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The Suffolk Times, rookie reporter honored in New York Press Association Better Newspaper Contest

Times Review Media Group, publishers of The Suffolk Times, took home nearly two dozen awards from the New York Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest this weekend, including a Rookie Reporter of the Year honor for one of its staff writers.

Brianne Ledda, who joined the Times Review Staff in June 2021, placed third among rookies in the contest, the first time a Times Review staffer has received the honor since 2013. The Stony Brook University graduate, who primarily covers local government for The Suffolk Times, shared in winning five additional prizes from NYPA.

“It’s hard to believe you’re a rookie,” read the comment from a judge in the contest. “… Stories like the ones you wrote remind your readers why newspapers continue to play an important role in their lives. Keep up the good work.”

The Suffolk Times took home a first place award for coverage of crime/police/court and second place in the prestigious Thomas G. Butson Award for In-Depth Reporting. The paper’s coverage of six overdose deaths on the East End last summer factored into both awards, which were shared by Ms. Ledda and editors Grant Parpan, Steve Wick and Joe Werkmeister.

In all, Times Review Media Group claimed 23 awards in the contest, which included 2,481 entries from 132 newspapers across the state competing in 67 categories. The company earned the fourth most points in the contest, which was judged by members of the Nebraska Press Association.

It was a good weekend for East End newspapers with The Sag Harbor Express being awarded the Stuart C. Dorman Award for Editorial Excellence, named for the late Suffolk Times publisher.

Below is a list of the awards given to Times Review Media Group and its staff members:

First Place

Coverage of Crime/Police/Courts — Grant Parpan, Steve Wick, Joe Werkmeister and Brianne Ledda, The Suffolk Times

Sports Feature — Bob Liepa, Riverhead News-Review

Best Obituaries — Bob Liepa, Joe Werkmeister, Tara Smith and Melissa Azofiefa, Riverhead News-Review

Second Place

Thomas G. Butson Award for In-Depth Reporting — Grant Parpan, Steve Wick, Brianne Ledda and Joe Werkmeister of The Suffolk Times

Best Podcast — Grant Parpan and Brianne Ledda, The Suffolk Times

Past Presidents’ Award for General Excellence — Shelter Island Reporter

Coverage of Agriculture — Brianne Ledda, Tara Smith, Charity Robey and Melissa Azofeifa, The Suffolk Times

Coverage of Crime/Police/Courts — Grant Parpan, Joe Werkmeister, Tim Gannon and Melissa Azofeifa, Riverhead News-Review

Best Column — Ambrose Clancy, Shelter Island Reporter

Sports Feature Photo — Robert O’Rourk, The Suffolk Times

Editorial Cartoon — Peter Waldner, Shelter Island Reporter

Best Real Estate/Home Section — Northforker

Best Niche Publication — Northforker

Third Place

Best Front Page — The Suffolk Times and Shelter Island Reporter

Rookie Reporter of the Year — Brianne Ledda, The Suffolk Times

Past Presidents’ Award for General Excellence — Riverhead News-Review

Richard L. Stein Award for Overall Design Excellence The Suffolk Times

Spot News Coverage — Grant Parpan and Steve Wick, The Suffolk Times

Coverage of Local Government — Brianne Ledda, Tara Smith and Grant Parpan, The Suffolk Times

Best COVID-19 News Story — Joe Werkmeister, Tara Smith and Grant Parpan, Riverhead News-Review

Art Photo — Eleanor P. Labrozzi, The Suffolk Times

Editorial Cartoon — Peter Waldner, Shelter Island Reporter

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