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The Queens Courier earns honors from New York Press Association

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

The Queens Courier took home first place in overall advertising excellence and other awards in the New York Press Association‘s 2014 Better Newspaper Contest.

The awards were distributed during the NYPA Spring Convention held March 27 to 29 in Saratoga Springs.

“I’m bursting with pride that the New York Press Association recognized our talented, professional and dedicated staff members,” Courier Publisher Victoria Schneps said.

Among those receiving individual honors were Stephen Reina, assistant art director, who earned second place in the Best Special Section Cover category for his “Come in from the cold” Queens winter events cover from last January.

Liam La Guerre, The Courier’s real estate editor, earned second place in the News Story category and third place in the Best News or Feature Series category for his April 3, 2014, story regarding funds missing from a Briarwood school’s PTA treasury, which threatened to ruin the school’s fifth-grade graduation ceremony.

Angy Altamirano received an honorable mention for her July story regarding Donhauser Florist in East Elmhurst, a 125-year-old fixture in the community located next to a motel converted into a homeless shelter.

The Courier’s sister paper, The Home Reporter in Brooklyn, earned an honorable mention for a sports feature by Jaime DeJesus on an amputee baseball game in Bay Ridge during the 1950s.


The Queens Courier staff recognized by New York Press Association

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

The Queens Courier congratulates its staff in taking home a handful of awards at this year’s New York Press Association Better Newspaper Contest.

For the past three years, Courier reporters have been given the distinctive honor of Rookie Reporter of the Year. Former reporters Melissa Chan, Maggie Hayes and Terence Cullen previously took home the title and this year, Angy Altamirano placed in the category.

Altamirano, who covers western Queens and is editor of the LIC Courier magazine, was awarded second place for her “ability to write enticing, exciting leads.”

Of her work, the judges said, “Angy has an easy-to-read style … using short sentences instead of long wordy ones to tell her story.”
Melissa, who previously covered northeast Queens for The Courier, won second place in the News Story category for her “great hard news reporting” and getting to the facts quick and with detail.

The former reporter also took home another win along with Maggie, who previously covered southeast and southwest for the newspaper. The duo placed third place for In-Depth Reporting for their “nice presentation, good writing and plenty of interesting people …”

The Courier’s staff also took home awards for Best Special Section Cover and Best Large Space Ad.

Jennifer Decio earned first place for her large space ad which judges found conveyed an elegant message. “The photos and layout sell it!” wrote the judges.

Stephen Reina placed third for his special section cover which judges described as “both dynamic and sophisticated.”

“I’m so proud of our team, which is the best in the business,” said Joshua Schneps, co-publisher of The Queens Courier. “It demonstrates the quality of what we do and the depth of talent that we have in the company.”



Courier takes top honors at New York Press Association awards

| tcimino@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Tonia N. Cimino

The Queens Courier is breaking news – and breaking barriers.

Not only are we the first-place winners of the New York Press Association’s (NYPA) Past Presidents’ Award for General Excellence two years in a row, but our staff of talented writers and artists walked away with numerous other accolades.

Last year, Melissa Chan set the bar by winning third place Rookie Reporter of the Year.

This year, her peers Maggie Hayes and Terence Cullen were also given the distinctive honor, beating out slews of writers state-wide.

Maggie, who covers all of southeast and southwest Queens, and is the editor of our North Shore Towers Courier, was awarded third place for her “excellent portfolio of stories.”

Of her work, the judges said, “Maggie covered each subject with skill and professionalism, using sources to tell the story . . . with a writing style that really works.”

Terence, who covers south Queens and is editor of our Queensborough magazine, blew away the NYPA staff by not only winning first place Rookie of the Year, but also first place Sports Writer of the Year.

NYPA Executive Director Michelle Rea said in her time with the organization, she had never seen such a feat.

“We are impressed by this reporter’s coverage of several challenging stories,” the judges said of Terence. “His reporting style and skills were excellent. This is a writer who seems to tackle any subject with ease and produces readable, well-sourced stories.”

Alexa Altman, our former LIC editor, won second place for Writer of the Year for her “wide variety of stories with strong imagery and a good grasp of language.”

For our coverage of Sandy and other news events throughout the year, we won first place Best In-Depth Reporting and second place Best Spot News Coverage.

“This newspaper does a lot for its community,” the judges said. “This paper saw its job as not just the storyteller of the storm, but the informer as well, and subsequently, by year’s end, the upstanding citizen.”

Our talented staff also took home awards for Best Special Section Advertising and a first-place win for Best Special Section Cover.

And our website, www.queenscourier.com – your source for breaking news – was classified by judges as “well organized and relevant,” in its second place win for Best Newspaper Website, thanks to the efforts of all, especially web editor Cristabelle Tumola.

“I am so proud of our team,” said Courier co-publisher Joshua Schneps. “They truly deserve to be recognized for their excellence, hard work and dedication. The awards represented both team and individual accomplishments in every part of the business.”

As we forge ahead, The Queens Courier will remain true to our motto, “We’re all about you.” We will, as the NYPA judges remarked, continue to do our community proud.

Courier wins at NYPA awards

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

News outlets from across the state gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of local publications, their reporters and designers, at the annual New York Press Association Awards.

The Queens Courier was honored to receive the Past Presidents’ Award for General Excellence in its division. Judges claimed the publication had crisp writing, a good mix of stories and a strong, dynamic use of art throughout.

Melissa Chan won third place in the Rookie Reporter of the Year category. A graduate of Adelphi University, Chan has been a reporter for The Queens Courier since September of 2011, originally covering the Howard Beach area before moving to northeast Queens.

“First place, third place, any kind of place — I’m just so incredibly honored and elated to be given such a prestigious award. There are not enough rooftops in the world for me to stand on and shout from right now,” said Chan. “There is so much talent within Queens, not to mention the entire state. I never in a million years thought I would get chosen.”

The Queens Courier also took home awards for advertising excellence, best special section cover and best real estate section.