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Hudson Reporter newspapers win slew of state awards

Garden State Journalists Association fetes writing, graphics, photography

THE WINNERS – Members of the Hudson Reporter staff with their awards at a banquet in Weehawken on Wednesday night. Left to right: Victor M. Rodriguez, Caren Matzner, Lisa M. Cuthbert, Marilyn Baer, Terriann Saulino Bish and Al Sullivan. Photo by Alyssa Bredin.

The reporters and graphic artists for the Hudson Reporter newspapers recently won 11 writing, 12 photography, and six layout awards in the prestigious 2016 Memorial Journalism Awards run annually by the Garden State Journalists Association.
The newspaper chain, founded in 1983 in Hoboken and now based in 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 the life-style magazines Hoboken 07030, Jersey City Magazine, and Bayonne – Life on the Peninsula.
The winning stories and photos can be found on hudsonreporter.com.
The winners will be honored May 24 at the awards dinner at The Chart House in Weehawken.
The chain also won several awards in the New Jersey Press Association competition held in January.

Writing awards

In the news category, Hoboken beat reporter Marilyn Baer and Editor Caren Lissner were awarded first place in the Print/Series category for a series of stories in The Hoboken Reporter covering the deadly train crash in the Hoboken train station last September.
It was also announced late last week that Marilyn Baer won “Rookie of the Year” in a different contest statewide for a packet of stories including her train crash coverage (see sidebar).
The staff’s writing also garnered another first place, this time in the Print/Spot News category. Al Sullivan and Rory Pasquariello shared a byline for a story in The Jersey City Reporter headlined “The ‘I’m not telling you’ vote.” The story proved prophetic, as it highlighted the lack of national election signage locally.
In Print/General News, Sullivan was awarded first place for a story in The Jersey City Reporter, “The first day of her real life,” profiling local transgender woman’s first day back at the job in Jersey City that she previously did as a man. He also received first place in the Print/Review category for a restaurant review in The Jersey City Reporter titled, “Trust Me: Honsho offers a very special sushi experience,” a portrait of a restaurant in Jersey City carrying on a long-standing Japanese tradition.
And a major award, the Hildy Johnson Award for public service, was given to former staff writer Joseph Passantino for an article in the The Weehawken Reporter, “Smack surges in Hudson County,” a survey of how heroin use has spread in Hudson County.
Sullivan profiled a local transgender woman’s first day back at the job in Jersey City she previously did as a man.
The reporters also had a good showing in second and third place in some categories.
In the Print/Investigative Reporting category, Sullivan and former reporter Joseph Passantino received second place for “Electronic cheating?” in the Bayonne Community News, about a school district investigation into possible smart phone cheating on school exams.
In the Print/Feature category, Sullivan received a third place honor for “Seeking the sea,” describing a movie that depicted fulfillment of a cancer victim’s last request. It appeared in The Jersey City Reporter.
Former Hoboken staff writer Steven Rodas, who was succeeded by Baer in the Hoboken beat, placed in three categories. In the Print/General News category, he was awarded second place for “Into the blizzard, then gone …” in The Hoboken Reporter, about a missing man. He was awarded second place in the Print/Series category for a story in The Hoboken Reporter, “Washington Street Renovation,” and for Print/Investigative Reporting, he received third place for a story in The Hoboken Reporter headlined, “Fixing problems in public housing projects,” examining how politics roiled the local Housing Authority board of trustees.
Former North Hudson beat reporter Art Schwartz placed third in the Print/General News category for an intriguing North Bergen Reporter feature story titled “From ‘jungles’ to village’,” describing how a box found in a closet revealed the fascinating history of a federally constructed North Bergen neighborhood.

Graphics awards

Senior Graphics Artist Lisa M. Cuthbert won three first place awards in the categories of Layout & Design Weekly, Layout Magazine Front Cover (shared with Victor M. Rodriguez), and Feature Story Layout Magazine for artistry that appeared in The Hoboken Reporter, The Bayonne Community News, and the magazine 07030 Hoboken, respectively.
She also received second place honors in the Layout & Design Weekly (The Bayonne Community News) and Feature Story Layout Magazine (07030 Hoboken) categories.
Graphics Artist Terriann Saulino Bish received a third place award in the Feature Story Layout Magazine category for work that appeared in Jersey City Magazine.

Photography awards

Photo of the Year was awarded to former staff writer Art Schwartz for an image in The North Bergen Reporter with a story headlined “Coffee with a cop expands.” North Bergen has made the police and community get togethers even bigger.
Schwartz was also awarded first place in the Photography/Feature category, and third place for
Photography/General News and Photography/Essay.
Former staff writer Passantino won photography awards in the following categories: first place in Photography/Spot News; first and second place in Photography/General News; first and second place in Photography/Portraits & Personality; and second place in Photography/Essay.
Lissner was awarded first place in the Photography/Essay category for a feature titled “Signs of the City” that highlighted various handwritten signs taped around Hoboken by neighbors, which she has documented over the years.
Lissner also nabbed second place in Photography/Feature for “Autumn Rain” in the Hoboken Reporter.


SPJ contest also announces awards

Writers for The Hudson Reporter also won a number of awards from the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for work done in 2016, awards announced late last week. They were:

Local Journalism, Wilson Barto Rookie of the Year
First Place, Marilyn Baer, for three different stories: “15 years later,” “Where are the answers,” “Every rider needs to be safe and secure.” The Hoboken Reporter. The judges commented, “Marilyn did an excellent job reporting on a tragic crash that claimed the life of a mother. Marilyn tackled a difficult topic with expertise, tact and compassion, which isn’t an easy task. She asked the right questions and continued to elevate the story.”
Local Journalism, State or Regional News
First Place, Al Sullivan, “Casino compromise/Christie calls Fulop political boss” The Jersey City Reporter.
Local Journalism, Commentary
First Place, Al Sullivan, “The First Day of her Real Life,” The Jersey City Reporter. The judges commented: “Fascinating story in straightforward language. A good read.”
Local Journalism, Best Local News
Second Place, Al Sullivan, “An African American behind bars/art for arts sake,” The Secaucus Reporter.
Local Journalism, Enterprise/Series/Investigative Reporting
Second Place, Marilyn Baer, Caren Lissner, “Where are the answers/ fed investigate crash/Hoboken Mom mourned.” The Hoboken Reporter.
Local Journalism, Health- Science-Technology and Environmental Reporting
Second Place, Joseph Passantino, “Smack surges in Hudson County; White-collar heroin users on the rise.” The Bayonne Community News.
Third Place, Joseph Passantino, “When eating can be a life-or-death decision.” The North Bergen Reporter.
Combined Local & Online, Business Reporting
Third Place, Joseph Passantino, “PILOTing the city to more taxable income; Officials say abatements not only help developers, but the city as well.” The Bayonne Community News. The judges commented: “Well-done, informational, explanative reporting.”

Photo-Journalism, Spot News
Third Place, Art Schwartz, “Is Kennedy Blvd. too dangerous?” The North Bergen Reporter.

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