Islander earns honors

WORCESTER, Mass. — The Mount Desert Islander was named Newspaper of the Year among weekly papers of its size (circulation 5,000 to 9,000) during the New England Newspaper and Press Association (NENPA) conference here today, Oct. 10.

NENPA has 600 member publications in the six New England states. The annual Newspaper of the Year contest is judged by a group of newspaper readers.

Last week in Milwaukee, Wisc. the Islander and its staff won seven awards for excellence in journalism at the National Newspaper Association’s annual conference.

Dick Broom and Liz Graves shared a first place award for breaking news coverage, for a pair of stories about a snowmobile accident on Long Pond in January 2018. Judges called the stories “easily the best I’ve read so far” and “a detailed, suspenseful account of a dangerous rescue.”

The paper’s editorial pages won second place for all papers, daily and non-daily, with a circulation less than 6,000.

Nan Lincoln’s review of the Mount Desert Summer Chorale’s performance of “Elijah” earned a third place award in the Best Review category. “A nice review with just enough pithiness to keep the reader engaged,” a judge said.

The Islander’s website won a third place award. A page on the site titled, “What do you mean, I have to subscribe?” particularly impressed the judge, who said the page “delivers a clear and common-sense message that shows the value and strength of local journalism. The site itself is smartly laid out, with clear local content and user-friendly Yellow Pages at the bottom of the site.”

The special pages celebrating the 100th anniversary of the former West End Drug earned an Honorable Mention.

This was well-written and interesting,” the judge wrote. “History in newspapers is done poorly so often, dry and confusing, so I appreciated the writer spending time selecting which details to include to create snappy, fun articles.” The judge also “enjoyed seeing the businesses in the community purchase ad space in support of another business.”

Stories by Dick Broom about Mount Desert Elementary School baseball coach Max Mason and sweetgrass harvesting in Acadia National Park also earned honorable mention awards.

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