The three newspapers owned by Community Media publisher John Sutter—The Villager, Downtown Express, and Gay City News—were recognized for editorial excellence at the New York Press Association Awards held in Saratoga April 7-8.

Community newspapers across New York State were judged by members of the Washington State Press Association.

For the second year in a row—and the third time in the last five years—The Villager won recognition as the state’s best community newspaper.

Among the 16 editorial awards the newspaper won, the newspaper finished first in five categories—election coverage, business reporting, outstanding editorial page, best anniversary or progress edition, and spot news photography.

“We were thrilled to be recognized by our newspaper colleagues for excellence in a broad range of categories, and of course for winning again the top prize for editorial excellence,” Sutter said.

Downtown Express received five editorial awards, with two first-place finishes, in the categories of local government coverage and editorial-writing.

Gay City News was recognized as the state’s leading newspaper in reporting on religion. In an awards submission that included coverage of Pope Benedict XVI’s election, the defrocking of Irene Elizabeth Stroud, a lesbian Methodist minister, sex and spirituality in the LGBT community, and the increased emphasis on faith at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Gay City News was credited with “absolutely the most comprehensive enterprise accounts of religion in this newspaper community…Could all of our communities be so fortunate to have this coverage of religious issues.”

Gay City News also received recognition for its local government reporting, on issues including an announcement by the health department of a super-strain of HIV, the push for greater HIV oversight by the department, enhancements to the public school AIDS curriculum, the Bloomberg administration’s position on same-sex marriage, and public debate about tensions at the Christopher Street piers. The judges remarked on “excellent coverage of local government issues… [with] concise, colorful writing.”

Of the awards for Community Media generally, Sutter said, “The real stimulation in this business is trying to write honestly, independently, and forcefully—on a weekly basis—about events that make a difference to the lives of individuals and families in the community.”


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