For the second time in three years, The Berkshire Eagle captured a pair of Newspaper of the Year awards from the New England Newspaper & Press Association.
In results announced Thursday at the association’s virtual New England Newspaper Conference & Awards program, The Eagle won Newspaper of the Year honors in two categories — among weekday newspapers with circulations between 10,000 and 25,000 and among Sunday newspapers with circulations of up to 25,000. Winning in both categories was a feat the paper accomplished once before, in 2018.
In a memo to Eagle staff announcing the win, Eagle Publisher Fredric D. Rutberg offered his congratulations to everyone in the organization.
“These awards reflect untold hours of hard work and dedication,” Rutberg said. “Thanks and congratulations go literally to everyone in our organization. ... This was a big win for our entire team.”
The New England Newspaper & Press Association’s annual Newspaper of the Year competition is open to newspapers in the six New England states.
Unlike other newspaper competitions nationally, this contest is judged by a jury of newspaper readers from throughout New England who “evaluate the entries from a news consumer point of view,” according to The New England Newspaper & Press Association.
The readers judge the quality of a newspaper’s reporting and writing, the use of photos, its design and presentation, its digital offering, and its overall utility and value. They also evaluate if the newspapers inform, educate, entertain, inspire, motivate, lead, and whether they reflect and care about the community they serve.
The Day, of New London, Conn., and the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton were runners-up, earning the titles of Distinguished Newspaper, in the weekday Newspaper of the Year category. The Record-Journal, of Meriden, Conn., and The Eagle-Tribune, of North Andover, were runners-up, or Distinguished Newspapers, in the Sunday category.
This is the third year in a row that The Eagle has captured Newspaper of the Year for its Sunday edition. The contest year spanned June 1, 2019, to May 31.
In October, The Eagle rolled up its Sunday edition into a Weekender package that comes out Saturdays. Weekender editions remain eligible for the Sunday Newspaper of the Year category.
The New England Newspaper & Press Association is the professional trade organization for newspapers in New England and represents more than 450 daily, weekly and specialty newspapers.