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41st Annual Professional Recognition Awards and Scholarship Banquet

April 27, 2019, 6 PM cocktails, 7 PM dinner

at Genesee Grande, 1060 East Genesee St, Syracuse

 Follow syrpressclub on Twitter

Our Rundown

Photographer John Berry recognized with Professional Standards award
John Berry is a bulldog photographer who had a 33-year career at The Post-Standard.

He approached his job with a determined, no-nonsense attitude. He was willing to go nose-to-nose with anyone who stood between him and a good breaking news image. But in the photos he shot, you could feel the empathy he felt for the subjects.

During his career, the newspaper nominated John twice for the Pulitzer Prize award.

John was one of about 40 talented journalists The Post-Standard laid off Jan. 31 when it downsized.

Because he was a hard worker and set a good example in the newsroom throughout his career including the last three and a half months when he knew he was going to lose his job John was nominated by a co-worker for the Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award.

John’s first job as a photographer was for Uncle Sam, shooting photos for the U.S. Army in northern Italy. When his enlistment ended, John graduated from Syracuse University and was hired by The Post-Standard.

For five years, John was a photo assignments editor and liaison for the photo department to the two competing newsrooms, The Post-Standard and Herald-Journal. During that period, he also completed his Master’s thesis, which focused on newspaper photography’s transition to the digital era.

John returned to a role as a staff photographer in 1995, shortly after the paper began using digital cameras. He requested to be one the first staff photographers to be assigned a laptop computer so he could transmit photos from the field.  John also volunteered to be part of the first group of Post-Standard photographers to shoot and edit their own videos.

His first Pulitzer nomination was for “The Footsteps of Jesus,” a project John shot in Israel and the West Bank that he had proposed and researched over a three-year period. The work was published as a seven-day series during Christmas week 1999.  The project won the national Wilbur Award in Photography for religious journalism. 

The second Pulitzer nomination was for his work while embedded with 10th Mountain Division troops in Afghanistan at the start of major combat operations in early 2002 following the attacks of 9-11. 

John proposed a third major project, photographing traditional life on the Onondaga Nation, as its leaders were preparing to file a land claim suit vs. New York state. John wrote the voiceover narration read by clanmother Audrey Shenandoah and recorded Onondaga singing to use as background music.  He co-produced a multimedia piece for Syracuse.com with Keith Nave, who had recently joined The Post-Standard photo department to oversee video operations.  In addition to winning a number of awards for newspaper photography and page design, the project also won first place in the New York State Associated Press Association’s multimedia category in 2007. 

John also won first place in 1996 in the New York State Associated Press Association’s contest for a photo essays. His photos focused on a mentally-challenged student attending a high school prom.

"If none of us ever read a book that was “dangerous,” had a friend who was “different” or joined an organization that advocated “change,” we would all be just the kind of people Joe McCarthy wants. Whose fault is that? Not really [McCarthy’s]. He didn’t create this situation of fear. He merely exploited it, and rather successfully."
--Edward R. Murrow

Wall of Distinction

Arlene LaRue


Herald American

Rome Sentinel

Arlene LaRue spent most of her newspaper career with Syracuse newspapers, but one of her pioneering accomplishments came when she was named city editor of the Rome Sentinel.

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