OBSERVER wins three New York News Publishers Association awards

Above: Three plaques awarded to the OBSERVER this year by the New York News Publishers Assocation. Right: This page won the 2016 Distinguished Page Design/Presentation.

OBSERVER Staff Report

The OBSERVER has been awarded three first-place awards by the New York News Publishers Association for entries submitted in the 2016 contest for newspapers under 10,000 circulation.

This is the first time the OBSERVER has won multiple awards in a year from the Publishers Association contest. Winning awards this year were Mary Ann Herrington, Rebecca Cuthbert and John D’Agostino.

Herrington, a retired OBSERVER staff member who still writes occasional features and the daily Retrospective column, won for Distinguished Feature Writing. The winning entry was for the article “Dunkirk Was 20-Year Home to Three Dog Night Singer,” profiling Cory Wells. This same article won third place in the 2016 New York State Associated Press Association contest in the arts/entertainment writing category. This is the second time Herrington has won an NYNPA writing entry. In 2007, she won the “Distinguished Column Writing Award of Excellence” for her column “Losing faith, one blow at a time” about the closing of St. Hyacinth’s School. In 2009 she also won a third place Associated Press award in arts/entertainment writing, for a feature on Henry B. “Toby” Halicki. This makes Herrington a four-time award-winning writer, the only OBSERVER staff member to win that many writing awards.

Cuthbert, a former OBSERVER staff writer, won for Distinguished Headline Writing. The winning entry was “‘Number Two’ is number one problem at Silver Creek beach.” The article focused on dog and human feces at George Borrello Park. This was her first contest award. Since 2010, the OBSERVER has won this category four times.

D’Agostino, the OBSERVER publisher, won Distinguished Page Design/Presentation for the Feb. 12, 2016 front page design when state Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited Dunkirk to announce the Athenex project. This is the second year in a row D’Agostino has won this category. Last year, he won for the OBSERVER’s July 15, 2015 front page design for the floods that struck Westfield, Brocton, Silver Creek and Fredonia areas. That same page won first place for the Associated Press’ Full Page Design contest as well. In 2014, D’Agostino also won Associated Press’ second place News Spot Presentation when Cuomo visited Dunkirk on Dec. 16, 2013, when the state announced a 10-year commitment to repowering NRG. D’Agostino is the only OBSERVER staff member to win four page design awards.

Since 2000, the OBSERVER has won eight Publishers Association Awards and 12 Associated Press awards.


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