A word on our awards

The New York Press Association, a statewide group of weekly community newspapers, handed out its Better Newspaper Contest awards for 2018 this past weekend in Albany and our company won 27 awards for excellence.

This was a banner awards year for Schneps Media, which expanded last year to become a powerhouse with more than 70 publications. In addition to our editors, reporters, photographers and designers taking home more than two-dozen awards, Schneps Media papers also scored the most points of any New York City-based chain.

In one of the photos from Tequila Minsky’s first-place winning Best News or Feature Series, last January, Council Speaker Corey Johnson told everyone Ravi Ragbir had fainted inside Federal Plaza and was about to be taken away in an ambulance and that they should go over to the ambulance “now!” (Photo by Tequila Minsky)

These achievements are a great reflection of the hard work by those involved in this team, who produce the best local news coverage for our readers. It’s a source of pride for all of us to work with such dedicated, excellent journalists.

At The Villager — which shares content with the Villager Express, Chelsea Now, Downtown Express and Manhattan Express — we’re particularly proud of having won seven of those awards, including two for first place.

Tequila Minsky took top honors for Best News or Feature Series for her ongoing coverage (articles plus photos) of Ravi Ragbir, a leader of the New Sanctuary Coalition, and his fight to stave off his own deportation; the coalition is based at the Village’s Judson Church, while one of the state’s only two immigration courts is located at 201 Varick St., so this local/national story is firmly rooted in our coverage area — plus resonates deeply with many readers. And Bob Krasner’s artistic, beautifully composed shots, week in and week out — like those of the Tompkins Square Riots Concerts in his first place-winning Picture Story entry — help set the paper apart.

Last January, a supporter of Ravi Ragbir in Foley Square became emotional after demonstrators heard that he had been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (Photo by Tequila Minsky)

Not surprisingly, Mary Reinholz won second place for News Story for her first-person account of how Tom Brokaw made an unwanted move on her in the 1960s; in the #MeToo era, the story went viral and worldwide.

The Villager also won honors for Editorials, Coverage of Local Government and Coverage of Education — for focusing on, fleshing out and, in the case of editorials, taking a leadership stance on important local issues, just as one should expect from one’s community paper.

We also took honorable mention for Best Front Page, a testament to the tremendous talent of our design staff and an affirmation that our effort to craft a quality print product matters.

None of this, of course, would be possible without your continued support. By picking up our newspaper every week and by reading our articles online at thevillager.com, you help advance the mission of keeping local journalism strong, viable and independent. Our readers continue to make ours the borough’s leading news source, both in print and online.

All of us at Schneps Media want to thank our team for their amazing efforts — and all of you for your continued loyalty and dedication. Know that in the years to come, we’ll continue doing what we do best — quality journalism.

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