Portland Press Herald, Republican Journal and Mount Desert Islander among MPA winners

BANGOR – The Portland Press Herald, The Republican Journal of Belfast, the Mount Desert Islander of Bar Harbor and the Maine Sunday Telegram have been honored by the Maine Press Association for General Excellence print newspapers.

The Bangor Daily News, the Camden Herald/Republican Journal and the Mount Desert Islander took top honors for digital General Excellence in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest.

The awards were presented Saturday night at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bangor, concluding a day of workshops for journalists, advertising staff and newsroom managers throughout the state.

Earlier in the day, the association inducted three new members to its Hall of Fame: Lou Ureneck, former executive editor of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram; Bob Kalish, who wrote for national publications and The Times Record in Brunswick; and longtime Press Herald/Telegram columnist Bill Nemitz.

In the General Excellence competition for print newspapers, the Press Herald was judged the best daily in Maine for the third year in a row while the Telegram was the weekend Newspaper of the Year for the fifth time in six years. The contest judge wrote, “They are far and away the best paper(s) in Maine. They are solid professional newspapers of substance, initiative, energy and readability.”

In the Weekly 1 division, for newspapers with less than 4,000 print circulation, The Republican Journal was described as having a “clean design and nice mix of hard news and features.” The Weekly 2 winner, the Mount Desert Islander, was applauded for its “wide-ranging, eclectic and thorough coverage of community.”

The Mount Desert Islander has been named Newspaper of the Year nine times since 2006 – five times in the Weekly 1 division and four straight years in Weekly 2 (4,000 and over circulation).

The digital General Excellence winner among daily/weekend papers, the Bangor Daily News, was lauded for “featuring an attractive, understated presentation. Frequent updating with fresh news. Easily identifiable points for reader interaction, including news tips, polls and quizzes, and judicious use of video.”

The Weekly 1 winners, The Camden Herald & The Republican Journal, were commended by judges for “doing a fine job of placing fresh news in front of readers who don’t want to wait for the print edition.”

Judges praised the Weekly 2 winner, Mount Desert Islander, for providing a “beautiful, news-forward presentation. Easily navigated. Plenty of fresh content for readers.”

The Advertiser-Democrat of Oxford County won the Freedom of Information first-place award in the weekly category, while the Portland Press Herald took top honors in the daily/weekend division.

The Journalist of the Year award went to Scott Dolan of the Portland Press Herald; the Advertising Person of the Year is Barbara Hendsbee of the Press Herald.

Christopher Crosby, formerly of the Sun Journal in Lewiston, won the Bob Drake Young Writer’s Award; and Bridget Campbell of the Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel, Melanie Creamer of the Portland Press Herald, and Kathy Lizotte of The Lincoln County News were honored by the MPA as the Unsung Heroes of the Year.

A complete list of 2015 award winners will be posted this week on the MPA’s website: www.mainepressassociation.org

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