8 Years of Winning!


Almost eight years in business—and eight years as an award-winning newspaper. After spending the weekend up in Saratoga Springs for the 2021 New York Press Association's Spring Conference and Better Newspaper Contest awards, Katie McFadden (and The Rockaway Times) once again came home a winner.

At the conference, Katie McFadden and reporters and photographers Dan Guarino and Nicole Taylor-Lang spent Friday and Saturday upstate, networking and picking up new tips to make the newspaper even better going forward. And in between, The Rockaway Times was awarded along the way.

The 2021 awards were judged by the Nebraska Press Association this year. They had the tough job of going through 2,481 entries in 67 categories from 132 New York newspapers. We picked up three awards this time around.

Once again, Katie McFadden was awarded for her feature writing, picking up an honorable mention for her 2021 story about how firefighter George Johnson donated bone marrow to a little boy in Kentucky and became his best man at his wedding 25 years later. In their comments, judges said, “This was such an incredible story. I loved how after so many years these two families continued to stay connected and were there for the most important moments in life. It was easy to read and filled with great details.”

Katie also took another third-place award for “Best Use of Video” for her Christmas in New York video that she complies each December and shares on our social media pages. In their comments, the judges said, “What a captivating video. I really like that it didn’t require use of drones or expensive cameras to make this video. It appears Katie McFadden simply used a hand-held camera and videoed lots of different scenes and spliced them together. With music added, the video was a delight to watch. More importantly, this sort of video is something that most newspapers can produce. Great job! I hope it inspires other newspapers to attempt their own videos.”

Maybe most importantly, we entered a series of stories about our local businesses including Katie McFadden’s profiles of new places, stories of places that closed after many years like Rogoff’s, and other hardships local businesses faced, like the fire at Kimo’s Kitchen and how they bounced back. For that coverage of Business, Financial and Economic News, The Rockaway Times brought home third place in this category that we entered for the first time. In their comments, the judges said, “Good selection of stories, well written.” The Rockaway Times prides itself as being a supportive news outlet for our small local businesses and we are honored that this was recognized by the New York Press Association.

We’re proud to say that when you’re reading The Rockaway Times, you’re reading an award-winning newspaper every year since its existence. Thank you for reading. Here’s to keeping that success going!

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