Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Portland Phoenix, the best in New England!

Published in the Portland Phoenix

The Portland Phoenix had its best year ever at the New England Press Association (NEPA) awards banquet on Saturday, taking home 15 awards, including 10 for first place.

We also scored the New England-wide contest’s highest honor — George A. Speers Newspaper of the Year, awarded for overall excellence in editorial content and presentation.

Our advertising and production departments won first place in Advertising General Excellence, the highest honor given for those departments.

Both Portland Phoenix staff and freelancers won first place in Local Election Coverage, for reporting on the 2005 election.

Freelancer LANCE TAPLEY won first place in Government Reporting, for “Burning Money” (February 17, 2006), about how the state failed to negotiate bulk-discount prices for its Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which provides heating oil to poor and elderly Mainers. Tapley also won second place in Investigative Reporting, for his ongoing series on torture in the Maine State Prison’s Supermax unit.

Former staff writer SARA DONNELLY won first place in History Reporting for “Record Keepers” (September 1, 2005), her coverage of Portland historians’ efforts to preserve local artifacts and information. Donnelly also won second place in General News for “Grass Roots Fire Fight” (June 9, 2006), a look at the Maine Green Party’s internal conflicts and struggle to survive.

Freelance writer WHIT RICHARDSON won first place in Sports Reporting for “Sky Society” (July 14, 2006), which profiled the culture of Portland’s Ultimate Frisbee-playing community.

Managing editor JEFF INGLIS won first place in the General News category for “Armory Arts Center” (January 6, 2006), a story envisioning what could become the future of the abandoned South Portland armory. (The building has since been purchased by the city of South Portland and turned into a garage for city trucks and general storage space, as the city council attempts to determine a long-term plan for the building.)

Our advertising and production staff won several awards, as well.

They had a clean sweep of the Local Ad — Color category, taking first, second, and third places. And they won first place in Advertising Campaign, first place in Local Ad — Black-and-White, and second place in Self-Promotion.

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