Syracuse Press Club announces 2023-2024 award winners

Central and Northern New York newsrooms gathered under one roof to celebrate the best of local journalism at the 2024 Syracuse Press Club Professional Recognition Awards.

200 guests attended the banquet on Saturday, May 4 to receive their awards and placements. Glenn “Gomez” Adams of TK99 and Violet Scibior of CNY Central served as esteemed hosts for the evening.

The club also distributed several special honors including the Newcomer Award, the Transparency Awards, the Professional Standards Award, the DeVesty-Williams Scholarship and the Bill Carey Award for Journalist of the Year.

Finally, the club inducted Donna Ditota and Mike Waters, longtime sportswriters for and The Post-Standard, into the Syracuse Press Club Wall of Distinction.

Congratulations to our winners and thanks to all of this year’s entrants for providing Central and Northern New York with essential journalism. Next week, find more photos by photographer Herm Card of the 2024 awards ceremony and winners on the SPC Facebook page.

Why do some categories have more finalists?

To make our contest more equitable across categories and increase competitiveness, we introduced a rule in 2021 that limits the number of awards in each category based on the number of entries. For example, if a category only 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.



Best Overall Magazine

  • 1st place: Central New York Magazine, Central New York Magazine – January/February 2023, Mary Jo (MJ) Kravec, Amy Bleier Long, Susan Santola, JoAnne Walsh
  • 2nd place: New York Horse, New York Horse/Equine Alley Almanac, Janis Barth, Renee Gadoua, Barbara Lindberg
  • Honorable mention: Central New York Magazine, Central New York Magazine – July/August 2023, Amy Bleier Long, Mary Jo (MJ) Kravec, Susan Santola, Kimberly Worner

Best Newsletter or Trade Publication

  • 1st place: Data Key Communications, Northeast Dairy Magazine Q1, Courtney Kless, Robin Barnes

Judge’s comment on winner: Great mix of articles, with a cohesive format. A clean, inviting publication with something for everyone in the industry.

Digital Journalism: All

Best Multimedia Story

  • 1st place: Spectrum News 1, ‘Make Farmers Black Again’ is the message of a family farm trying to diversify New York’s agriculture industry, Emily Kenny, Kara Burnett
  • 2nd place: Central Current, How a mysterious stone carving has secured a new home at the Onondaga Nation Arena, Gabriel Pietrorazio, Michael Greenlar
  • Honorable mention: Central Current, Onondaga Nation’s ‘Seven Buffalo Maple Syrup Co.’ taps into traditions, Gabriel Pietrorazio, Michael Greenlar
  • Honorable mention: CNY Central, People with full-time jobs left homeless, Conor Wight, Emma Misiaszek

Best Breaking News

  • 1st place: | The Post-Standard, Coverage of 11-year-old Brexi’s murder, Anne Hayes, Rylee Kirk, Marnie Eisenstadt, Katrina Tulloch
  • 2nd place: | The Post-Standard, Jim Boeheim retires, Mike Waters, Chris Carlson, Donna Ditota

Best News Website

  • 1st place: Urban CNY,, Kenneth Jackson
  • 2nd place: CNY Central,, CNY Central Staff

Judge’s comment on winner: The mission of a news outlet is to provide information that serves its readers and customers. Urban CNY does that in today’s polarized news climate by serving and informing a a community that is often overlooked and underrepresented in news coverage.

Best Use of Social Media

  • 1st place: | The Post-Standard, Firecracker, Katrina Tulloch, Christa Lemczak, Samantha House, Lauren Long, Allie Healy Howard
  • 2nd place: | The Post-Standard, Faye the Swan, George Owens, Alisun Hernandez, Samantha House
  • Honorable mention: CNY Central, Hundreds of students in SCSD battle homelessness, Emma Misiaszek, CNY Central Staff

Judge’s comment on winner: A superb use of all social media platforms to drive listeners to the podcast. Every click led to wanting more information about the disturbing murders. A top-notch and magnificent way for alternative story telling in today’s media environment. A magnificent effort.

