboken.

Online versions of the newspapers appear at www.hudsonreporter.com.

Made things happen in Hoboken

Amanda Palasciano won two awards for investigative reporting for stories in the Hoboken Reporter.

Palasciano wrote “Dry Dock Property For Sale?,” a story about various proposals for the Hoboken waterfront, some that local residents were largely unaware of. Just days after the story ran, NJ Transit sent a letter to Mayor Dawn Zimmer saying that the transit agency was no longer pursuing a purchase of the Dry Dock property. Zimmer said that she had been asking NJ Transit not to develop the property for months, as had others, but NJ Transit only sent the letter three days after the story ran. The story was awarded first place in the Investigative Reporting category.
“The stories and artwork that won really show the diverse talents of our staff.” – Caren Matzner, editor in chief.
Palasciano’s other story – actually a series of two stories – also won an investigative award. “Follow The Money” focused on Councilman Michael Russo’s campaign finance practices, and arose from questions that the mayor wrote in a letter to the editor of the Reporter about why Russo never filed his campaign finance forms during his 2008 race. Since the questions were factual, they seemed worth a followup to find the answers. Palasciano pushed Russo to answer them and did research into campaign financing. As a result of the two stories that ran regarding the issue, Russo filed the required forms. Instead of simply leaving questions hanging, the newspaper asked for the facts.

“Investigative reporting isn’t something I would have ever thought I would get an award for, let alone two,” said Palasciano. “I do know though, that when you are passionate about figuring something out, the writing takes on a life of its own. I’m really stoked about this award, and feel like it really validates the fact that hard work pays off. Oh, and I’d like to thank my mom for passing on her innate detective skills.”

Sullivan’s stories addressed homelessness and the saving of a heart attack victim at Bayonne Medical Center.

Editor-in-Chief Caren Matzner complimented the staffers on their recognition. “The stories and layout that won really show the diverse talents of our staff. Both of the stories that Amanda wrote actually made something happen that was in the public interest, which is what journalism should do when it can. Often, it takes the public to read the stories and write letters or react, as well. A community newspaper works best when its readers are working with it, giving us ideas.”

Graphics awards

Senior Graphic Artist Lisa M. Cuthbert won awards in two categories.

“This is the first time I entered the Garden State Journalists Association contest,” she said, “so I’m honored and thrilled to have won these awards.”

In the Front Page Layout category, her cover designs for the all-county edition of the Hudson Reporter in the wake of Hurricane Sandy on Nov. 11 and for the Bayonne Community News of Nov. 7 were awarded first and second place, respectively.

Her design for “Up in Smoke,” a Jersey City Magazine article about the impending loss of the iconic smokestacks on the downtown Powerhouse building, won First Place in the Feature Story Layout category.

Co-Publisher Lucha Malato congratulated the award winners. “The Hudson Reporter staff all work hard and it is good to see them appreciated by their contemporaries,” she said.

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