A word of pride, and thanks

From left Schneps Media representatives Ralph D’Onofrio, Cliff Luster, Victoria Schneps-Yunis, Bob Brennan and Paul Schindler.

The New York Press Association, a statewide group whose members include weekly media, hosted a conference in Albany and our company won 27 awards for excellence.

This was a banner year at the awards for Schneps Media, which expanded last year to become a powerhouse with more than 70 publications. Our editors, reporters, photographers and designers took home 27 awards. Schneps Media papers also scored the most points of any New York City-based chain.

These achievements are a great reflection of the hard work by those involved in this team who produce the best local news coverage for our readers. It’s a source of pride for all of us to work with such dedicated, excellent journalists.

Within our family of papers at The Queens Courier, we’re especially grateful for the first-place prize we earned for Best Spot News Coverage. Our reporters earned this distinction for their coverage of two stories in particular: a stabbing and lockdown at Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside, and a devastating, five-alarm fire that destroyed a number of Sunnyside businesses.

In preparing both stories, we sought to deliver comprehensive coverage of the incidents and the aftermath that couldn’t be found anywhere else. We were on the ground at both locations, talking with those affected and providing a real scope of both situations.

Our Courier Life staff took home two awards from the Better Newspaper Contest.

Reporter Julianne McShane earned a first place prize for the Best news or Feature Series for her series on refugees who resettled in Southern Brooklyn with the help of the Arab-American Family Support Center.

“This series did a great job taking a national issue and localizing it. It was well-written and laid out the struggles of refugees, who all came from different backgrounds,” the judge wrote about McShane’s work. “The way the families are presented in the photos, along with the sections at the end of a few of the pieces on how to donate and help people in need, emphasizes the humanity of those seeking asylum, which is obviously an important part of telling these stories.”

Reporter Colin Mixson secured a second place prize for Coverage of the Environment. Mixson was recognized for two stories: one about sick raccoons taking to local streets following distemper outbreak in Prospect Park in December; the other about bird lovers calling for an end to fishing in Prospect Park after a great horned owl ensnared by line in the meadow died hours following its arrival at a wildlife rescue last April.

“You have found truly local stories affecting people in your community that relate to the environment,” the judge wrote about Mixson’s stories. “I ranked this entry high not in small part because of its entertaining sytle of community focus. Environmental issues don’t always have to be the big-picture topics. Sometimes they are a bird stuck in the ice or sick raccoons plaguing the community. Nicely presented.”

None of this, of course, would be possible without your continued support. By reading our stories online and picking up our newspaper every week, you help advance the mission of keeping local journalism strong, viable and independent.

We want to especially thank our online audience who continue to make our sites some of the leading news sources online.

All of us at Schneps Media want to thank our team for their amazing efforts — and all of you for your continued loyalty and dedication. Know that in the years to come, we’ll continue doing what we do best — quality journalism.

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