The West Milford Messenger and its sister publications in the Straus News group won 11 awards in the National Newspaper’s Association 2020 Better Newspaper Contest announced August 4.
Straus News Reporter Becca Tucker took seven separate awards for her reporting and writing, including in the health, agriculture, business and feature categories.
Her two-part series, “A look into the rare purple marriage,” won awards in multiple competitive categories: Best Profile Feature, Best Localized National Story and Best Feature Series.
The series was published in this newspaper during the height of the 2020 election, featuring local couples on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Judges wrote: “This was a great idea. Well Done... Well Written. Finding couples who fit this story could not have been easy.”
Reporter Hanna Wickes also took home an award for her work, ranking third place nationally as Rookie Reporter of the Year.
Straus News Director of Design Christina Scotti’s Mohawk House ads won first place for Best Restaurant ad. The judges wrote: “a great advertisement - makes the reader hungry for the product - don’t know how to make it better.”
Scotti’s work also took first place for Best Informational Graphic. Her infographic accompanied “Following the Money,” a story about how locals were contributing to 2020 presidential campaigns.
The “design jumped off the page and pulled eyes to the page...Provided interesting and relevant information in, for me, easy to read format,” commented the judges.
Scotti’s ads for Battinelli & Co. also took Second Place in one of the ad categories.
“Everyone on our team worked incredibly hard in 2020 and did superb work,” said publisher Jeanne Straus. “It’s gratifying to receive the external national recognition for a job well done.”