Best Blog

  • 1st place: Spectrum News 1, New York State of Politics, Luke Parsnow
  • 2nd place: CNY Central, Matt’s Memo, Matt Mulcahy

Judge’s comment on winner: Luke Parsnow does a wonderful job breaking down the politics without losing the journalism, something that’s still hard to come by in blogs.


  • 1st place: Spectrum News 1, Important deadlines for 2023 election voting in New York, Luke Parsnow

Judge’s comment on winner: Great educational piece about the ins and outs of voting. The pictures adds a fun element to the informative graphics.

Digital Video Journalism

  • 1st place: | The Post-Standard, 2023 stories, Katrina Tulloch
  • 2nd place: | The Post-Standard, 2023 stories, N. Scott Trimble

Judge’s comment on winner: The remembrance of Brexialee Torres-Ortiz moved me to tears, the profile of chef Cristos Stelios made me laugh and learn something deeper and the dog rescue story put helpers in the spotlight. A well-rounded mix of online video storytelling with range and spirit.


Carl Single Award for Spot News Photography

  • 1st place: The Citizen, Firefighter down, Kevin Rivoli
  • 2nd place: | The Post-Standard, Wildfire smoke over Syracuse, N. Scott Trimble

Judge’s comment on winner: Raw life and death and how our human spirit draws us to try to claw our loved ones and keep them on the life side. Recalls Michaelangelo’s pieta with even more humanity. Amazing composition.

Best Feature Photo

  • 1st place: Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Rip the Runway fashion show, Nicole Hopwood
  • 2nd place: Spectrum News 1, The final day of the New York State Fair, Emily Kenny
  • Honorable mention: | The Post-Standard, Surfs up on Lake Ontario, N. Scott Trimble

Judge’s comment on winner: Striking photo … so much emotion, color and fascinating light.

Best Photo Essay

  • 1st place: Cortland Standard, Hope for Generations, Todd R. McAdam
  • 2nd place: The Citizen, ‘Don’t drink the water,’ says Elbridge mobile home park resident, Kevin Rivoli
  • Honorable mention: Spectrum News 1, New York State Fair at night, Emily Kenny

Judge’s comment on winner: A weepie … not easy when the subject is a silent epidemic. You can feel the participants’ courage and see the human cost. Bravo.

Best Portrait

  • 1st place: The Citizen, Golfer on Genesee, Kevin Rivoli
  • 2nd place: | The Post-Standard, Veronie Alex, Dennis Nett

Judge’s comment on winner: This shot stands out for its unexpected use of both setting and light. You don’t often see a golfer teeing up for a drive in the middle of the street — and the mix of dramatic lighting in the distance with a well-lit subject makes for a visually stirring image.

Best Sports Photo

  • 1st place: | The Post-Standard, Safe at Home, Herm Card
  • 2nd place: | The Post-Standard, Stick to the face, Scott Schild
  • Honorable mention: New York Horse, Sidewinder, Michael Davis
  • Honorable mention: Mets News and Links. ‘It is high, it is far…It is caught,’ Herm Card

Judge’s comment on winner: What emotion captured here. A feast for the eyes and soul.

Print News

Best Front Page Design

  • 1st place: The Palladium-Times, Charles Ellis

Judge’s comment on winner: Clean format, informative headlines and well-chosen photos make these pages a complete package.

Print/Digital News: All

Best Editorial

  • 1st place: | The Post-Standard, Sheriff damaged credibility by shading account of double-fatal shooting (Editorial Board Opinion), Marie Morelli
  • 2nd place: | The Post-Standard, SUNY Upstate leadership’s culture of secrecy must end (Editorial Board Opinion), Marie Morelli
  • Honorable mention: Cortland Standard, What Emergency?, Todd R. McAdam

Judge’s comment on winner: A strong argument with compelling evidence, this editorial just does what an opinion piece should do: inform and convince.

