22CM pulls in 7 national awards

Published on July 5, 2018 | 4:31 pm CDT

For the sixth straight year, 22nd Century Media is a national award-winner.

The National Newspaper Association recognized 22nd Century Media with seven awards for editorial excellence in its annual Better Newspaper Contest for stories published in 2017.

The competition, which is judged by third-party media professionals, welcomed 1,405 entries from 115 outlets across 38 states, and the winners will be recognized at an awards breakfast Sept. 29 in Norfolk, Virginia.

“Our journalists work hard to provide unmatched coverage of their communities, and they make us proud every day,” Publisher Joe Coughlin said. “Receiving recognition like this, especially from your peers, is an added bonus.”

Two 22nd Century Media newspapers — The New Lenox Patriot and The Tinley Junction — were honored twice, while The Orland Park Prairie, The Highland Park Landmark and Malibu Surfside News picked up one award each. 

Two heartwarming feature stories from The Patriot were recognized. 

Publisher Joe Coughlin’s personal story, “A wedding for the best man,” about his cousin asking his dying father to be his best man in his final days took second place for Best Feature, while Assistant Editor Amanda Stoll’s story, “Central crowns special education student as homecoming queen,” about Lincoln-Way Central’s special homecoming night took third in the same category.

For The Tinley Junction, Managing Editor Bill Jones and freelance journalist Laurie Fanelli combined on a unique, firsthand storytelling venture after Paul McCartney came to town that earned them third place for Best Performing Arts Story.

Freelance photographer Bob Klein earned honorable mention for his Tinley Junction photo of Mayor Jacob Vandenberg celebrating his win on election night. 

The Orland Park Prairie was awarded a Feature Photo award for the second straight year and for the second straight year the photo came from Adam Jomant, who this year was recognized for a charming photo of two Spider-mans facing off at the local library.

Out of the North Shore, The Highland Park Landmark was named a national champion in the Best Feature Story category for the story, “Highland Park woman helps create Holocaust museum’s Take A Stand Center,” by Xavier Ward.

Also a national champion, again, is the Malibu Surfide News, which won its third top national prize in the last two years. This time, photographer Suzy Demeter’s photo from a dance exhibition earned top honors in the Best Feature photo category.

Over 11 years of competitions, 22nd Century Media publications have earned 150 regional and national awards for editorial excellence, including more than 30 first-place honors.

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