Gazette and Recorder win top awards in New England Newspaper contest; editor Moulton honored

  • —Gazette Staff/ CAROL LOLLIS

  • Daily Hampshire Gazette Night Managing Editor Stanley Moulton, right, holds his Bob Wallack Community Journalism award with his mother, Mimi, and brother Bob. GAZETTE STAFF/JEFF GOOD

Executive Editor
Published: 10/6/2016 4:33:03 PM

NATICK — A longtime Daily Hampshire Gazette editor was honored Thursday with one of New England’s top journalism awards.

Stanley W. Moulton received the Bob Wallack Community Journalism Award from the New England Newspaper & Press Association at a conference in Natick. Only one such honor is bestowed yearly in the six New England states.

The Gazette was also recognized as a “Distinguished Newspaper of the Year” by a NENPA jury in the weekend category. Its sister paper, The Recorder of Greenfield, was named “Distinguished Newspaper of the Year” in the daily category.

Finally, a series that appeared in the Gazette’s opinion pages last December, “Letters from Inside,” won a Publick Occurrences award for public service journalism.

The series — developed by Gazette Editor Larry Parnass with freelance editor Revan Schendler and with photography by Carol Lollis and design by Lucy Pickett — presented first-person narratives by people incarcerated at the Franklin County House of Correction, including inmates Ricky Aviles, Joseph Kuntz, Clay Perry and Kerry S. Williamson.

Linda Conway, executive director of NENPA, said in a statement that the field for the Bob Wallack Community Journalism Award was competitive this year, as it always is. The award is named for longtime New England journalist and former New England Press Association Executive Director Bob Wallack.

“All the judges agreed that Stan is a wonderful example and inspiration for community journalists throughout the region,” Conway said. The judges remarked on Moulton’s decades of leadership not only as a reporter and editor, but also as leader of an internship program that brings college students to the Gazette and its sister publications for on-the-job training.

Moulton this week wraps up his tenure as the Gazette’s night managing editor; he takes over next week as opinion editor. In accepting the honor, he told the crowd that he owes much to the editors and family newspaper owners for whom he’s worked over the last four decades.

“I’ve got a lot of Bob Wallack-like figures whom I’ve learned from,” said Moulton, a Hampshire College graduate. “Those were all publishing families who were deeply rooted in their communities and who also understood the value of a vigorous journalism that really contributed to the health and fabric of that community.”

“Those are the values that it is important for us who are in a position of mentoring young journalists, the next generation, to continue to impart,” he continued. “To understand the importance of community journalism, shining a light where it’s necessary, giving voice to the voiceless, engaging our readers in conversation and debate.”

Moulton’s mother, Mimi, and brother, Bob, traveled from New Hampshire to join the celebration. And after the ceremony, a former intern came up to Moulton to congratulate him.

“I just wanted to say thank you, because that program gave me the clips I needed to get hired,” said Caitlyn Kelleher, a 2002 intern and graduate of Lafayette College in Pennsylvania who now works for Wicked Local in Concord.

The “Letters from the Inside” series was praised for providing deep insights into the perspectives of people who are often left at the margins — people behind bars.

More than 2.3 million people — including 80,000 children — are locked up in American prisons, jails and juvenile detention centers. With 5 percent of the world’s population, the United States accounts for 25 percent of the world’s prisoners after decades of “tough on crime” legislation and “zero tolerance” prosecution and sentencing.

The two-day series used intimate narratives to reveal the human beings behind such statistics. The newspaper worked with Schendler to draw out their stories through extensive interviews that were then edited into essay form.

In one, Jeremiah Longe tells of his long struggle with depression and addiction. “It’s easy to judge me from a distance, if you decide you can’t sit down and talk with me because I’m an animal or a monster,” he wrote. “It’s easy not to think about millions of people in this country who live in cages.”

Publication of the series brought a flood of letters and calls from readers who praised it for stripping away the stigma associated with incarceration. The contest judges praised the series as a unique form of journalism. “It was impossible as a judge not to read every word.”

The Distinguished Newspaper honors were given to the Gazette and Recorder for excellence across the newspaper’s editions, including news, features, sports and opinion pages, photography and design.


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