Gazette wins six press awards

  • Gazette photo editor Carol Lollis earned third place in the spot news photo category at the New England Newspaper & Press Association’s New England Newspaper Convention last weekend for this image, which shows a protester being removed from a cherry tree last summer by police officers. The tree was slated to be cut down. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Staff Writer
Published: 5/3/2022 7:24:56 AM
Modified: 5/3/2022 7:23:25 AM

NORTHAMPTON — A profile of a newspaper deliveryman completing his final route, coverage of the University of Massachusetts hockey team’s run to a national championship in spring 2021 and an in-depth examination of corporate research agreements at UMass are earning the Daily Hampshire Gazette’s staff recognition from a regional newspaper association.

The Gazette took home six awards, each going to a different writer or photographer, from the New England Newspaper & Press Association’s New England Newspaper Convention, held Friday and Saturday at the Boston Renaissance Waterfront Hotel.

“Having six different staffers recognized for their work across news, features, sports and photography is impressive for a newspaper of our size and speaks to the talent in the newsroom,” says Pioneer Valley Executive Editor Dan Crowley. “It’s always nice to be recognized by one’s peers and they should be proud of their work.”

Staff writer Brian Steele earned a second-place award in the human interest feature story category for a story about a deliveryman who in July 2021 closed out nearly 20 years of delivering what he estimated at more than 800,000 copies of the Gazette.

The remaining five honors were third-place awards, including photo editor Carol Lollis who earned an award in the spot news photo category for an image titled “Cherry Trees,” showing a protester being removed by police officers from a tree slated to be cut down last summer. Staff writer Bera Dunau was recognized in the presidential election category for an October 2020 story examining residents in the region who supported former President Donald Trump, and staff writer Steve Pfarrer’s award came in the arts and entertainment reporting category for a December 2020 piece on a 9-year-old Northampton musician.

Staff writer Dusty Christensen was recognized in the investigative/enterprise reporting category for a November 2020 article showing that corporate research expenditures at UMass grew from $6.5 million to $10 million over a five-year period, while sportswriter Kyle Grabowski was honored in the sports section category for the insights and game coverage of UMass hockey leading to its first-ever Division 1 title. The Gazette competed against other daily publications throughout New England that have fewer than 20,000 subscribers.

Shawn Palmer, publisher for Newspapers of New England, also praised the Gazette’s team for its work.

“Recognition by our peers across New England for so many members of the Gazette staff is impressive,” Palmer said. “Our journalists work daily to bring the news of Hampshire County to our readers. I’m pleased that their efforts have been recognized in such a public manner.”

In other recognitions, Chuck Goodrich, president and CEO of Newspapers of New England, the Gazette’s parent company, was inducted into the Newspaper Hall of Fame.

“The recognition from my peers is greatly appreciated,” said Goodrich. “I dreamt of being a newspaper publisher as a middle schooler back in the 1960s, but never understood what a long, strange trip it would be. I’ve been fortunate to have some amazing mentors, colleagues and industry associates who helped me become a better journalist and leader through the years. Even after all the disruption and change of the past several decades, I still love this work and believe deeply that what we do makes a difference to our readers, our communities and our employees.”

The Gazette’s sister paper, the Greenfield Recorder, also took home two awards on Saturday: a first-place honor in the feature photo category by staff photographer Paul Franz and a second-place award in the category of general excellence for the newspaper. 

Scott Merzbach can be reached  at smerzbach@gazettenet.com. Staff Writer Mary Byrne contributed to this report.

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