New England Newspaper and Press Association honors The Martha's Vineyard Times

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The Martha’s Vineyard Times won awards across many journalism, advertising, photography and design categories at the recent New England Newspaper and Press Association (NENPA) convention on Friday and Saturday in Boston, including the coveted prizes of second place for general excellence in both advertising and journalism, and best overall niche website for VineyardVisitor.com.

Of the 36 awards received by The Times, 12 were first-place awards. The Times ad sales, production, and design department won five of those: Newspaper-Designed Ad Insert (for the annual Fall for the Arts insert); Themed Multiple Advertiser Pages (for which the paper won first, second, and third prizes, for the Summer Camps section, Holiday Happenings, and Meet Your Merchant, respectively); Advertiser Promotion for Special Section (ads promoting The Local); Best Idea for Generating Ad Revenue (for The Local’s “Made on MVY” section); and Themed Multiple Ad Pages for a Niche Publication (The Local). The advertising team also won five second-place awards (including Advertising General Excellence, bested only by Vermont’s “Seven Days”).

The journalism department also won five first places, which included: Transportation Reporting (Barry Stringfellow) for his story “The ups and downs of Martha’s Vineyard’s bridge tenders;” Photo Illustration for Kristofer’s Rabasca’s work to accompany “A year in the life of a copy editor,” by Barbara Davis; Best Living Section for The Times’ Community section, edited by Geoff Currier and Jamie Stringfellow; best overall design and presentation for Martha’s Vineyard Arts & Ideas Magazine (of which judges said in their notes, “In fact, it may be the best publication in all design categories of the NENPA contest this year”), designed and edited by Tara Kenny and Jamie Stringfellow; and Best Overall Niche Website for VineyardVisitor.com, which was a team effort by Tara Kenny, Kelsey Perrett, Rick Mello and Jamie Stringfellow.

Times reporters and editors received 19 additional second and third place awards. Former Times editor Nelson Sigelman won second prize for his Spot News story about the loss of local fisherman Luke Gurney, in “Coast Guard recovers body of Martha’s Vineyard fisherman swept overboard off Nantucket,” and also won third place in the Commentary category for a column about his father’s war letters. In addition to his first place award, Barry Stringfellow won two second places — for Health Reporting with his story “Wilderness-based rehab facility to open on Penikese Island” (about which judges said, “evocative writing on a new approach to the opiate crisis,”) and for a local personality profile on a man battling Parkinson’s with grit and grace (“Dr. Play goes toe-to-toe with formidable foe”); his third place prize was for Business/Economic Reporting in a story about Vineyarders “clawing out a living in the lobster business.”

Janet Hefler traced the story of a cat who disappeared and was tracked via microchip, and won third place for General News Reporting (“Martha’s Vineyard cat identified as Alabama dog is reunited with Vermont owner.”)

Times calendar editor Kelsey Perrett won several awards as well: For a Human Interest Feature in the Niche category, she received second prize for her story in The Local on yoga at the Dukes County House of Correction (“Doing a stretch at the Dukes County House of Correction”). Ms. Perrett also placed second in Arts & Entertainment reporting, and shared a second place for “Food Page or Section” with columnist Marnely Murray and art director Chris Silva. Times associate editor Geoff Currier won second prize (along with designer Kris Rabasca) for The Times’s Business Page, which is sponsored by Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank. For History Reporting, Mr. Currier garnered a third prize for his story on “The unusual journey of Parnell Pease Fisher.”

Times contributing editor Kate Feiffer garnered two second-place prizes, for Illustration, and for Infographic (for Arts & Ideas), and Brazilian columnist Juliana Germani received an important award in Racial or Ethnic Reporting for her profile of how Leandro Miranda, a jailed Brazilian man facing deportation, sought opportunity on Martha’s Vineyard (“Leandro Mirando followed opportunity and family to Martha’s Vineyard”). Former Times photo editor Sam Moore received three prizes for work in The Times and MV Arts & Ideas.

As with advertising, The Times editorial and design teams won important overall second-place prizes, including second in Best Overall Design and Presentation for the newspaper, and second in General Excellence (coming in behind “Seven Days” for both of these). 

The Times competed in NENPA’s “Better Newspaper Competition” in the Weekly Class 2 category, which includes papers with circulations above 6,000, a category that the Vineyard Gazette also competes in, and in which the Gazette was awarded numerous prizes. NENPA received more than 3,000 entries for the contest.