Town Reminder Editor wins journalism award

by Tim Kane

Town Reminder Editor Kristin Will wins journalism award
Turley Publications recognized four times

BOSTON – Three newspapers owned by Turley Publications received four awards last Saturday evening from the New England Newspaper & Press Association (NENPA) for its distinguished journalism work during the past year, including South Hadley’s Town Reminder.
The awards, which were given out at a banquet dinner inside the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston, included first, second and third-place editorial awards and a first-place photography award. Town Reminder Editor and South Hadley resident Kristin Will took home a second-place editorial award in the Weekly Class 2 Crime and Courts Reporting category for her in-depth pieces on the Phoebe Prince high school bullying case.
Judges wrote, “The writer re-focuses on a subject that has already been covered and examined thoroughly by many larger statewide and national media outlets. Coming back and re-opening some of the important aspects of the one-year anniversary mark was an effective way to bring the community directly affected up to speed on the developments in the case – as well as to showcase some of the actions that resulted from this preventable tragedy.” To view Will’s award-winning work, click here. To read her perspective on the coverage, pick up a copy of the Feb. 24 edition of the Town Reminder for a Letter From the Editor.
Almost 3,000 daily and weekly entries were received from across New England for NENPA’s Annual Better Newspapers Contest. Expert judges chose only about 400 first, second and third place winning selections combined.
The Quaboag Current & Town Common, which cover Warren, New Braintree, the four Brookfields and Sturbridge, received first place in the Weekly Class 2 Special Award category for its special edition published just days after the June 2011 tornado ripped though its core coverage territory. Contributing on the ground to that edition were the paper’s Editor Tim Kane, Graphic Artist Stephanie Hadley, Palmer Journal Register Editor Douglas Farmer, Agawam Advertiser News Editor Jennifer Wroblewski, and Turley reporters Emily Thurlow and Jennifer Grybowski. That entire 32-page edition was devoted to tornado coverage. In comments on that specific entry, the judge wrote, “this is model coverage of when hell comes to town,” adding that “reporters, editors and photographers provided a public service to their readers.”
Coming in third place in a very competitive Weekly Class 1 Education Reporting category was Palmer Journal Register Editor Douglas Farmer for his coverage of Pathfinder Regional Vocational School’s annual robotics competition. The judge wrote that it was “great to give full coverage to students participating in a program other than sports.”
A photography first-place award went to Journal Register Staff Writer Emily Thurlow for her Weekly Class 1 Photo Series. Thurlow covered the tornado across multiple towns for months on end, and her photojournalism from that horrific event resonated with NENPA. Her judge wrote, “excellent tornado coverage.”