Six Years of Winning! Katie McFadden Scoops Up Four Awards in NYPA Contest


Six years in business, six years of winning awards. The Rockaway Times is proud to announce it is an award-winning newspaper for the sixth year in a row. Our publication scooped up four awards in the New York Press Association’s 2019 Better Newspaper Contest.

NYPA typically announces the winners of the annual contest during a conference in the spring. This year’s conference was canceled due to coronavirus, so instead, NYPA put together a video presentation and announced the award winners virtually on Thursday, August 20 and Friday, August 21.

This year, our editor Katie McFadden, already an award-winning writer, scooped up her very first photography awards! In the Feature Photo category (Division 2), the judges liked Katie’s photos so much, that she won two awards in the same category. The first was Second Place for a series of photos from the centennial celebration of the first transatlantic flight. In their comments, the judges wrote, “Capturing the essence of a community event from sea to sky: what a grand, focused image to enlighten this newspaper’s audience and commemorate a centennial event.” She also earned an Honorable Mention for her series of positive, love-filled messages written in the sand after anti-Semitic writings were scrawled on the beach over Labor Day Weekend. In comments, the judges wrote, “A good composition delivering the message without the mongers.”

Katie McFadden also scooped up another photography award for the Art Photo category (Division 1). This one may be a more familiar, as Katie has recreated it at least for three or four years—her annual New Year’s cover photo on the beach featuring the tide wiping out the old year, as we welcome in the new one. Last year’s photo had an extra bit of flare with a sunrise filling the sky with color, which the judges recognized. They said, “I think this is so beautiful. Not only is the picture breathtaking, the sun reflecting on Dawn of a New Decade looks like the colors are literally blending. Brilliant. And the foamy water makes me want to put my feet right in. This should be in a frame!” Katie took second place for this photo.

Finally, Katie’s quick puns in some headlines earned her yet another award for headline writing. This year she took Third Place for a set of headlines that included: “That Lime was a Lemon” on a story about a Lime bike that went up in flames; “Harbor Light Gets Stuck on an Elevator” for a story about the Harbor Light waiting on an elevator inspection to take place before opening and “Army Corps Lends a Helping Sand,” about the Army Corps conducting another sand replenishment project. The judges said, “All are clever and appropriate, drawing the reader into the story.” Katie also won a headline writing award in the 2017 contest.

The Rockaway Times is expected to receive certificates for each award. We look forward to hopefully attending next year’s NYPA convention in person. To catch the announcement of this year’s winners, head to