Bulletin photo by Chris Christo

Chazy Dowaliby, center, the recently retired editor of The Patriot Ledger of Quincy, Mass., and others celebrate the Patriot Ledger’s winning a general excellence award for larger dailies at the highlight event of the New England Newspaper and Press Association’s winter convention – the journalism awards ceremony.

Strong focus at convention
on the future of newspapers

By Lucy Burdge
Bulletin Staff

The reaction was positive to this year’s New England Newspaper and Press Association winter convention, and its overall message was clear: Newspapers can stay alive if they adapt to changing times.

The convention was held Friday, Feb. 19, and Saturday, Feb. 20, and this year’s venue, the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, was humming with excitement both days. More than 750 people attended the convention, according to Linda Conway, NENPA’s executive director.

“People have been registering all day,” Conway said on the last day of the convention. “I’ve heard nothing but positive comments. The opening session with Steve Hills was tremendous. Everything is going great. People are getting more and more inspired.”

As keynote speaker at the convention’s opening session, Hills, former president and general manager of The Washington Post, discussed how newspaper organizations can recognize opportunities and overcome threats they face now and in the future. The keynote speaker at the next day’s opening session, Robert G. Picard, director of research for Reuters Institute at the University of Oxford, spoke about major changes in the news media in the future and how those changes affect local news

The conference featured 30 workshops or panel discussions, and 24 vendors exhibited their products and services. This year’s event also had many new features last year’s did not. It featured two guest speakers, one at the beginning of each day, instead of just one keynote speaker on the first day. A book-launch event on the closing day of the convention was also new.

At their annual meeting, NENPA members elected Mark S. Murphy, editor of the Providence (R.I.) Business News, as president of NENPA’s board of directors.

“In times of great change, we have to be willing to change,” Murphy told those at the annual meeting. “We have to learn from one another, challenge one another.”

Murphy emphasized his accessibility in order to communicate with the board and move the organization forward.

Michael E. Schroeder, publisher of Central Connecticut Communications, based in New Britain, whose daily newspapers are The Bristol (Conn.) Press and the New Britain Herald, was elected first vice president. John Voket, associate editor of The Newtown (Conn.) Bee, was elected treasurer. Sean Burke, president and group publisher of GateHouse Media New England, was re-elected secretary.

Elected as new board members were Stephen M. Costello, vice president of advertising and marketing at Sun Media Group, based in Lewiston, Maine, and owner of the Sun Journal of Lewiston and 11 Maine weeklies, and Terrence L. Williams, president and chief operating officer of the Keene (N.H.) Sentinel.

Outgoing NENPA president Peter Haggerty, publisher and president of the Woburn (Mass.) Daily Times Inc., which owns the Daily Times Chronicle, based in Reading, Mass., the Stoneham Independent, and the Wilmington/Tewksbury (Mass.) Town Crier, said at the annual meeting how much he enjoyed the past year as NENPA’s president.

“It has been a privilege and an honor to reach the point of president of the NENPA board,” Haggerty said. “Going ahead, I think we are in good shape.”

John “Chip” Hutcheson III, president of the National Newspaper Association and publisher of The Times Leader of Princeton, Ky., and The Eagle Post of Oak Grove, Ky., also spoke.

“Newspapers are certainly alive and well,” Hutcheson said, “That’s the message I want to carry to different states. Our task is to fight for our industry.”

Conway opened the annual meeting with an update on NENPA’s success in the past year. The association finished in the black by $18,000, an improvement from previous years, Conway said.

NENPA also fostered a partnership with the New England High School Journalism Collaborative. The collaborative enables students from urban areas to work with The Boston Globe in a week-long summer journalism workshop.

NENPA also awarded seven $1,000 scholarships -- four to high school students and three to Northeastern University journalism students.

Conway said strength and momentum have built since NENPA’s fall conference, and that there were more nominees to be inducted into the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame than ever before.

