The Hudson Reporter newspapers recently won nine awards in the annual statewide Better Newspaper Contest run by the New Jersey Press Association.
Members of the graphics and sales staffs won five awards for ads and the staff writers won four awards for their reporting.
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.
Online versions of the newspapers appear at www.hudsonreporter.com.
The Reporter’s co-publishers greeted the news of the awards with appreciation for their employees’ efforts.
“All our staff works very hard,” said Lucha Malato. “I’m proud of what they do. It’s so rewarding to see them appreciated by their professional association.”
Dave Unger amplified Malato’s remarks. “Our staff works tirelessly year round to bring the local news to our residents. It’s rewarding to see them recognized publicly for their efforts.”
“There’s a lot of big talent at a small newspaper.” – Caren Matzner, editor
First place awards from the NJPA in the Reporting, Writing and Illustration category were given to staff writer Vanessa Cruz for her story “The Gentle Giant” in the North Bergen Reporter, and staff writer Dean DeChiaro for his story “Bach, Brahms and Barber, oh my!” in the Union City Reporter.
“ ‘The Gentle Giant’ ” was my very first story with the Hudson Reporter, my audition piece,” said Cruz. “I wanted to delve deeper to get to know the man that Omar Monroig was through his relatives and friends. He wasn’t simply a hit and run victim, he was someone’s son, brother, father, husband and friend.”
“My story was originally meant to focus on a specific concert given by the Union City Chamber Players,” DeChiaro said. “But in the process I began to discuss with members of the group the resurgence of the arts scene in North Hudson, and I think that’s what made the story interesting. The concert was directly in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and the presidential election, so it was especially interesting to hear the artists’ thoughts.”
Staff writer Adriana Rambay Fernandez was awarded second place in the Reporting, Writing and Illustration category for her story “Life-Saving Gift” in the Secaucus Reporter.
Fernandez was also awarded third place in the same category for “Styrofoam Ban Sticks” in the Secaucus Reporter.
The reporting staff has won numerous awards over the years for investigative reporting and feature writing. They are still awaiting word on two other statewide contests.
Graphics and sales awards
The Reporter’s sales and graphics teams scored three first place awards and two other awards.
Senior Graphics Designer Lisa M. Cuthbert was awarded first place in the Best Special Section Cover category for “Release The Magic” which ran in the Bayonne Community News. Cuthbert also was awarded third place in the same category for “Progress,” which appeared in the Hoboken Reporter.
“It is always an honor to be recognized by your peers, as this is an extremely competitive business,” Cuthbert said. “The cover to any publication, whether it be books, magazines or in this case newspapers, is what seduces the reader into wanting more. It offers the reader a ‘taste’ of what lurks beyond the front page of the publication. Whenever I design something I try to imagine what will entice the consumer, while keeping the integrity of the project in mind.”
Senior Graphics Designer Pasquale Spina and Advertising Manager Tish Kraszyk won first place for Best Use of Color for work that appeared in the Bayonne Community News titled “The Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony.” The duo won second place in the Best Use of Humor category for “Annual Turkey Toss” that also appeared in the Bayonne Community News.
“For nearly 17 years,” Kraszyk said, “I have had the pleasure of working alongside many talented people here at The Reporter. Our writers and artists work tirelessly and creatively to produce great publications that we can be proud of. They are all award winners in my book.”
“I would like to underline how this publication’s staff proves year in and year out the talent it has within, to hold its own against almost 200 other publications that enter the contest in the state of New Jersey,” Spina said. “It is an honor and an important recognition to be chosen as a winner among thousands of peers.”
Graphic Designer Patricia Verano and Account Executive Jay Slansky were awarded first place in the Best External Promotion Piece for an entry titled “Holiday Shopping and Dining.”
“It was a great honor to find out that I had received an award along with my designer Patricia Verano,” Slansky said, “who really deserves all the credit.”
The Spring Awards Banquet for retail and classified advertising and online advertising winners was Thursday, April 11 at The Manor in Hamilton. Press Night for editorial, online (editorial) and photography awards will be at The Manor on Thursday, April 25.