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KATE ALBRIGHT/ FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL
Montclair Local staff left to right: reporter Erin Roll, ad director Jack Marflack, former editor Kevin Meacham, culture editor Gwen Orel, sports writer Andrew Garda and interim editor Jaimie Julia Winters.

Montclair Local and its staff have won the New Jersey Press Association’s General Excellence Award for the second year in a row. 

For its coverage in 2019, the paper won 24 awards. 

Last year, in its first year of qualifying for the contest, Montclair Local garnered 16 NJPA awards for its coverage of Montclair throughout 2018, including General Excellence, regarded as designating the best weekly in New Jersey.

Competing against weekly papers from throughout the state, judges commended Montclair Local, including among their review comments: “Well-written story content, strong reporting in this community-minded newspaper. Lots to read in this paper.”

Montclair Local launched in March 2017 and became a member of the NJPA — an organization comprising nearly 200 newspapers and dozens of digital news websites — in 2018.

The judges had this to say of some of its coverage:

“Great insight on gentrification.” 

“Outstanding story that shows the tangled web of what some consider ‘progress.’”

“The finest journalism stems from a reporter going into the trenches and experiencing the plights of their subjects. Excellent story about the side of progress and development that many fail to recognize.”

“A different look at sports. I enjoyed a good read.”

Earlier in the year, Culture Editor Gwen Orel won two Keystone State awards: first place in lifestyle/entertainment writing for “Balancing Acts: A New Play About a Young Hannah Arendt at Luna Stage,” “Shifting Perspectives: ‘Considering Matthew Shepard’ Musically Examines Hate” and “‘Runaways’ Builds Empathy: Vanguard Theater Company Sleeps Out,” and second place in the same category for “Honey Saves the World: Apples and Honey Are a Jewish Tradition, and Beekeeping Is Part of Tikkun Olam,” “Facing the Darkness: Clergy Discuss Good Friday” and “Eid al-Fitr Brings Muslims Together: Celebrating the End of the Fast.”

The judge said: “Great reporting and storytelling instincts!” 

In April, Jaimie Julia Winters won the New Society of Professional Journalism’s Stuart and Beverley Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Journalism for her coverage of Lackawanna Plaza in 2019.

Of the Local’s 24 awards, 10 were for first place, eight were for second and six were for third. 

The award winners:

First Place

Responsible Journalism

Affordable housing series

Jaimie Julia Winters, Associate Editor

Responsible Journalism – Enterprise

Life in a construction zone

Jaimie Julia Winters, Associate Editor

Responsible Journalism – First Amendment Award

Former deputy chief still on payroll; Deputy chief’s separation date not set

Jaimie Julia Winters, Associate Editor

News Writing

Church giving away a free home

Jaimie Julia Winters, Associate Editor

Coverage of Elections/Politics

Sudden turnaround; Deputy mayor drama continues; Telling their stories

Jaimie Julia Winters, Associate Editor

Sports Writing Portfolio

Clearing the hurdles; Simply the best; Running after a dream

Andrew Garda, Sports Editor

Investigative Reporting

Fighting to stay together

Jaimie Julia Winters, Associate Editor

Business and Economic Writing

Pig & Prince pulls out of Lackawanna

Jaimie Julia Winters, Associate Editor

Packaging the News – General Typography and Layout of the Entire Paper

April 25, Sept. 19 issues

Editorial Staff 

Packaging the News – Feature Section Layout and Content

Sept. 19, Dec. 19 issues

Gwen Orel, Culture Editor, Andrea Bondy, Paginator, Elizabeth Oguss, Copy Editor

Second Place

Public Service – Lloyd P. Burns Memorial Award

Montclair Local Lackawanna Plaza series

Jaimie Julia Winters, Associate Editor

Coverage of Government – Art Weissman Memorial Award

Work stop; In search of spots; Plastic bag ban on

Jaimie Julia Winters, Associate Editor

Coverage of Crime – Police, Courts

Dog dies following attack; MHS teacher sues BOE; Stolen Lackawanna clock is back home   

Jaimie Julia Winters, Associate Editor

Feature Writing

One of a kind

Jaimie Julia Winters, Associate Editor

Environmental- Health and Science Writing

Green building loophole?

Jaimie Julia Winters, Associate Editor

Investigative Reporting

Life-saving actions; A worrying trend with a greenhouse at local arboretum

Jaimie Julia Winters, Associate Editor

Best Use of Social Media

Break the Hate

Adam Anik, Photographer

Online Breaking News

Video/Photos:  Montclair Celebrates Italian Culture and Sister City Aquilonia 

Adam Anik, Photographer

Third Place

Responsible Journalism – Public Service – Lloyd P. Burns Memorial Award

Growing crowded 

Jaimie Julia Winters, Associate Editor

Feature Writing

Stepping up: Concert to raise money for additional MAU staffing

Gwen Orel, Culture Editor

Reporting- Writing and Illustration – Special Subject Writing

A time to try yourself on

Gwen Orel, Culture Editor

Reporting – Writing and Illustrations – Fresh Approach to Routine Reporting

In search of parking spots

Jaimie Julia Winters, Associate Editor

Online Breaking News

Equality walk

Adam Anik, Photographer

Best Use of Social Media

Kwanzaa

Adam Anik, Photographer, Kelly Nicholaides, Reporter