The New England Newspaper Association (NENPA) last week announced winners for its 2020 “Better Newspaper” awards, and the Manchester Cricket won honors in editorial, design, and digital excellence.
The NENPA competition is the largest journalism recognition program in the region, with weeklies and small and large dailies from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont competing and drawing thousands of entries. Judges evaluated work published from August 1, 2019, to July 31, 2020.
The biggest wins came for “general excellence” categories that are judged against all newspapers, including weeklies and dailies of all sizes, in all states. The Cricket won two of these awards. First, Kris McGinn took a first place Serious Column win for her beautifully written piece, “Good Bye David Andrews.” Secondly, the paper won gold for Community/Audience Involvement for its unique travel series, “Postcards Home,” which was inspired by the paper’s first publisher, IM Marshall, who retired from The Cricket to travel the world in the 1920s and 1930s, sending dispatches home that ran in the paper’s front page.
In other wins, Jim Behnke came in second for Environmental Reporting excellence among weekly newspapers for his 2020 series, “The Species of Cape Ann.” The paper also took third place among weeklies under 5,000 circulation for the April 2019 article, “A Local Woman’s Club, The VNA and a Deadly Pandemic,” and second place for Best Special Section for its “Around The House,” home section produced the week before Thanksgiving. Finally, the paper’s digital director, Christy King, won second place for Best Website. It is the second year King was awarded for her digital talents.
“The team that manages The Cricket is small but works very, very hard,” said Erika Brown, editor of the paper. “Being recognized by our peers in journalism puts a deserved spotlight on our community. It is a great feeling.”