NJ-SPJ contest winners, announced!

For more information, contact Miriam Ascarelli
Mobile: 862-576-1256
Email: prez@njspj.org

A reporter’s unflinching look at her own cancer treatment, rendered in a podcast in her own voice. The continuing fallout from the Bridgegate scandal. The disturbing grip that heroin continues to have over too many New Jerseyans.

Those stories are among the many outstanding pieces produced by Garden State journalists in 2015 that will be honored June 11 at this year’s New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists annual Excellence in Journalism Awards program and brunch at the Maize Restaurant at the Robert Treat Hotel, 50 Park Pl., Newark. The keynote speaker will be Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center. A complete list of our winners can be found here. Click here to RSVP.

This year’s contest included more than 50 categories, from headline writing to photojournalism to investigative reporting. It covered the entire spectrum of the industry: print, digital, radio, television, magazines, newsletters and photojournalism.

Standouts include The Chemo Files, a podcast produced by reporter Debbie Galant and her son, Noah Levinson. The series won first place in the podcast category. Beautifully told in a first-person narrative, it chronicles Galant’s eight-month ordeal with chemotherapy and never loses sight of the personal while taking on such topics like the science behind her treatment and the taboo behind the words “breast cancer.’’ The series can be found on MidcenturyModernmag.com, an online magazine Galant founded and publishes.

Other top winners include:

MATT KATZ of WNYC is this year’s New Jersey Journalist of the Year. Katz was selected from among all of our winners because his tenacious reporting on Bridgegate and Gov. Chris Christie set the standard for coverage of an important statewide and national story that promises to continue to dominate headlines.

Katz’s work is best described by his boss Nancy Solomon, managing editor of New Jersey Public Radio, who says his stories demonstrate “his dogged determination, investigative skills and a passion for transparency and open records.’’ Katz’s output in 2015 included not just the stories he did for WNYC but also a book on Christie. A sampling of his radio reports can be found here, here and here.

CHARLES KRATOVIL of the hyperlocal website New Brunswick Today is the winner of our Stuart and Beverley Awbrey Award for community service by a local publication. The Awbrey honors the weekly or local online publication that goes beyond standard reporting of local events, instead seeking to inspire communities to better themselves.

New Brunswick Today is being honored for a series of stories it called Watergate — except unlike the original               Watergate, this one involves actual water. The mainly web-based independent news operation (it publishes a monthly print edition) engaged in a relentless inquiry into the operations of New Brunswick’s water treatment plant, ofttimes putting itself at odds with city officials.…

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100+ students attend annual “Meet the Press” event

meet the pressMore than 100 students attended today’s annual NJ-SPJ/Public Relations Society of America “Meet The Press” panel at Rutgers University’s Piscataway campus. The five media panelists were: David Levitt, Bloomberg Business News;  Gema de las Heras, “A Tu Lado” consumer producer for Univision (WXTV 41 New York); Tom Bergeron, editor, NJBIZ Magazine; Josh Cornfield, New Jersey news editor, Associated Press; and Walt Kane, investigative reporter, News 12 NJ

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Anna Quindlen to speak in Montclair on April 28

On April 28, Anna Quindlen will be in conversation with Montclair’s Elisabeth Egan in another great, FREE talk in the Montclair Public Library’s Open Book Open Mind series. The discussion, about Quindlen’s latest novel, Miller’s Valley, begins at 7:45 pm at Mount Hebron Middle School, 173 Bellevue Ave., Montclair, is free and open to all who make a reservation. In addition, the library is hosting an intimate cocktail party at 6:30 p.m. with Ms. Quindlen and Ms. Egan at the Bellevue Avenue Library, 185 Bellevue Avenue, located next door to the middle school. Tickets to the cocktail party are $50 and $100, and will support the Open Book, Open Mind series as well as all of the Montclair Public Library’s programs. Ms. Quindlen will also speak briefly about a book that changed her life.

For tickets to the Pre-Party Fundraiser and Premium Seating click here or call Anita at 973-744-0500 x2222.
For general reservations click here or call 973-744-0500 x2235.
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Contest deadline extended!

Excellence_croppedStragglers, rejoice! We’ve extended the contest deadline to 11:59 Tuesday, March 8 for all categories EXCEPT the Awbrey, our special local journalism category for work that goes the extra mile and seeks to engage and improve communities. Because the Awbrey requires extra documentation, the deadline for submissions is March 15. However, because of technical issues, after March 8, all Awbrey submissions need to be sent to newjerseyspj.feedback@gmail.com. Just be sure to put “Awbrey awards” in the subject line.

Submitting your work is easy. Click here to see all of our contest categories. Click here to enter. All entries must have been published, broadcast or placed online in 2015.…

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Help support immigration reporting in NJ

NJ Spotlight and the Center for Cooperative Media are in the middle of a crowdfunding campaign to support a year of reporting on immigrants in NJ. There are 76 backers so far, who’ve made contributions ranging from $10 to $1,000. The project is being supported by a dollar for dollar match from Beacon Reader, but won’t receive any money if it doesn’t meet its $30,000 goal by March 8. Support journalism in NJ by clicking here.…

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