Best Spot News

  • 1st place: The Palladium-Times, Anthony Waldron guilty, Ken Sturtz
  • 2nd place: | The Post-Standard, How an eviction, a cold night and a broken tailpipe led to a child’s death in Syracuse, Rylee Kirk, Fernando Alba, Marnie Eisenstadt
  • Honorable mention: | The Post-Standard, Deputy shoots, kills two teens in stolen car, but why was his camera off?, Anne Hayes, Douglass Dowty, Marnie Eisenstadt, Tim Knauss
  • Honorable mention: | The Post-Standard, Customers leave waitress $1,000 tip at CNY diner: ‘Santa, everything’s going to be OK’ (video), Charlie Miller

Judge’s comment on winner: Ken Sturtz presented a blow by blow account of the courtroom verdict in the case of a man convicted of “depraved indifference” in the death of a disabled teen. He’s got a great eye for detail, describing the tears of women on both sides of the case. This description jumped off the page: “The 17-year-old weighed just 55 pounds and he had numerous open and bleeding pressure sores on his body as well as an exposed tailbone and a hip implant that was visible through the skin.”

Best Column

  • 1st place: | The Post-Standard, Jim Boeheim said Syracuse University had a choice to make. It didn’t take long, Chris Carlson
  • 2nd place: | The Post-Standard, There’s more to Syracuse than the fair: A Fair Hater’s Guide to Central New York, Jared Paventi
  • Honorable mention: Cortland Standard, I was surprised to find out that I control the world, Kevin T. Conlon

Judge’s comment on winner: Biting, potent commentary filled with context and easy to understand.

Best Critique

  • 1st place: | The Post-Standard, Make way for Rebecca Black’s big, gloriously gay comeback, Katrina Tulloch
  • 2nd place: The Citizen, Cast stands taller than the trees in The Rev’s ‘Into the Woods,’ David Wilcox
  • Honorable mention: Cortland Standard, ‘Xanadu!’ They rock… and they roll, Lily Byrne
  • Honorable mention: | The Post-Standard, Inventive presentation and flavor combos at Nola’s in Clinton, Jared Paventi

Judge’s comment on winner: Terrific review of a concert that had a newsy angle to it.

Headline Writing

  • 1st place: Central New York Magazine, What All the Flaps About; Hello Gourd-eous; Chive Talkin’, Mary Jo (MJ) Kravec
  • 2nd place: Central New York Magazine, Something Wicked Cool This Way Comes; Joint Venture; Main Character Energy, Amy Bleier Long

Investigative Story or Series

  • 1st place: | The Post-Standard, How NY state, Upstate Medical haul thousands of sick and poor into court for little gain, Douglass Dowty
  • 2nd place: New York Focus and Central Current, How not to close a jail, Chris Gelardi, Chris Libonati
  • Honorable mention: | The Post-Standard, NY’s testing failures expose legal weed consumers to unsafe cannabis; a ‘serious health threat’, Brad Racino
  • Honorable mention: The Palladium-Times, Ex-Fulton cop charged with DWI has history of alleged misconduct, Ken Sturtz

Judge’s comment on winner: A shining example of accountability journalism. Hospital bill stories are usually outrageous, but this one takes it to another level by showing how a single statute has empowered a state entity to sue its most vulnerable customers. Without this reporting, it’s unlikely that New York taxpayers would know their tax dollars pay for attorneys to file these cases.

Daily Print/Digital News

Human Interest Feature or Series

  • 1st place: | The Post-Standard, A CNY scientist’s work could change the world. But he might not live long enough to see it happen, Steve Featherstone
  • 2nd place: | The Post-Standard, Remember the naked man trapped in the Landmark Theatre wall? His real story is no joke, Marnie Eisenstadt
  • Honorable mention: | The Post-Standard, Happy National Sandwich Day! Here are 50 of the best you should celebrate in CNY, Charlie Miller
  • Honorable mention: Central Current, Service and Sacrifice: How Haudenosaunee Veterans View Memorial Day, Gabriel Pietrorazio, Michael Greenlar

Judge’s comment on winner: Breathtaking writing on a heart-stopping story. Beautiful work.

Sports Story

  • 1st place: | The Post-Standard, Inside the punch and punishment that put LeQuint Allen’s Syracuse season in jeopardy, Emily Leiker, Anne Hayes
  • 2nd place: | The Post-Standard, Inside Le Moyne’s fledgling D-I hoops team: 9 transfers, the Iron Six and an NBA coach’s protégé, Chris Carlson
  • Honorable mention: The Palladium-Times, Reese Niver is proving that she is ‘Brady Strong,’ while joining Fulton girls wrestling team, Josh St. Croix

Judge’s comment on winner: Really solid reporting and digging into records, to tell an important story.

