Syracuse Press Club announces 2022 Professional Recognition Awards finalists

Award winner holding certificates
Award winner holding certificates

The Syracuse Press Club congratulates the finalists for the 45th annual Professional Recognition Awards.

The finalists for each category are listed alphabetically by the first author’s last name. We will reveal which entries placed first, second or received an honorable mention during our awards dinner on May 6, 2023. For more information and to reserve your seat or table, click here.

Why do some categories have more finalists?

To make our contest more equitable across categories and to maintain its competitiveness, we limit the number of awards in each category based on the number of entries. For example, if a category has three submissions, only the top-ranked entry will receive a prize. If a category has 15 or more entries, first place, second place, and up to three honorable mentions could be awarded. You can review the complete scale on the contest’s rules and eligibility page.

We do give the judges discretion. If the judges determine some entries in a category fail to meet the threshold of award quality, they may choose to select as few award recipients as they deem appropriate.

Stiff Competition

We received 377 entries across 52 categories. Our judges from partner press clubs in California, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Ohio and Wisconsin had the daunting task of reviewing and ranking the top entries for each category. On average, only one-third of the entries submitted in each category earned a spot on the finalists’ list.

On behalf of the Syracuse Press Club, congratulations to our finalists and thanks to all of this year’s entrants for providing central and northern New York with essential journalism.



Best Overall

  • Family Times, June 2022 Issue, Courtney Kless, Renate Wood
  • Central New York Magazine, November/December 2022, Mary Jo (MJ) Kravec, Amy Bleier Long, Sue Santola
  • Central New York Magazine, May/June 2022, Mary Jo (MJ) Kravec, Amy Bleier Long, Sue Santola

Best Newsletter or Trade Publication

  • Advance Media New York, Central Upstate Mfg. Edition 10, Amy Bleier Long, Marisa Norcross, Fran Genovese-Finch

Online Journalism

Multimedia Story

  • Central Current, Land, life and language: The Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address is a greeting of gratitude to honor all that’s left, Gabriel Pietrorazio, Michael Greenlar
  • The Stand Newspaper, Family Blessing, Ashley Kang, Emily Kenny
  • | The Post-Standard, Forced to live here, forced to leave: The twin injustices of I-81 and the demolition of the 15th Ward, Jules Struck, Katrina Tulloch
  • | The Post-Standard, Did Angela and Lance have to die? How caseworkers missed the red flags of child neglect, Katrina Tulloch, Rylee Kirk, Michelle Breidenbach

Breaking News

  • | The Post-Standard, Coverage of Robert Neulander trial, Doug Dowty, Anne Hayes
  •, Onondaga County Legislator Mary Kuhn Hosts “No Aquarium” Protest Event, Kenneth Jackson
  • Central Current, Biden comes to CNY to tout Micron announcement, Chris Libonati, Michael Greenlar

News Website

  • WSTM/WTVH,, CNY Central Staff
  • The Citizen,, The Citizen Staff

Best Use of Social Media

  • @SyracuseHistory, David Haas
  • | The Post-Standard, Twin baby elephants born at Syracuse zoo, George Owens, Sunny Hernandez, N. Scott Trimble
  • Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Entitled to Equality, Staff


  • The Citizen, Eye on NY, Robert Harding
  • WSTM/WTVH, Matt’s Memo, Matt Mulcahy


  • Spectrum News, Catholics celebrate Holy Week without restriction for first time since pandemic began while impact of closures remain at heart, Hayley Foran

Video Journalism

  • | The Post-Standard, Robert Neulander murder retrial; Just how clean are electric vehicles; Flying with QB Garrett Shrader, Christa Lemczak, N. Scott Trimble
  • The Citizen, Combat Recovery fights addiction one punch at a time, Kevin Rivoli
  • WSTM/WTVH, Sophistafunk Gets National Stage, Westbrook Shortell


Carl Single Award for Spot News Photography

  • Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Standoff on Westcott Street ends with one arrest, Ryan Brady

Feature Photo

  • Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Fair flyover, Kayla Breen
  • Cortland Standard, Dryden’s Eye on the Future, Todd R. McAdam
  • | The Post-Standard, Aunt Mamie, Dennis Nett

Photo Essay

  • Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Fright Night, Kayla Breen
  • Spectrum News, Abnormally dry conditions in Cortland County impact local dairy farmer, Emily Kenny
  • Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Grit & Glory, Gavin Liddell
  • Newhouse School at Syracuse University, In Their Words, TJ Shaw


