Suffolk Times wins big in New York better newspaper contest

For the fourth consecutive year, Times Review Media Group, publishers of The Suffolk Times, took home more awards than any other newspaper group from the New York Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest, earning a total of 69 awards.

The Suffolk Times earned the second most editorial contest points of any newspaper in the state. The paper took home 28 awards, including first place honors for its photography, feature and column writing, in-depth reporting and use of social media.

“It is always a great honor to receive this type of recognition,” said Times Review publisher Andrew Olsen. “Our staff strives to produce the best possible community journalism for our readers and to innovate to meet current needs. I believe these awards reflect our commitment to adapt, as we were honored for both our print and digital work.”

The Suffolk Times swept the Feature Story category — the most competitive in the contest — with former staff writer Paul Squire, who recently joined the staff of the New York Post, winning first place for his story commemorating the 20th anniversary of TWA Flight 800 and a third place award for his piece on a local soldier who donated his organs upon his death. Another former staff writer, Rachel Young, won second place in the category for her profile on Wayside Market’s Harun ‘Billy’ Ilgin.

“It is a beautiful story of an everyday deli worker’s quiet perseverance and sacrifice to help his family find a new, more promising future and was very well-written,” a judge said of Ms. Young’s feature.

Other first place individual awards went to executive editor Grant Parpan for Best Column; editor Vera Chinese for Best Use of Social Media, for her management of the northforker social media accounts; freelance photographer Jeremy Garretson for Art Photo for a cover photo of the tall ship El Galeon; and Mr. Parpan, Ms. Young, Chris Lisinski, Nicole Smith and Joseph Pinciaro won in the in-depth reporting category for stories on opiate addiction and an increase in heroin-related deaths in Suffolk County.

“A powerful story that needed to be told,” a judge wrote of the heroin story package. “Good job using real people to show the human cost of addiction.”

It marked the fourth consecutive year a Times Review paper earned first place for its in-depth reporting.


In-depth Reporting (first place): Following brother’s tragic death, Laurel man wants us to confront the heroin epidemic

Feature Story (first place): Twenty years later, remembering TWA Flight 800

Feature Story (second place): From Turkey to Southold in pursuit of the American Dream

News Story (second place): Police seek new information in 1981 Mattituck double drowning, offer $15K reward

Suffolk Times sports editor Bob Liepa was runner up for Sports Writer of the Year and editors Joe Werkmeister and Mr. Parpan received a second place award for News Story for their look at the mysterious deaths of Mattituck’s William and Michelle Becker.

East End newspapers again dominated the competition with the Sag Harbor Express winning Newspaper of the Year — as well as the top editorial and advertising prizes — and the Press Newsgroup of Southampton earning the second most contest points of any newspaper group in the state. Express managing editor Steven J. Kotz was named Writer of the Year.

“I can think of no better collection of journalists to be honored alongside than our peers on the South Fork,” Mr. Parpan said. “Their work inspires us on a weekly basis.”

Members of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association judged the 184 newspapers in the contest, reviewing 2,957 entries in 67 categories.

The awards were presented at the New York Press Association Convention Friday and Saturday in Saratoga Springs. Dallas Morning News editor Mike Wilson and Boston College professor Martha Bayles served as keynote speakers at the convention.