News Feature or Series

  • 1st place: Central Current, He was appointed to reduce gun violence in Syracuse. Then his son was shot, Chris Libonati
  • 2nd place: Cortland Standard, ‘There’s still people there’, Margaret Mellott
  • Honorable mention: Central Current, ‘One crappy apartment’ to another: How tools to relocate Syracuse families from homes with lead paint are limited, Eddie Velazquez

Print/Digital News: Non-Daily or Special Interest

Sports Story

  • 1st place: The Catholic Sun, A dream within a dream, Tom Maguire
  • 2nd place: The Reporter, Yentl at the Bat, Bill Simons

News Feature or Series

  • 1st place: Utica Phoenix Media, When They Come for One of Us, Ron Klopfanstein
  • 2nd place: Oswego County Business, No Gas, No Problem, Ken Sturtz
  • Honorable mention: The Catholic Sun, Two tragedies, one source of comfort, Deacon Tom Cuskey
  • Honorable mention: The Catholic Sun, Gene Fisch’s family story, Dan Hurley

Judge’s comment on winner: A series of empathetic stories about trans children and the hatred they face in the form of public policies which target them.

Human Interest Feature or Series

  • 1st place: Central New York Magazine, Bringing Everyone to the Table, Amy Bleier Long, Norah Machia, Susan Santola
  • 2nd place: The Catholic Sun, Kindness changes everything, Deacon Tom Cuskey

Judge’s comment on winner: This is a well-researched and fantastically reported story that hits every note you want a feature story to hit. Amy, Susan, and Norah were able to take a story hyper-local to Syracuse and connect it to a larger issue facing many communities across the country, food insecurity. It also made me think about a community’s civic duty when it come to solving larger societal issues. This was a really great, important story to tell and it’s wonderful to see reporters dedicated to local and impactful storytelling.


Human Interest Feature or Series

  • 1st place: WCNY, The Capitol Pressroom: Poozer Pop Culture, David Lombardo
  • 2nd place: WRVO Public Media, How to make a play in a day: creativity, community and caffeine, Ava Pukatch

Judge’s comment on winner: What a clever and compelling concept for a radio show and podcast. Conceptually, it should be replicated in more markets. Good luck excavating these wonderful human interest stories from New York’s officials.

Investigative Story or Series

  • 1st place: | The Post-Standard, Firecracker: The Murder of Carol Ryan, Katrina Tulloch, Scott Trimble, Samantha House, Christa Lemczak, Lauren Long

Judge’s comment on winner: This reexamination of an unsolved murder sheds contemporary light on a case that left a family and community with painful, unanswered questions.

Spot News

  • 1st place: WAER Syracuse Public Media, Police have leads in drive-by shooting of 11-year-old honor student, Scott Willis
  • 2nd place: WAER Syracuse Public Media, Syracuse Diocese to give sex abuse survivors $100 million, Natasha Senjanovic

Judge’s comment on winner: Well-rounded, sensitive reporting that checks the boxes. Listeners learn about the victim, hear strong sound bites and are told how the community can reach law enforcement to share anonymous tips.

News Feature or Series

  • 1st place: WCNY, The Capitol Pressroom: Political Retrospectives, David Lombardo
  • 2nd place: WRVO Public Media, How theatre led to the rediscovery of Oneida Nation activist’s handwritten letters, Ava Pukatch
  • Honorable mention: WAER Syracuse Public Media, How museums can misrepresent people and cultures, Charles Sirey

Judge’s comment on winner: Good questions and illuminating conversation.

Sports Show

  • 1st place: CNY Central, The Orange Zone, Tommy Sladek, Samantha Croston, Ashley Wenskoski, Brendon Hodges, Rachel Culver
  • 2nd place: | The Post-Standard, Shout! The Buffalo Football Podcast, Matt Parrino, Ryan Talbot
  • Honorable mention: WTKW, Gomez interviews legendary New York Yankee hall of fame pitcher Rich ‘Goose’ Gossage, Glenn “Gomez” Adams, Brandon Steiner

Judge’s comment on winner: Fast-paced, authoritative, entertaining. Great rapport among these sports talkers.

