Islander wins best in Maine

BANGOR — The Mount Desert Islander swept all General Excellence categories for weekly newspapers at the Maine Press Association annual meeting and convention last weekend in Bangor.

The Islander won first place for General Excellence for large weekly papers, first place for Digital General Excellence for all weeklies and tied with its sister paper, The Ellsworth American, for Advertising General Excellence. Individuals and staff at both papers won more than 60 awards combined as well.

“Wide-ranging and eclectic and thorough coverage of community,” the judges wrote. “Genuinely interesting to read, even for an out-of-towner.”

Of the Islander’s website,, the judges wrote, “Beautiful, news-forward presentation. Easily navigated. Plenty of fresh content for readers.”

In the advertising division, the judges praised the paper’s “healthy volume and variety of ads. Good use of color.” They continued, “Excellent classifieds … easy to read, well laid out and good volume.”

In the individual divisions, the Islander staff won first place for Editorial Pages and first place for Special Section or Supplement.

Writers and photographers receiving first-place awards included Rob Levin for News Video, Nan Lincoln for Arts Criticism, Liz Graves for Sports News Story, Earl Brechlin for Editorial Writing, and Brechlin for News Photography.

Cartoonist Joe Marshall won second place. Second-place awards also went to Mark Good for Spot News Photography, Brechlin for Scenic Photography, Dick Broom for Education Story, Levin for Feature Story, Brechlin for Feature Video, designer Barbara Tedesco for Specialty Page Design, Graphics and for Original Illustration, as well as to the staff for Sports Page Design, Best New Revenue Idea and to staff for Best Advertising Campaign for a series of ads for Stanley Subaru.

A group ad for downtown Southwest Harbor took third place in the Local Ad division.

Third-place awards included Barry Gutradt for Sports Photo, Brechlin for Feature Photo, Anna Travers for People Photo, Liz Graves for Sports Section, Jill Goldthwait for Opinion Columnist, and Graves for Business Story as well as Sports Game Story.

The staff won third-place awards for Spot News Coverage of the Portside Grill fire, as well as third places for Circulation Promotion and Feature Section.

The Ellsworth American took second place for General Excellence and Digital General Excellence for large weeklies in Maine.

The awards were presented during the Maine Press Association’s Annual Meeting and Conference at the Hilton Garden Inn.

The Republican Journal in Belfast won General Excellence in the small weekly newspaper division. The Portland Press Herald won in the daily newspaper division. In the weekend division, the Maine Sunday Telegram was the winner.

The Bangor Daily News took first place in the daily/weekend Digital Excellence division.

The Mount Desert Islander, which turns 15 years old in 2016, has won first place for General Excellence in Maine in nine of the past 10 years. Earlier this month, it won second place for General Excellence from the National Newspaper Association. In September, it came in second for weeklies for New England Newspaper and Press Association Newspaper of the Year. The Ellsworth American won that contest in its division.

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