The Suffolk Times wins seven National Newspaper Association awards

The Suffolk Times has won seven awards from the National Newspaper Association, including first place awards for feature writing, investigative reporting, sports feature and video journalism.

The paper is also a finalist for the NNA’s general excellence award, joining fellow Times Review Media Group publications the Riverhead News-Review and Shelter Island Reporter. It’s the first time all three papers were finalists for the national award in the same year. The News-Review won the award last year.

Winners and finalists in the contest were announced Monday.

The awards for investigative reporting and video journalism were awarded to Times Review executive editor Steve Wick, content director Grant Parpan and content producer Krysten Massa for their multimedia investigation into the 1966 disappearance of Cutchogue’s Louise Pietrewicz. The report prompted police to take a fresh look at the case and Ms. Pietrewicz’s remains were found earlier this year in Southold.

“Mind blown,” wrote the judges. “This was excellent — should be on television! It absolutely brings multimedia journalism to a new level.”

Massa, the company’s first full-time multimedia reporter, also won a second place photo essay award for following bay scallops from the Peconic Bay to a diner’s plate at North Fork Table & Inn on the first day of scallop season.

Editor Joe Werkmeister claimed a first place feature writing award for a story about Bob Jester’s fight to walk again after the Greenport man’s fall from a ladder left him partially paralyzed in 2016.

“A powerful story of an intriguing man coping well with a situation in which many would give up,” the judges said. “A well-written, emotional read. Makes you want to get to know the man. Others obviously think highly of him. Reader is hooked from the opening sentences. A strong read.”

Sports editor Bob Liepa’s January 2017 “Sports Person of the Year” piece on late Southold basketball and softball coach Phil Reed won a first place award for sports feature writing.

“Digs deep into the personality of the coach by getting insights from numerous people,” the judges said. “Very well done.”

The Suffolk Times also earned honorable mention for best local news coverage.

There were 1,607 total entries in the Better Newspaper Contest this year and awards were won by 115 member newspapers in 38 states. In total, Times Review Media Group won 11 awards.

The general excellence winners will be announced at the organization’s convention in September. The Suffolk Times is one of four finalists for weekly newspapers with a circulation between 6,000 and 10,000 print readers. The other finalists are the Leelanau Enterprise in Lake Leelanau, Mich.; The Taos News in Taos, N.M.; and the Villas County News-Review in Eagle River, Wisc.

The Suffolk Times won the Newspaper of the Year Award earlier this year from the New York Press Association.