Times Union takes First Amendment and Journalist of the Year, 11 other awards in statewide contest – Times Union

Posted: May 29, 2020 at 1:03 am

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Editorial Page Editor Jay Jochnowitz was recognized with the First Amendment Award in the New York State Associated Press Association 2019 awards.

Times Union Senior Editor Brendan J. Lyons in the Assembly Chamber in Albany, NY. (John Carl D'Annibale/Times Union)

In the 2019 New York State Associated Press Association awards, Copy Editor Joseph Stalvey won First Place in Headline Writing for this headline from the Nov. 21, 2019 Preview section.

In the 2019 New York State Associated Press Association awards, Copy Editor Joseph Stalvey won First Place in Headline Writing for "Cannabis Kin Generating its Own Buzz" in the New York State Associated Press Association 2019 awards.

In the 2019 New York State Associated Press Association awards, Managing Editor Features/Sports Gary Hahn won Second Place in Headline Writing for this July 25, 2019 Preview cover headline.

In the 2019 New York State Associated Press Association awards, Managing Editor for Features and Sports Gary Hahn won Second Place in Headline Writing for "Fair, but Not Equal" in the New York State Associated Press Association 2019 awards.

Data Journalist and Online Producer Cathleen F. Crowley swept the Data Visualization category taking both First and Second Places for "Horse Death Tracker" and "School Debt" in the New York State Associated Press Association 2019 awards. And won a Second Place in Digital Storytelling with Senior Editor for State and Investigations Brendan J. Lyons and now-retired Executive News Editor and Online Producer Joyce Bassett. The team won Second Place in Digital Storytelling for "Raniere Stands Alone."

Executive News Editor and Online Producer Joyce Bassett, who is now retired and writing the weekly column "All In," won a Second Place in Digital Storytelling with Senior Editor for State and Investigations Brendan J. Lyons and Data Journalist and Online Producer Cathleen F. Crowley. The team won Second Place in Digital Storytelling for "Raniere Stands Alone."

Times Union Editor and Vice President Casey Seiler won First Place in Column in the 2019 New York State Associated Press Association awards. These are the columns that were submitted for the judges' consideration: "It didn't have to happen," "Anatomy of a total tank job" and "Lets not forget the enablers."

In the 2019 New York State Associated Press Association awards, Design Director Tom Palmer won First Place in News Full Page Design for this Dec. 19, 2019 A1.

Design Director Tom Palmer won First Place in News Full Page Design for his A1 page "Impeached" in the 2019 New York State Associated Press Association awards competition.

Photo Editor Will Waldron won First Place in Spot News Photo with this image in the 2019 New York State Associated Press Association awards. Here's the original caption: Skyelar Eriole, 5, one of the displaced residents of a Georgetta Dix Plaza fire, recalls how she escaped from the blaze on Wednesday morning, March 27, 2019, in Schenectady, N.Y. A morning fire struck two houses and left at least nine adults and children homeless in Hamilton Hill. (Will Waldron/Times Union)

Photo Editor Will Waldron won First Place Spot News Photo for "Silent Scream" in the 2019 New York State Associated Press Association awards.

Page Designer Tyswan Stewart took Second Place in Features or Sports Full Page Design with this Aug. 15, 2019 Preview cover in the 2019 New York State Associated Press Association awards.

Page Designer Tyswan Stewart won Second Place in Feature or Sports Full Page Design for his page "Woodstock at 50" in the New York State Associated Press Association 2019 awards.

In the 2019 New York State Associated Press Association awards, Page Designer Jeff Boyer won Second Place Illustration or Graphic for the illustration with this April 8, 2019 illustration with the editorial, "Nothing to cheer about."

Page Designer Jeff Boyer won Second Place in Illustration or Graphic for "State Tests" in the New York State Associated Press Association 2019 awards.

Former Capitol Reporter David Lombardo, who is now host of WCNY's Capitol Pressroom, won Second Place Podcast for "Tales from the Coup" in the 2019 New York State Associated Press Association awards.

ALBANY The Times Union celebrated Thursday on learning its staff members walked away from the annual New York State Associated Press Association contest with two statewide awards and almost a dozen other honors for its work.

Leading the way in the wins for 2019 work were Editorial Page Editor Jay Jochnowitz, who was recognized with the First Amendment Award, and Senior Editor for State and Investigations Brendan J. Lyons, who won the Michael Hendricks Journalist of the Year Award.

In its circulation class, which includes newspapers with an assessed weekly circulation of 250,000 to 999,999, Times Union staff won another 11 awards.

