The Vineyard Gazette won 45 awards in the New England Better Newspapers Competition this week, garnering top honors for general excellence, digital strategy excellence and coronavirus coverage. News editor Noah Asimow was named reporter of the year.
In all, the Gazette won 19 first place honors in various categories, including reporting, photography and design. In addition to his overall award for reporting, Mr. Asimow earned nine prizes, including three first place awards for coverage of Ernie Boch’s plans for a park, a story about Vineyard Haven’s working waterfront and an interview with Drs. Sally and Bennett Shaywitz. He also won three second place awards and three third place awards.
The annual conference and awards ceremony usually takes place each February in Boston but this year was moved online and held Thursday and Friday of this week. The contest includes weekly and daily newspapers in various circulation categories throughout New England. The Gazette competes in a category for weekly newspapers.
Editor Julia Wells won first place for her obituary of Nelson Bryant and managing editor Bill Eville won first place in the serious columnist category, as well as second place awards for headline writing and an obituary of Ward Just.
Special projects editor Susie Middleton and graphic designer Jane McTeigue won a first place award for The Island Guide. Two other Gazette publications, Island Weddings magazine and The Vine, were tied for first place for a design and presentation award. Ms. Middleton shared the award for The Vine with graphic artist Jared Maciel, and Ms. McTeigue and Island Weddings editor Vanessa Czarnecki shared that prize.
Contributing writer Barry Stringfellow won a first place award for his essay about an adopted pigeon he named Walter, and webmaster Graham Smith won a first place for website interactivity and engagement.
First place awards were given to three of the Gazette’s contributing photographers: Ray Ewing for a photograph from a summer peace vigil, Jeanna Shepard for a portrait of Jessie Benton and Tim Johnson for an image of a dog in a boat. Ms. Shepard and Mr. Ewing also won second and third place awards, respectively. Gazette staff photographer Mark Lovewell took home a second place award and two third place awards.
Steve Durkee, director of graphics and design, won first place for his design of an arts and entertainment section.
The special award for best coronavirus coverage was given to the staff.