The New England Newspaper and Press Association handed out its 2012 journalism awards this past weekend — and three of the New England-wide awards went to the Gloucester Daily Times.
Features Editor Andrea Holbrook captured a first prize for front page design and photo correspondent Desi Smith captured two awards for his work in Sports and Spot News coverage, highlighting NENPA’s annual convention, which went on even in the face of the Blizzard of 2013 at the Park Plaza hotel in Boston.
Holbrook, who, as features editor, coordinates presentations for such Times sections as the popular Taste of the Times and “The Catch” arts and entertainment section and serves as editor-in-chief of Cape Ann magazine, earned first place in the category for all daily newspapers with circulation of 30,000 or less for her Page 1 design of Friday, April 20.
That was the edition that announced the tragic news that 21/2-year-old Caleigh Harrison had disappeared from Long Beach in Rockport. Centered on a photo of a Rockport police officer interviewing Caleigh’s sister at the beach’s footbridge and the capital-lettered headline “Missing,” the presentation also featured a photo and description of the little girl whose loss would come to grip the Cape Ann community in the days and weeks ahead. And it included a QR code taking smartphone users to an extensive slideshow of photos from the search that involved state and local police and the U.S. Coast Guard.
Other stories on the page included one reporting the possibility that federal officials were considering pulling NOAA’s regional headquarters out of Gloucester, another on a Gloucester man being indicted in a New Hampshire bank robbery, and another on Gloucester’s then-continuing search for a new fire chief.
In the photo categories, Smith captured second place in the Sports photo category for his shot of a Rockport High baserunner ducking safely under a diving fielder and the throw during a high school baseball game last spring. He also took third place in the category for Spot news photos for his picture showing Gloucester firefighters using a miniature oxygen mask to treat a pair of cats that had been rescued from a city house fire.
“We’re very proud to receive these awards, and proud of the work done by Andrea and Desi — just as we’re proud of all the work done by our Times news team each and every day,” said Times Editor Ray Lamont. “All of our folks work hard every day to bring our readers the very best in Gloucester and Cape Ann local news coverage, and it’s good to see their work recognized as among the best in New England.”
The awards are the latest in a long string of New England press honors for the Times, which was named the New England Society of Newspaper Editors’ Newspaper of the Year for its circulation category in 2009.