“It’s wonderful to be recognized as putting out a good news report, but you can’t rest on those laurels. We have another newspaper coming out tomorrow and that has to be good too,” the Gazette’s executive editor Jeffrey Good said. “Awards are cool. We love to get them. Who doesn’t? But, the best award really is that we’re doing important work and our readers benefit from it.”
According to NENPA’s website, the competition is unlike any other in the industry because winners are chosen by “jury panels of newspaper readers.” The competition allows editors to watch these juries deliberate in order to gain insight into how their paper compares to its peers, and gain valuable reader insight on the paper’s effectiveness and appeal. According to the Gazette, the paper was previously recognized with the same award five times in the last eleven years: 2007, 2008, 2013, 2015 and now 2017.
The Gazette’s managing editor Dan Crowley said while it’s always an honor to be noted in the field for the work they do, the award is also in recognition of their readers for holding them to a high standard. Crowley recognizes all the parts and pieces that go into keeping the paper running day in and day out, from advertising, classifieds, customer service and the press team.
Opinion editor Stanley Moulton sits at his desk at the Northampton office.
“We have a real commitment to doing original, enterprising news. You want to surprise them [the readers] every day with news that they could use that is insightful [and] that has context,” Crowley said.
This year, the Gazette was also awarded for public service by NENPA for its 2016, three-part investigative series “Under the Table,” which revealed a group of local Asian restaurants that paid undocumented immigrant employees less than minimum wage for work weeks as long as 72 hours. Reporter Amanda Drane, photo editor Carol Lollis and page designer Lucy Pickett led the investigation.