The Martha’s Vineyard Times and its affiliated publications — Edible Vineyard, MV Arts & Ideas, and Vineyard Visitor — won 31 awards, including nine first-place awards in writing, photography, and design. Reporter Rich Saltzberg picked up his “Reporter of the Year” honor for weekly newspapers — only one of two reporters in New England to be recognized with this distinction.
The awards were presented by New England Newspaper & Press Association (NENPA) Saturday at Renaissance Boston Hotel, with weekly and daily newspapers represented from all six states.
At one point during Saturday’s banquet, the presenter Wayne Braverman said as The Times celebrated another first place, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”
Newspaper publisher Peter Oberfest congratulated the staff: “Barbara and I know that we have a great staff, and they work very hard as a team to put out the wonderful weekly newspaper each week that our community deserves. We couldn’t be more proud of the work they all do.”
“Virtually every staff member contributed to our success — designers, ad sales, proofreaders,” Associate Publisher Jamie Kageleiry said. “We meet often and collaborate on most products, brainstorming and always seeking to learn from each other. Our success shows how well that collaborative process works, and how much fun we have in the process.”
Editor George Brennan was thrilled with the breadth of the awards. “I feel fortunate to work with a staff where everyone rows in the same direction,” he said. “The camaraderie and collaboration is contagious — and it shines through in our work.”
The Times was recognized with a third-place award for general excellence, which comes just months after The Times was honored by NENPA as “Newspaper of the Year” for the third year in a row. Seven Days of Vermont and the Inquirer & Mirror of Nantucket placed first and second in the general excellence category. “The MV Times dominates the local news and advertising spot,” the judges wrote. “A reader gains a thorough knowledge of local issues shaped by good editorials. A&E is outstanding and entertaining. Special kudos for a good calendar enhanced by superior layout and design, as is the whole paper.”
Saltzberg took home top honors in environmental reporting for his coverage of Vineyard Wind, and in the transportation category for his coverage of the Steamship Authority. Reporters Brian Dowd and Lucas Thors came in second in the transportation coverage for their reporting on the Vineyard Transit Authority.
Saltzberg won second place in the “right-to-know” category, uncovering the lead issues at the Coast Guard housing in West Chop. “Through dogged reporting and public records use, the Martha’s Vineyard Times helped explain how the U.S. Coast Guard failed the children living on its grounds,” the judges wrote.
Brittany Bowker received first place in the social issues category for her series on food insecurity. In health reporting, Bowker won a third-place award for coverage of the opioid crisis. “Moving coverage of an important issue,” the judges wrote. “Beautifully told.”
The Times Calendar section, which is edited by Connie Berry, was recognized with a first-place award for its “strong visual presentation” and “well-edited” features and listings. The newspaper’s annual Ag Fair supplement also received a second prize.
Former Times photo editor Gabrielle Mannino received two first-place, four second-place, and three third-place awards for her photography. In the personality photo category, she took home two of the three awards. Current Times photo editor Lexi Pline received a second-place award, an impressive feat given she had only one month of eligibility for the contest.
Geoff Currier won third place for Arts & Ideas for his profile on the history of the Mill House and its famous owner Lillian Hellman.
The Times won two advertising awards. Chris Silva and Teresa Kruszewski won a second place for specialty publication promotion for their Vineyard Visitor ad. Meet Your Merchant was recognized with a second-place award for sponsored content.
Edible Vineyard won three first-place awards in the food page or section for its spring cover, as well as for overall design. The magazine is edited by Jamie Kageleiry and Tina Miller, and designed by the Times’s entire design staff: Kris Rabasca, Teresa Kruszewski, and Tara Kenny. “Comprehensive and compelling,” one of the judges wrote. “I felt like I better understood the area food scene after reading these pages.”
Arts & Ideas received a second place in overall design and presentation. “It’s breathtaking,” wrote the judges. “Of course, there is the art itself, but the magazine is also loaded with photographs, both historic and current, that lend a sense of awe.”
The Times mobile website received a third-place award, and its website won for interactivity and engagement.
Vineyard Visitor received a second-place award in the special section category and The Local was also recognized with a second place.
Dowd and Mannino won third place in commentary writing. “The authors keep their cool as they take a swipe at CBS for seeking exclusive coverage of a graduation on Cuttyhunk.”
Other newspapers in the region fared well, too. The Vineyard Gazette won 28 awards, and editor Julia Wells was inducted into the NENPA Hall of Fame. The Cape Cod Times, along with several other awards, was recognized for general excellence among daily newspapers of its size.