Paper receives four state press awards

SARATOGA SPRINGS–The Columbia Paper won four statewide journalism awards presented at the annual Spring Convention of the New York Press Association (NYPA) April 8 and 9.

Photographer David Lee won a First Place award for Spot News Photos category, publisher Parry Teasdale received a Second Place award for editorials and Associate Editor Diane Valden received two awards–a Third Place for Feature Story writing and an Honorable Mention for Spot News Coverage.

NYPA said that overall 177 newspapers submitted 2,836 entries in the Better Newspaper Contest, which has over 60 categories. The entries were judged by members of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association.

In most categories newspapers compete against other papers of roughly the same size. The Columbia Paper competed in Division 1, which includes papers from around the state that circulate up to 5,000 copies weekly.

The photo that earned Mr. Lee his First Place award showed three young people–two young women and a man–leaping from a cliff into a swimming hole in the Agawamuck Creek. It appeared on the front page of the August 20, 2015 issue.33 15-28 PAGE MASTER LAYOUT.indd

The judge’s comment that accompanied the award said, “Awesome action photo! This picture clearly told me the story of the article. And what a fun day these kids were having! Well done with your shutter speed. Pleasing, fun photo all the way around.”

Mr. Teasdale was judged on the basis of three editorials submitted to the contest, including ones on the illegal dumping of Sal Cascino in Copake, the troubles that led to the shake-up at the Columbia Economic Development Corporation and charges of racism by Columbia Memorial Hospital staff. The judge’s comments said in part, “Editorial[s] reflect important issues not only at a state level but issues that affect people nationwide. The voice is strong and clear…”

Ms. Valden’s award-winning feature story was headlined “Sheepish, Rambo returns from his 10-day ramble.” Published May 20, 2015, it reported efforts to retrieve a ram that got loose in Ancramdale. The judge in that category wrote, “This story was just fun to read all the way through. Yes, ‘three sheep on the lam.’ Well written piece, funny, something everyone can enjoy because it’s so basic. Story could happen anywhere, but writer made me feel like I was there watching. Thank you!”

Ms. Valden also received Honorable Mention in the Spot News Coverage category for her reporting last June in the case of a companion dog in the Town of Claverack that was shot and killed by a neighbor.

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