Gay City News scooped up a dozen awards at the New York Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest for 2020, capping off a strong performance by Schneps Media, the newspaper’s parent company, which hauled in a total of 49 awards.
Gay City News received three first-place awards, four second-place awards, three third-place awards, and two honorable mentions over the course of a two-day virtual awards ceremony during which the newspaper was praised for its work across a range of areas. The founding editor of Gay City News, Paul Schindler, who stepped down as editor-in-chief at the end of last year, was recognized seven times.
The newspaper’s first-place honors included Andy Humm’s piece remembering the life of screenwriter, playwright, author, and activist Larry Kramer, who died in May of last year at the age of 84. That story won first place for News Story.
Duncan Osborne and Matt Tracy landed a first place award for Coverage of Crime, Police, and Courts for two stories — Tracy’s article examining the circumstances surrounding the death of a transgender woman in Newark, New Jersey, and Osborne’s story revealing that Mayor Bill de Blasio approved aggressive police tactics during the protests that emerged in the city following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Schindler and Amanda Tarley also won first place honors for the special section dedicated to the newspaper’s annual Impact Awards event.
Schindler and Arthur S. Leonard earned a second place spot in the competition for the Thomas Butson Award for In-Depth Reporting thanks to their coverage of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in June of last year clarifying that LGBTQ workers are covered under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Schindler wrote a timely and informative story immediately after the ruling and Leonard penned a comprehensive overview of the ruling and the legal battles ahead in the fight for queer rights.
Schindler and photographer Donna Aceto took home second place honors in the Best Front Page contest for two Pride covers — the June 25 cover leading into Pride weekend and the cover for the subsequent issue on July 16. Relatedly, Schindler, Tracy, and Aceto also won third place honors for Special Holiday Edition for the June 25 Pride issue.
Another second place award went to Nicholas Boston, David Kennerley, Chris Byrne and Ryan Persadie in the Coverage of Arts category. Their contributions included Boston’s piece about a Metropolitan Museum of Art gallery focused on Indigenous communities, Kennerley’s coverage of virtual theater during the pandemic, and Persadie’s profiles of Caribbean drag artists.
Tracy received a second place award in the Sports Feature category for coverage of Knicks’ Pride night and Knicks player Reggie Bullock, who became an LGBTQ advocate after his transgender sister was murdered.
The newspaper’s third place awards included Schindler’s editorials covering the gay blood ban, the late John Lewis, and Stonewall House, an LGBTQ-inclusive housing development for seniors in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
Notably, Gay City News scored third place in the competition for the Past Presidents’ Award for General Excellence, underscoring the top-notch work produced by everyone on the team. In comments explaining the award, judges praised the paper’s wide-ranging work.
“This newspaper provided comprehensive coverage of issues and people in the LGBTQ communities,” judges wrote. “The June 25-July 15 issue impressively covered Pride month activities, some made virtual by COVID-19, as well as political races involving gay candidates, stories about anti-[LGBTQ] figures including Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, and much more. The April 9-22 edition focused on the pandemic and featured a compelling cover story about New Alternatives, which provides services for LGBTQ homeless youth and has grown even more vital in the pandemic. Photography is strong. Layout is clean and consistent, as is the copy. This newspaper knows its audience and is thorough in covering a broad array of issues.”
Finally, the pair of honorable mentions recognized the paper’s coverage of religion and the community. Humm, Tracy, Aceto, Leonard, and Schindler were honored for Coverage of Religion, which included stories on the Methodist Church breakup and the Fulton v. City of Philadelphia case. Schindler and Tracy received an honorable mention for the Sharon R. Fulmer Award for Community Leadership for hosting and covering a webinar on the state of non-profits during the COVID era.
In addition to the awards earned by Gay City News, other newspapers within Schneps Media — which consists of more than 70 publications across New York City, Long Island, Westchester County, and Philadelphia — also had strong showings at the Better Newspaper Contest.
Dan’s Papers earned 14 honors, including first place finishes for Best Large Space Ad, Best House Ad, and Best Real Estate Home Section. Among other highlights, QNS.com — which includes the Queens Courier, TimesLedger, and Ridgewood Times newspapres — won first Place for Best News Website and the Brooklyn Paper finished in first Place in the News Series competition for coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on hospitals, businesses, and communities in the borough.
“I am bursting with pride at the huge recognition of our talented team, both writers and artists, both digitally and in print,” Victoria Schneps, president of Schneps Media, said in a written statement.
“We are so proud of our team across all divisions of the entire company,” Joshua Schneps, CEO of Schneps Media, said in a written statement. “These recognitions prove what we already know and appreciate: We have the best team in the business!”
Below is a list of Gay City News’ awards at the 2020 Better Newspaper Contest.
- News Story, Division 5 (Andy Humm)
- Coverage of Crime/Police/Courts, Division 2 (Matt Tracy and Duncan Osborne)
- Special Sections, Glossy Niche, Division 3 (Paul Schindler and Amanda Tarley)
- Thomas Butson Award for In-Depth Reporting, Division 4 (Paul Schindler and Arthur S. Leonard)
- Sports Feature, Division 3 (Matt Tracy)
- Best Front Page, Division 3 (Paul Schindler and Donna Aceto)
- Coverage of Arts (Nicholas Boston, David Kennerley, Chris Byrne and Ryan Persadie)
- Editorials, Division 4 (Paul Schindler)
- Past Presidents’ Award for Excellence, Division 2 (Gay City News)
- Special Holiday Edition (Paul Schindler, Matt Tracy and Donna Aceto)
- Sharon R. Fulmer Award for Community Leadership (Paul Schindler and Matt Tracy)
- Coverage of Religion (Andy Humm, Matt Tracy, Donna Aceto, Art Leonard and Paul Schindler)