BOSTON — The Berkshire Eagle won 43 awards — including General Excellence — in the 2021 New England Newspaper & Press Association’s Better Newspaper Competition.
The Eagle’s 17 first-place finishes were accompanied by 13 second- and 13 third-place finishes. The Newspaper & Press Association’s Better Newspaper Competition is New England’s largest and most comprehensive journalism contest.
The General Excellence award recognizes The Berkshire Eagle as New England’s best daily newspaper among those with paid daily circulations of more than 15,000. It’s The Eagle’s third General Excellence in four years.
The Eagle also took top honors for best front page, sports section, living section (for Berkshire Landscapes), and in overall design and presentation.
Francesca Paris won New England’s prestigious Reporter of the Year honor. Paris also earned four first-place finishes in the categories of health, presidential election coverage, social issues reporting and best infographic on a website. Page One Design Editor Evan Berkowitz and Paris together won first place for illustration/infographic.
Sports Editor Mike Walsh won the top awards for sports columnist, for his Powder Report skiing and snowboarding columns, and for sports feature story about a runner trekking the Appalachian Trail.
Weekend Editor and columnist Mitchell Chapman won first place for commentary with “Addressing America’s ugly duality.” Columnist Felix Carroll won the environmental reporting category for “Ice Glen’s famous old-growth hemlocks are dying.”
The top awards for contemporary issues photo went to Stephanie Zollshan for her photograph of a homeless encampment in Pittsfield and pictorial photo to Ben Garver for his photo of a lone, lighted tree at Windy Hill Farm.
The Berkshires in Brief, The Eagle’s daily newsletter by Lukas Southard, won for outstanding newsletter.
Awards were announced Saturday night at the New England Newspaper & Press Association Convention at the Renaissance Waterfront Hotel in Boston. The Eagle competed against news publications with paid daily circulations of more than 15,000.
The contest year included work published from August 2020 through July 2021.