Gay City News won six awards this past week in the 2019 New York Press Association (NYPA) Better Newspaper Contest, as Schneps Media — its parent company of more than 70 publications across New York City, Long Island, Westchester County and Philadelphia — came away with a total of 18 awards.
The awards are usually presented at NYPA’s Spring Conference every year, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the NYPA to cancel this year’s gathering. The awards were presented virtually in videos released on August 20 and 21.
In the 2019 competition, Schneps Media publications earned four first-place prizes — in various categories recognizing outstanding editorial, graphic, and photographic content.
Schneps Media receives a total of 18 awards, including four 1st Place showings, in annual Better Newspaper Contest
Of note, Gay City News earned Honorable Mention honors for the Past Presidents’ Award for General Excellence, and Long Island Press also earned an Honorable Mention for the Thomas G. Butson Award for In-Depth Reporting. These are two of the most prestigious awards in the NYPA Better Newspaper Contest, recognizing the overall quality of publications.
The full list of Schneps Media winners follows:
- Paul Schindler of Gay City News for Editorials
- Bob Krasner of The Villager for Best Art Photo
- Arthur Arutyunov of Bay News/Brooklyn Graphic for Best Large Space Ad
- Claude Solnik of Long Island Press for News Story
- Mark Hallum of Bayside Times for Spot News Coverage
- Duncan Osborne, Andy Humm and Matt Tracy of Gay City News for Coverage of Crime
- Marcos Ramos and Robert Pozarycki of Chelsea Now, Manhattan, for Best Front Page
- Timothy Bolger of Long Island Press for Coverage of Local Government
- Bob Krasner of The Villager for Coverage of the Arts
- Matt Tracy and Paul Schindler of Gay City News for Coverage of Elections/Politics
- Matt Tracy, Arthur S. Leonard and Paul Schindler of Gay City News for Coverage of Religion
- Paul Schindler, Marcos Ramos, and Donna Aceto of Gay City News for the Past Presidents’ Award For General Excellence
- Marcos Ramos and Robert Pozarycki of The Villager, Manhattan for Best Front Page
- Times Newsweekly for Best Picture Story
- Gay City News for Special Section/Niche Publications Newsprint
- Cate Corcoran of Queens Courier for Magazine
- Mark Hallum and Carlotta Mohamed of Queens Courier for News Story
- Long Island Press for the Thomas G. Butson Award for In-Depth Reporting
Paul Schindler’s 1st Place Award for Editorial Writing included recognition of editorials decrying the harsh sentence handed down to Abel Cedeno, a bullied gay teen convicted of manslaughter in a Bronx school scuffle, looking back on the half century leading up to Stonewall 50, and arguing that calling out homophobia in elected officials is not a gotcha game. The judges wrote, “Strong suite of editorials, all specific, focused, well-reasoned, with strong values and causes laid out for the reader. The Unfair Sentencing editorial strongly advocates for justice, is sensitive to the individual, and makes the case that justice was not served.”
Gay City News’ award for Overall Excellence — which honors the contributions of everyone associated with the newspaper, especially including designer Marcos Ramos and photographer Donna Aceto — was based on three editions from 2019: the LGBTQ Pride Issue celebrating Stonewall 50, the following issue recapping all the events of Pride Week, and the final issue of the year. The judges wrote, “This is a very colorful newspaper. An excellent source of photos, news coverage, and advertising.”
The award for Crime and Coverage of the Courts included Duncan Osborne’s reporting on the anti-gay assault on Taj Patterson in Williamsburg, the NYPD’s apology for its actions at the Stonewall Inn in 1969, and retired NYPD Officer Tom Verni’s defamation lawsuit against Long Island’s LGBT Network; Andy Humm’s coverage of the Abel Cedeno manslaughter conviction; and Matt Tracy’s reporting on the death of Layleen Polanco at Rikers Island. The judges wrote, “Kudos for providing insightful background on each story, truly comprehensive pieces.”
Gay City News’ award for Coverage of Religion included Arthur S. Leonard’s reporting on a federal ruling finding Michigan’s adoption nondiscrimination policy hostile to religion; Matt Tracy’s stories about LGBT leaders meeting with the Vatican secretary of state, the Mormon Church relaxing its policies on the children of LGBTQ couples but also opposing a ban on conversion therapy, inflammatory comments by Pope Emeritus Benedicts XVI, homophobic threats against a welcoming congregation in Bay Ridge, and Attorney General William Barr’s defense of religious objections to LGBTQ education in schools and his Justice Department’s support for Catholic schools firing gay schoolteachers; a Passover message of two rabbis from Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, Rabbi Yael Rapport and Rabbi Mike Moskowitz, written from the Mexican border; and Paul Schindler’s story about Pope Francis’ meeting with British gay comedian Stephen K. Amos. The judges wrote, “Great, clear coverage with meaningful content for the community.”
The Coverage of Elections and Politics Award included Matt Tracy’s stories about Bronx City Councilmember Ritchie Torres’ decision to run for Congress in 2020, tensions at a Stonewall Democratic Club endorsement meeting in that congressional race, the anti-LGBTQ ties of three of the candidates in last year’s public advocate race, the stumbles in Pete Buttigieg’s rollout of his Douglass Plan for Black America; and Tracy and Schindller’s story about the push for LGBTQ City Council candidates for 2021. The judges wrote, “Some excellent writing, and I enjoyed the watchdog-type stories.”
The Special Section Award was for the newspaper’s 2019 Impact Awards, with recognition to Schindler and designer Marcos Ramos. The judges wrote, “Nice concept of honoring those that have impacted the community.”