  • Central Current, Angela Ferguson with white corn grown on the Onondaga Nation Farm, Michael Greenlar
  • Spectrum News, How sunflower seed oil is made, Emily Kenny
  • | The Post-Standard, Ready to soar, N. Scott Trimble
  • Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Obstacles to justice, James Year

Sports Photo

  • | The Post-Standard, Class AA baseball quarterfinal: West Genesee defeats Syracuse, Charlie Miller
  • | The Post-Standard, The thrill of victory, Dennis Nett
  • The Citizen, Somersault throw-in, Kevin Rivoli
  • | The Post-Standard, In it to win it, Scott Schild



  • The Citizen, Social media scrutiny for gun permits a step too far, Mike Dowd
  • The Reporter, A “death gratuity” for shooting victims, Jonathan Karp
  • Cortland Standard, Irresponsible Legislators, Todd R. McAdam
  • | The Post-Standard, Cuomo’s conduct may not have been criminal, but it’s still wrong, Marie Morelli

Spot News

  • | The Post-Standard, Financial discrepancies at work preceded sheriff’s deputy’s murder-suicide, Doug Dowty, Chris Libonati, Rylee Kirk, Tim Knauss
  • | The Post-Standard, Baby boy died when mom, boyfriend gave him fentanyl to calm him down, DA says, Anne Hayes


  • | The Post-Standard, My call with Jim Boeheim: In talking retirement, Syracuse basketball coach keeps everyone guessing, Brent Axe
  • | The Post-Standard, Hidden Gems of CNY: A Baldwinsville diner that takes you back in time for a hearty meal, Charlie Miller
  • The Stand Newspaper, Seeking Redemption, Habakkuk Nickens


  • | The Post-Standard, Paul McCartney leads Syracuse to fab fountain of youth, Geoff Herbert
  • | The Post-Standard, Rocket Man Elton John jets into JMA Wireless Dome to say farewell to Syracuse, Jules Struck
  • The Citizen, Review: ‘Catch Me’ at Merry-Go-Round about characters more than cons, David Wilcox

Headline Writing

  • Central New York Magazine, Smoothie Operator; Felt Cute; One to Watch, Amy Bleier Long
  • Central New York Magazine, Sipping on Summer; Clay There; On a Roll, Amy Bleier Long
  • Advance Media New York, If You’re Up For It; Pitch, Please!; H2 Whoa!, Mary Jo (MJ) Kravec

Investigative Story or Series

  • | The Post-Standard, Alice Sebold case: How race and incompetence doomed Anthony Broadwater to prison, Doug Dowty, Tim Knauss
  • The Palladium-Times, The saga of George Heys — A man missing for more than 40 years, Xiana Fontno
  • Central Current, Death of premature baby born at Syracuse jail under state investigation, Chris Libonati

Print Daily

Human Interest Feature or Series

  • | The Post-Standard, Man hit by train has no obituary, but at Syracuse Burger King they saved him a seat, Marnie Eisenstadt
  • | The Post-Standard, The strong man. The farmer. The carnie. The dancer. Behind the scenes with the NYS Fair’s unsung heroes, Steve Featherstone
  • | The Post-Standard, Where to go when you gotta go: 10 of the best restrooms at the NY State Fair, Charlie Miller, Jules Struck

Sports Story

  • | The Post-Standard, Too tired to kick, his selfless act sums up Syracuse’s unlikely soccer champs: ‘A magical bunch of misfits’, Chris Carlson
  • The Palladium-Times, McAleer was a walk-on at Oswego State — then she ran with the opportunity, Benjamin Grieco
  • | The Post-Standard, Christy Martin won her last boxing title in Syracuse. Then came a fight for survival, George Owens

News Feature or Series

  • | The Post-Standard, Onondaga County Government – a coup and an aquarium, Michelle Breidenbach
  • | The Post-Standard, A CNY gay teen shares his ‘biggest challenge’; school’s response sets off a storm, Elizabeth Doran
  • | The Post-Standard, Teens who kill: Syracuse’s alarming death toll spreads heartbreak across city, Marnie Eisenstadt, Douglass Dowty
  • Central Current, South Side legislator, displaced by urban renewal as a kid, reps district at a crossroads, Chris Libonati

