The Manchester Cricket took home three awards in design, photography and general excellence at the New England Newspaper & Press Association’s annual conference Saturday in Boston.
In its nearly 132-year history, this is the first time the paper has been recognized by its newspaper peers. Weekly and small daily newspapers in five circulation categories competed for prizes, with more than 3,000 entries this year. The consideration period for this year ran from August 1, 2018 to July 31, 2019. Notably, the Cricket’s award for “Best Website”, was a general excellence category, which means the paper’s website was considered against all newspapers in the competition, not just weeklies in a specific size category in the six New England states. TheCricket.com (Christy King, digital director and Editor Erika Brown) took third place for digital excellence, just after the Vineyard Gazette in Martha’s Vineyard. The Vermont Standard in Woodstock took first place. The Cricket came in third for “Best Front Page” for its 4th of July edition featuring Manchester’s holiday parade, an exhibit of veterans’ memorabilia at the Manchester Historical Museum and a feature by Kris McGinn Straub on Alprilla Farms in Essex.
Finally, the paper won third prize for “Best Photo Series” with photographs by Brown chronicling the rededication ceremony of the Essex Ancient Burial Ground last July as part of its bicentennial celebration. “Being recognized was icing on the cake after a very busy year,” said Brown. “It was exciting just to be in the mix with other newspapers throughout New England that are doing creative things in their communities.”