City & State took home five 2018 New York Press Association awards, including the top prize for coverage of elections and politics, a first-place designation for investigative reporting and a second place rookie reporter award.
“Head-and-shoulders better than almost every other entry in this category,” the judges wrote in a summary of City & State’s political coverage. “Writers clearly know their stuff and convey it clearly and accurately, avoiding the trap that affected many other entries: getting lost in distracting details.”
NYPA’s annual Better Newspaper Contest singled out City & State’s Ben Adler for his story entitled “The belligerent style in American politics,” saying it stood out “even among a great entry.” “I had to doublecheck to make sure you hadn’t snuck a Washington Post analysis piece into the entry,” a judge wrote.
The other stories in the package of elections and politics coverage were Jon Lentz’s analysis of the downfall of Eric Schneiderman, Jeff Coltin’s story on the rise of Letitia James, Rebecca C. Lewis’ prescient piece on the fate of the so-called Long Island Nine, and Zach Williams’ in-depth preview of the 22nd Congressional District matchup.
The Thomas G. Butson Award for In-Depth Reporting went to Frank G. Runyeon for his stunning investigation into lax oversight and dubious testing procedures for New York City’s rooftop water towers – including evidence of contamination being erased from tests of tanks atop the city’s public housing developments.
“Amazing stories,” the judges wrote. “The amount of research and good solid reporting done came through highlighting this significant problem.” The issue also resonated with the New York City Council, which is poised to pass a package of legislation this week directly addressing the issue.
Lewis, who joined City & State in December 2017, came in second in the Rookie Reporter of the Year competition. “Well-written, informative stories that are very readable and interesting,” the judges wrote. “I learned something from each one but was particularly impressed with her coverage of the single-payer healthcare system. She handled a complex issue and presented information in an understandable format that didn’t dumb it down but broke it down for readers.”
City & State also picked up a third place prize for environmental reporting, with stories on off-shore drilling, the debate over banning plastic bags, New York City’s lawsuit against Exxon Mobil, efforts to reform the city’s commercial waste industry and state climate change legislation.
Finally, Adler won honorable mention for best column. “Great analysis and opinions on New York state politics,” the judges wrote. “Writing style is persuasive and evocative. Opinions are supported with political savvy and an apparent root in the subject matter.”
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