Print Non-Daily or Special Interest

Sports Story

  • The Catholic Sun, When CBA’s Cariseo coaches, ‘they know where they stand’, Tom Maguire
  • The Stand Newspaper, Amir Anderson Isn’t Done After Winning the 2022 USA Boxing National Qualifier, Dean Zulkofske

News Feature or Series

  • The Catholic Sun, Gabby and John are getting married, Dc. Tom Cuskey
  • The Stand Newspaper, Humanitarian Parole, Jeff Kramer
  • The Stand Newspaper, McCarthy Manor Tenants: STOP! Condemn ‘Unacceptable’ Conditions, Eddie Velazquez

Human Interest Feature or Series

  • Central New York Magazine, Paws-itive Energy, Mary Jo (MJ) Kravec, Alaina Potrikus, Sue Santola
  • The Stand Newspaper, It Takes a Village, Lizzy Reardon


Human Interest Feature or Series

  • WRVO Public Media, How to Dance in Ohio’ makes world-premiere in Syracuse, centers on autistic characters, Ava Pukatch
  • WRVO Public Media, Lost Fort Ontario opera to be performed again more than 75 years later, Ava Pukatch

Spot News

  • WRVO Public Media, ‘It’s everything.’ Local, state officials react to Micron’s $100B investment in CNY, Ellen Abbott

News Feature or Series

  • The Stand Newspaper, My South Side: “Path to Permanency” ; “A Polarizing Promise”; “Reporter Debrief”, Abby Fritz
  • WAER FM 88.3 Syracuse Public Media, Onondaga Count bought Clay properties at premium prices to attract chip maker, Scott Willis

Sports Show

  • Galaxy Media TK99, Gomez and Company, Glenn “Gomez” Adams, TeNesha Murphy
  • | The Post-Standard, Shout! The Buffalo Football Podcast, Matt Parrino, Ryan Talbot

Special Program

  • WAER FM 88.3 Syracuse Public Media, Syracuse Writers Groups brings holiday theater to WAER airwaves, Cal Dougherty, Dan Gurzynski, Chris Bolt
  • WAER FM 88.3 Syracuse Public Media, Syracuse Speaks: Central New York’s Fresh Water, Katie Zilcosky, Tarryn Mento, Kevin Kloss


Student Radio/Podcast News Feature Story

  • WICB-FM Ithaca Now, Electric Vehicles for Earth Day, Jay Bradley
  • Newhouse School at Syracuse University, The Secret Letters, John Perik

Student Radio/Podcast Sports Story

  • WICB-FM, Countdown to Kickoff: 63rd Annual Cortaca Jug Game Open, Nicholas Lubrano
  • Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Youth athletes speed down 90-meter ski ramps at Empire Games, Trey Redfield

Student Best Use of Multimedia

  • Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Entitled to Equality, Entitled to Equality Staff

Student Print/Digital News Story

  • Utica University Tangerine, Confidential presidential search raises concerns on campus, Isabella Hudziak, Hollie David
  • Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Sexual assault too often unpunished on college campuses, Sneha KC, Abigail Jones, Natalia M. Pérez-Gonzalez
  • Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Women Healing Women, Rebecca Meluch

Student Print/Digital Feature Story

  • Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Where Light Comes Through, Ellen Mintzer
  • Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Museum-goers encouraged to question the truth at MoMA’s “To look without fear,” Natalie Rieth
  • The Daily Orange, Robert Anae started his coaching career in a small Idaho town 30 years ago, Connor Smith

Student Print/Digital Sports Story

  • The Daily Orange, Syracuse falls to Minnesota 28-20 in Pinstripe Bowl to conclude once-hopeful season, Connor Smith
  • The Daily Orange, Syracuse pulls out miraculous last-second win over Purdue to improve to 3-0, Connor Smith
  • The Daily Orange, Those close to Greg Robinson recall his generosity, passion for football, Connor Smith

Student Television/Video News Story

  • Ithaca College Television (ICTV), ICTV Reports – Ithaca Starbucks Employees Campaign to Unionize, Emily Hung
  • Ithaca College Television (ICTV), ICTV Reports – Ithaca is Gorges, But Dangerous, Grant Johnson
  • Syracuse University- NCC News, The SYR Airport’s New Plan to Boost Competition, Louise Rath

Student Television/Video Feature Story

  • Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Never Stand Still, Averi Coppa, Manuel Serrano
  • Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Breaking the Football Barrier, Lauren Helmbrecht, Dean Zulkofske
  • Syracuse University- NCC News, Paying Forward the American Dream, Louise Rath
  • Syracuse University- NCC News, SU’s Secret Society of Music Makers, Louise Rath

