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Two ‘Monitor’ series win New England awards

  • Monitor editor Steve Leone holds the New England Newspaper and Press Association award for Distinguished Newspaper of the Year, with Monitor publisher Heather McKernan in the background. Ernesto Burden—Monitor staff

By Monitor staff
Published: 10/10/2019 4:43:25 PM
Modified: 10/10/2019 4:43:15 PM

Two special series by the Monitor – one on domestic violence, the other on teen suicide prevention – were recognized Thursday among the very best work produced by New England news organizations in the last year.

Both series were given Publick Occurrences awards by the New England Newspaper and Press Association.

The Monitor was also recognized as a distinguished New England daily newspaper in its circulation size. The MetroWest Daily News won the Newspaper of the Year in the size class, which included papers with a circulation between 10,000 and 20,000 daily copies. The Berkshire Eagle was also named a distinguished daily newspaper in the class.

Finding hope

A five-day series called “Finding Hope,” examined local and state efforts to prevent youth suicide following a string of deaths of local teens. The series, published in October 2018, was written by Leah Willingham and featured photographs by Geoff Forester.

“The Concord Monitor deserves credit for a tremendous series detailing one family’s journey through the despair that followed the suicide of a 14-year-old son, while more broadly examining the issue of youth suicide. The newspaper covers all the angles, taking pains to provide geographic balance across southern New Hampshire communities and approaching its topic through the multi-faceted lens of legislation, school programs and personal anecdotes from survivors exploring various means of coping with mental illness,” the judges said. “Comprehensive without bogging down, the crisply written narrative is complimented by compelling photos which provide readers with a poignant and intimate look at those touched by tragedy. Lastly, this series was extremely well organized and presented, with a recap of previous stories accompanying each new installment. The Monitor team should be applauded for a solid, professional effort handled with care and tact.”

The entire “Finding Hope” series can be found online.

Fighting Back

The four-day series on domestic violence printed in February was called “Fighting Back.” The series, sponsored by the Woman’s Club of Concord, was written by Alyssa Dandrea with photos by former Monitor photographer Elizabeth Frantz.

“The Concord Monitor continues to enhance its reputation of quality reporting with an aggressive and detailed four-part series on the problems and societal impact of domestic violence. As with others selected by Publick Occurrences judges this series had to have made a significant impact on the communities the newspaper serves,” the judges said. “The stories of abuse and how to get help were well done, dramatic and detailed in such a way to clearly raise the level of debate, as the newspaper cited that … helped make the community a safer place.”

The entire “Fighting Back” series can be found online.

About the awards

Publick Occurrences recognize “the very best work that New England newspapers produce each year – whether it’s individual or team stories, series, spot news coverage, columns or photojournalism that ran in print and/or online,” according to the New England Newspaper and Press Association. The association presents up to 16 of the awards annually.

The awards were established in 1990 to mark the 300th anniversary of the founding of “Publick Occurrences,” the first newspaper published in America. Four days after it appeared in Boston in 1690, the paper was suppressed by the royal governor.

A full list of winners can be found on the NENPA website.

Other awards that went to New Hampshire newspapers included the Sevellon Brown New England Journalist of the Year given to Shawne Wickham of the Union Leader and the New England First Amendment Award given to Seacoast Media Group, which shielded a reporter’s notes from county prosecutors.

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