The range of these honors is a sign of the quality of the journalism the Times Union provides to its readers, said Casey Seiler, the papers editor and vice president. I'm especially pleased to see statewide recognition for the work of Brendan J. Lyons, one of the most dogged investigative journalists in a state with a lot of them, and Jay Jochnowitz, whose opinion writing gives the paper its fierce conscience.

In a challenging time for the business of journalism, the work of those recognized by the state AP this year shows why the Times Union maintains its vital role in the life of the Capital Region, said George Hearst III, the Times Union's publisher and CEO.

In its circulation class, the Times Union staff swept the Headline Writing category with Copy Editor Joseph Stalvey winning First Place for "Cannabis Kin Generating its Own Buzz" and Managing Editor for Features and Sports Gary Hahn winning Second Place for "Fair, but Not Equal."

Lyons won another award with Data Journalist and Online Producer Cathleen F. Crowley and now-retired Executive News Editor and Online Producer Joyce Bassett, who now writes the weekly "All In" column for the paper's sports department. The team won Second Place in Digital Storytelling for "Raniere Stands Alone," a preview of the trial of NXIVM's Keith Raniere.

Crowley swept the Data Visualization category, taking both First and Second Places for "Horse Death Tracker" and "School Debt," respectively.

Seiler won First Place in Column Writing for a package of three examples of his work: "It didn't have to happen," "Anatomy of a total tank job" and "Lets not forget the enablers."

Design Director Tom Palmer won First Place in News Full Page Design for his A1 page "Impeached."

Photo Editor Will Waldron won First Place Spot News Photo for "Silent Scream," an image of a young girl reacting to a house fire at her Schenectady home.

Page Designer Tyswan Stewart won Second Place in Feature or Sports Full Page Design for his page "Woodstock at 50."

Page Designer Jeff Boyer won Second Place in Illustration or Graphic for "State Tests."

And former Capitol Reporter David Lombardo, who is now host of WCNY's Capitol Pressroom, won Second Place Podcast for "Tales from the Coup," his multi-part narrative on the 2009 Republican takeover of the state Senate.

For the First Amendment Award, presented for a distinguished contribution to freedom of the press, the Times Union submitted a collection of editorials Jochnowitz wrote. Judges look for the submission that best exemplifies the spirit and intent of the First Amendment, including how the submission demonstrates a news organization's efforts to fulfill its public service role to help ensure an unrestricted flow of information vital to a free society.

The following editorials comprised the submission from Jochnowitz: "Kill this secret arrest bill," "More sunshine not less," "Secrets within secrets," "Brutality's enablers," "Olympic secrecy," "Police secrecy must end," "Protect young journalists," "Not a private matter at all," "Public information, period," "NYISO's dark side," and "Redemption, not revision."

"I can't adequately express how gratifying it is to be recognized by my peers with an award that goes to the heart of so much of what journalism is about freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and the need to hold government accountable," Jochnowitz said. "While this is an individual award, I want to stress that the work I do on the opinion side would not be possible without all the work done by my colleagues, from the reporters and editors fighting every day to get the information I write about to a publisher who is fully committed to the Times Unions mission as a news organization."

The Michael Hendricks Journalist of the Year Award, in recognizing the work of a New York journalist, honors former Associated Press News Editor Michael Hendricks, who was dedicated to helping journalists get a start in this business. In selecting Lyons, judges looked at the quality and variety of his work samples, the impact of his work in the community, and the conditions under which he worked.

"The work of journalists has never been more important," Lyons said. "I appreciate this honor from the Associated Press. I am especially grateful to be surrounded at the Times Union by so many hard-working journalists who take seriously their duty to seek the truth, be fair and keep readers informed of the news that matters to them."

These were the submissions from Lyons considered by the judges: "McLaughlin: I'm the 'boss' of Rensselaer County," "School janitor with hidden past as priest left wake of abuse," "Inspector general probed ethics panel's alleged leak to Cuomo," "'Ghost guns' becoming more common across New York," and "Records detail Rikers inmates' troubles at Albany County jail."

The state AP association includes member newspapers as well as television and radio stations from across New York state. In announcing the winners, George Bodarky, who is president of the New York State Associated Press Association and News Director for WFUV, noted that 1,300 entries were submitted across the print and broadcast categories. In years past, the association would invite winners to a dinner in early June to celebrate the wins. In light of the pandemic, the association's board of directors voted to forgo the event this year.

"We hope you have a grand time celebrating the honors with your staff," Bodarky said in a letter to the winning organizations. "In the meantime, stay safe while you continue to produce amazing journalism covering one of the biggest stories of our lifetime from the state in the center of it."

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Times Union takes First Amendment and Journalist of the Year, 11 other awards in statewide contest - Times Union

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