Student Television/Video Sports Story

  • CitrusTV, The Legacy of Gary Gait, Nick Luttrell
  • Syracuse University – NCC News, Dan’s Buzzer Beater, Dan Mallea


Investigative Story or Series

  • WWNY, Millions of gallons of sewage dumped into river, and the state allows it, Jeff Cole, Chad Charette
  • Spectrum News 1, Watertown Homeless Left Out in Snow, Brian Dwyer
  • WWNY, What’s behind animal shelter’s high kill rate?, Diane Rutherford

Special Program

  • WSTM/WTVH, Sextortion and Student Suicides, Megan Coleman, Michael Benny, Andy Wolf
  • Spectrum News 1, Reliving a Miracle: 42 Years After Gold, Brian Dwyer, Jeff Goldberg, Andrew Hill, Mike Kuehner, Matt Soriano, Tom Maroney
  • WSYR-TV, Honoring Black History Mind, Body and Soul, Iris St. Meran, Jack Estabrook, Ben Augustine, Kieran Coffey, Melissa Thorne, Cody Wolf, Jim Lamanna, Christina Galvin
  • WSYR-TV, Tiny Terror: The Truth About Ticks, Nicole Sommavilla, Christina Galvin, Jack Estabrook, Jim Lamanna, Tom Cunningham, Cody Wolf, Sabrina Betts

Sports Show

  • WSYR-TV, Orange Nation August 29, 2022, Steve Infanti, Mario Sacco, Alex Sims
  • Spectrum News 1, Orange Empire: Can’t Count Us Out, Dan Scharfenberger, Jesse MacWilliam, Kate Callaway, Jackson Wang, Tom Maroney, Mike Kuehner


  • WSTM/WTVH, SU Men’s Soccer Wins it all, Tommy Sladek

Sports Story

  • WSTM/WTVH, The Weight of Athletics, Samantha Croston, Westbrook Shortell
  • WWNY, Legendary Basketball Team reunion, Rob Krone
  • Spectrum News 1, Fowler graduate makes U.S. Amputee Soccer Team, Jesse MacWilliam

Spot News

  • WSYR-TV, Cortland County Storms, WSYR-TV Staff

Video Journalism

  • Spectrum News 1, Mike Kuehner Compilation, Mike Kuehner
  • WWNY, Arts All-Star: Landen Snyder, Trevor Payant

News Feature Short From (less than 2:30)

  • Spectrum News 1, Cop on the streets looks to build bonds, Vince Briga
  • Spectrum News 1, 17-year-old pilot flies across the country to help vets, Vince Briga
  • WWNY, Janitor hits lottery, Emily Griffin

News Feature Long Form (2:30+)

  • WSTM/WTVH, A Mom’s View on January 6, Michael Benny, Andy Wolf
  • WSYR-TV, Syracuse Honor Flight, Ryan Dean, Shawn Wayson
  • WSYR-TV, Twin Miracles Baby Elephants, Andrew Donovan, Jack Estabrook
  • WSTM/WTVH, Did a Daycare Worker’s Reports Go Ignored?, Conor Wight, Andy Wolf

Best Weathercast

  • WSTM/WTVH, The Weight of Snow, Violet Scibior
  • WSYR-TV, Hazardous Weather, Flash Freeze, Kate Thornton

Human Interest Feature or Series

  • Spectrum News 1, Chimesmaster Goes Viral, Krystal Cole
  • WSTM/WTVH, “It’s a poem without writing on paper:” Syracuse teen pursues his ballet dream, Frankie Jupiter, Andy Wolf
  • Spectrum News 1, Syracuse Jazz Fest, one of nation’s longest running, returns with unifying messages, Devon Patton, Tom Maroney, Mike Kuehner
  • WSYR-TV, Asian Americans Standing Strong, Adrienne Smith, Jack Estabrook

Regularly Scheduled Local Newscast

  • WWNY, 7NEWS This Evening with Jeff Cole, Jeff Cole, Erin Bischoff, 7NEWS Team
  • Spectrum News 1, 11/14/22 7am Newscast of Your Morning, Dan Scharfenberger, Michelle Houston, Maricruz Reyes, Lacey Leonardi, Devon Patton, Jack Durkin, Nick Endres
  • WSTM/WTVH, 7PM Newscast: Neulander Convicted Again, CNYCentral Staff

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>