The New York Press Association (NYPA) honored Dan’s Papers and its real estate-focused sister paper Behind The Hedges with four awards for editorial excellence during the trade group’s annual Better Newspaper Contest last weekend.
DansPapers.com Managing Editor Oliver Peterson won first place in the highly competitive Feature Story category and Behind The Hedges Editor in Chief Taylor K. Vecsey won first place for Best Real Estate/Home section. Dan’s Papers also won a pair of honorable mentions, one of which was in the coveted Thomas G. Butson Award for Investigative In-Depth Reporting category.
“At times, a story grabs your attention and this one does,” the judge’s wrote of Peterson’s feature titled ‘Wings Over Haiti Hamptons Event Benefits New School.’ “If you want good writing, originality, style, and human interest, the story has all of them. Several people involved and some excellent quotes that portray the sources’ feeling. The pilot got involved when he went to Haiti and has remained involved. What the pilot saw was brutal, such as a carpentry saw for amputations. He got so busy he suddenly realized he had not changed shirts for 17 days. He got others interested and a new school is being built. You’ll be glad to read the story; I was.”
The judges similarly heaped praise upon Hedges for its overall quality.
“Excellent design and typography, beautiful photos, top shelf paper quality — plus excellent editorial content and not too many ads,” the judges wrote. “Very reader centric. I held it to a super high standard, because there are obviously a lot of resources and revenue available — but jeepers. This is absolutely stunning and stands above in a really tough group.”
Dan’s Papers Editor in Chief Timothy Bolger got the honorable mention in the investigative category for his story, ‘Who Are The Hamptons John Does?’
“Wow. A thoughtful exploration on the East End of Long Island’s unique relationship with missing persons, and deadly remains,” the judges wrote. “Bolger relied on statistics, established context (NamUs, etc.) and then detailed the people and details (even articles of clothing, brands, etc.) of the human lives behind their remains. Well done.”
Rounding out the awards was an honorable mention in the category for Coverage of Health, Healthcare & Science, which Bolger won with writer Jennifer Corr for stories on special needs group homes and COVID-19.
“The stories on disability staffing and masks in schools were especially strong,” the judges wrote. “Holiday resurgence was also quite good. Stories are well sourced … very solid reporting and writing. Great work.”
The awards were among 36 won by Schneps Media, the parent company of Dan’s Papers and Behind The Hedges as well as dozens of other publications across the New York Metro area and beyond. Schneps Media newspapers earned awards in various categories recognizing outstanding editorial, graphic and photographic content, website development as well as excellence in advertising. The chain finished the contest with 365 points, the second-highest total for newsgroups across the Empire State.
Of particular note, Schneps Media secured a combined 23 first- and second-place
awards, reflecting the high-quality work of its team of editors, reporters, photographers, graphic designers and salespeople.
“We are proud of the work our editorial team does every day covering the most grassroots local news throughout New York City and Long Island,” said Schneps Media CEO Joshua Schneps. “This past year was particularly a special time to be recognized as our reporters and editors worked tirelessly covering critical topics such as the pandemic and public safety. We have the best team in the business and they play a major role in our coverage area, writing many stories that you can’t find anywhere else.”