The events of Friday, Feb. 19 – the New England First Amendment Coalition awards luncheon, the advertising, circulation, and marketing awards ceremony, and Hall of Fame dinner -- were well attended. According to Conway, 165 people attended the luncheon and 175 attended the advertising, circulation, and marketing awards ceremony, both an increase from last year, and 75 attended the Hall of Fame dinner.

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, received the Stephen Hamblett First Amendment Award at the New England First Amendment Coalition luncheon.

Also recognized at the luncheon were Jenifer McKim, a journalist with the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, based at Boston University, who received the Freedom of Information Award, and Michael Champa, a philanthropist and open government advocate, who was given the Antonia Orfield Citizenship Award.

At the awards ceremony Friday night, Feb. 20, a variety of awards for advertising, circulation and marketing were given in 38 categories.

The New England Newspaper Hall of Fame dinner followed the awards ceremony.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame were Curtiss Clark, editor of The Newtown (Conn.) Bee; Tom Condon, retired columnist and chief editorial writer for The Hartford (Conn.) Courant; Chazy Dowaliby, recently retired editor of The Patriot Ledger of Quincy, Mass., and The Enterprise of Brockton, Mass.; Stephen M. Mindich, owner of the former Boston-based Phoenix Media/Communications Group; Susan Ovans, owner, publisher and editor of The Hull (Mass.); and Walter V. Robinson, editor at large at The Boston Globe.

The editorial awards dinner Saturday night, Feb. 20, featured more than 100 awards categories and was attended by more than 400 people.

Following are the key award winners for advertising, circulation and marketing,
Friday night, Feb. 19:

Best Ad Designer, specialty: Kimberly Vasseur, Worcester (Mass.) Magazine
Best Ad Designer, weekly: Katerina Pittinaro, The Stowe (Vt.) Reporter
Best Ad Designer, daily: Barbara Dunn, The Day of New London, Conn.
Business Innovation, daily: Annie Sharples, The Day
Advertising General Excellence, specialty: Bay State Parent of Millbury, Mass.
Advertising General Excellence, weekly: The Vermont Standard of Woodstock, Vt.

Following are the key awards presented at the banquet Saturday night, Feb. 20:

Innovator Award, weekly: Tom Dunlop, Vineyard Gazette of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.
Innovator Award, daily: Terrence L. Williams, The Keene (N.H.) Sentinel
Rookie of the Year, weekly: Wendy M. Levy, The Commons of Brattleboro, Vt.
Rookie of the Year, daily: Elodie Reed, St. Albans (Vt.) Messenger
Photographer of the Year, weekly: Steven King, Worcester (Mass.) Magazine
Photographer of the Year, daily: Peter Pereira, The Standard-Times of New Bedford, Mass.
Reporter of the Year, weekly: Walter Bird Jr., Worcester Magazine
Reporter of the Year, daily: Doug Fraser, Cape Cod Times of Hyannis, Mass.
General Excellence, specialty publications: Worcester Magazine
General Excellence, smaller weekly: The Stowe (Vt.) Reporter
General Excellence, larger weekly: Addison County Independent of Middlebury, Vt.
General Excellence, smaller daily: The MetroWest Daily News of Framingham, Mass.
General Excellence, larger daily: The Patriot Ledger of Quincy, Mass.

Bulletin photo by Kareya Saleh

Mark Lovewell of the Vineyard Gazette of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., isn’t as tall as he might appear to be in this photo. Both feet left the ground as he jumped for joy after winning one of his four photo awards – three first-place and one second-place – in the larger weeklies category

Bulletin photo by Paul Connors

Carrie Blair, an advertising sales representative for The Martha’s Vineyard Times of Vineyard Haven, Mass., whoops it up on her way to collect a first-place award for newspaper-sponsored event promotion for a weekly newspaper.



POSTED 2/23/16


© Copyright 1998-2016 New England Newspaper and Press Association. All rights reserved.