Eagle's Bonenti wins regional news award

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PITTSFIELD -- Charles Bonenti, The Eagle's features editor, has won a 2009 New England Newspaper & Press Association award for history reporting for his profile of legendary artist Norman Rockwell in the July special section that marked the 40th anniversary of the Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge.

Bonenti, of Williamstown, has been writing about the arts in the Berkshires since he came to The Eagle in 1973 as an assistant news editor. He also has been a news editor and photo editor at the newspaper.

Laurie Norton Moffatt, the museum's director and CEO, called it "an outstanding piece."

"Charles has been covering the Norman Rockwell Museum and Rockwell himself for two decades at least, and I was particularly struck by his portrait of Rockwell -- the thoughtfulness and the freshness of his insight," Norton Moffatt said.

The story captured the essence of a complex man "with incredible thoughtfulness and analysis," she said, "showing the humanity of the man and his shortfalls and struggles, which were often belied by the rosiness of the pieces he created. Only someone like Charles could do that. I thought it was a very insightful and sensitive piece."

The history reporting award will be presented at the NENPA banquet in Boston on Feb. 6, and Bonenti will learn then if the piece placed first, second or third in its category.

The Eagle earned eight honors in NENPA's 2009 contest, pushing the newspaper's awards there to 25 over the past three years.

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