BDN, Ellsworth American, Islander and Telegram win top honors

 Meg Haskell of BDN named Journalist of the Year

 NORTHPORT – More than 200 people gathered at Point Lookout Resort and Conference Center for theMaine Press Association Fall Conference and awards banquet on Oct. 16 where Meg Haskell of the Bangor Daily News was honored as Journalist of the year. The Ellsworth American, Mount Desert Islander, Bangor Daily News and Sunday Telegram were honored as Newspapers of the Year in their circulation categories.
  Matthew Stone of the Kennebec Journal won the Bob Drake Young Writer’s Award, Cyndy Bell of Current Publishing was honored as Advertising Person of the Year, Mike Theriault of the Sun Journal was recognized as the Circulation Person of the Year.
   The Freedom of Information Award in the Weekly Combined division went to the York County Coast Starfor their series “Managers, police hold top salaries” while the Daily/Weekend award went to the Sun Journal for “911 where are you?”
   Mike Dowd, editor in chief of the BDN, presented the award to Haskell noting that she has “distinguished herself with consistenly compelling, accurate reporting, augmented not only with a smooth, acessible writing style, but with the kind of compassion and sensitivity for people she writes about that comes from being a nurse”
   Haskell spend more than a decade working as a registered nurse before joining the BDN in 2002. She was recently promoted to health editor at the newspaper and is also organizing and helping maintain the paper’s new health and fitness web page.
   In recognizing the BDN as top daily paper, judge Larry Benjamin – a retired editor for the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press – wrote that it “distinguishes itself by its commitment to local new throughout all sections. The local and state-themed editorials, letters and commentary are very impressive. The writing and photos complement a perfect package.”
   Benjamin said that the Maine Sunday Telegram “presents the best weekend package with a healthy local presence in all news sections, mixed with a strong world and national mix. The reader gets a real feel for the state, its people and its issues.”
   Jeff Potter, editor of The Commons in Brattleboro, Vt. judged both the Weekly 1 and Weekly 2 General Excellence categories. 
  He described the Mount Desert Islander as “a publication that clearly is produced by people who love newspapers and work hard to produce one that is good at all levels. The news writing is clear and interesting for a reader who has no ties to the area to understand.  Well-written, nuanced stories, beautiful photography, a clear layout with contemporary typography — all that combine to give someone from afar a sense of place.”
  The Ellsworth American “features beautiful color photography that very deftly conveys a sense of place, one of the most important functions of a community newspaper. Its standalone editorial section provides a welcome insight on the area with clearly labeled commentaries, well-written editorials, a vibrant letters column, and a look through the newspaper’s archives.
   The paper looks like it has the proper formula to hit the reader’s head, heart, and gut, to be engaging and relevant in their lives,” Potter wrote.
   For a complete listing, click on the 2010 Contest Winners link.