Sports Story

  • 1st place: WAER Syracuse Public Media/Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Playing for Something Bigger, Jordan Leonard
  • 2nd place: WTKW, Gomez and Company interview with Don McPherson on the hiring of new SU football coach, Glenn “Gomez” Adams, Lisa Chelenza
  • Honorable mention: WRVO Public Media, Jim Boeheim entered college basketball when the game was about to ‘explode,’ Ava Pukatch

Judge’s comment on winner: Fantastic storytelling. This is the type of piece that even appeals to non-sports fans.

Special Program

  • 1st place: WRVO Public Media, Energizing CNY, Natalie Barden, Scott Brubaker, Clarissa Karki, Samantha Keaney, Michael Riecke
  • 2nd place: WCNY, The Capitol Pressroom: Justice for All, David Lombardo

Judge’s comment on winner: This podcast is tightly written and crystal clear about its intent: to report on the energy sector in Oswego County, which is a huge part of that county’s infrastructure. It keeps that focus throughout the hour-long special. What stands out is the breadth and depth of the reporting. Clarissa Karki’s story on a local nuclear power plant did an excellent job spelling out not only the pros but also the cons of the carbon-free power source. She used NAT sound to open the story and included her findings in the field as she walked the grounds of Nine Mile Point. She also includes The Simpsons and the misconceptions about nuclear power as a way to enter the story – and even found a college freshman who spoke to how odd it was for him to see a cooling tower that he had seen on The Simpsons. A good tie-in that reinforces the idea that nuclear power plants are feared often because people don’t understand the regulations and training that go into keeping a nuclear plant online. The other stories in the hour also do an excellent job of framing the different energy sectors in the county. I felt I knew more about Oswego County’s energy sector than I did about my county when I finished listening to the podcast. That, more than anything, shows how good a job this reporting team did in its coverage.


Student Radio/Podcast News Story

  • 1st place: WICB, How Are You, Actually? – Episode 8: Burnout, Katelyn Smith, Lou Baron
  • 2nd place: WICB, Ithaca Now: Interview with Park School Dean Amy Falkner, Malcolm Alexander
  • Honorable mention: NCC News, Hidden Identity, Ronnie Parrillo

Student Radio/Podcast Sports Story

  • 1st place: WICB, Sports Talk: Interview with Ithaca College Volleyball’s Jamie Koopman, Tobiah Zboray

Student Best Use of Multimedia

  • 1st place: Utica University, Utica Parks and You Multimedia Project, Utica University Multimedia Web Design Class

Judge’s comment on winner: A lot of thought and time was out into this entry, and it shows. Everything is well-organized and engaging. Beautiful job, Utica!

Student Print/Digital News Story

  • 1st place: Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Experts say governments break law hiding behind nonprofits, Tyler O’Neill
  • 2nd place: Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Scammers target college campuses with phishing email, Ryan Stephens, Christopher Scarglato, Nate Harrington
  • Honorable mention: SUNY Oswego | The Oswegonian, Officer-In-Charge Toale’s eligibility for presidency in question, Annika Wickham, Abigail Conpropst, Spencer Bates
  • Honorable mention: Utica University Tangerine, AAUP-Utica files discriminatory grievance against Utica University, Mickale Thompson

Judge’s comment on winner: Holding a public agency accountable. Well-written and researched. Strong lede, story builds through the graphs. Good work.

Student Print/Digital Feature Story

  • 1st place: The Daily Orange, ‘The best of us’: Chris Snow’s belief, strength helped him leave an impact wherever he went, Connor Smith
  • 2nd place: The Daily Orange, Fried food, prancing pigs: Spend a day at the New York State Fair, Rachel Raposas
  • Honorable mention: Newhouse School at Syracuse University, How Gen Z became the face of skincare marketing, Jenny DeStefano
  • Honorable mention: Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Scamming the Scammers, Abby Presson

Judge’s comment on winner: This obituary opens with punchy lede and keeps the reader engaged throughout a detailed portrait of Chris Snow’s life, from his early days as a writer to his fundraising efforts for ALS research.

Student Print/Digital Sports Story

  • 1st place: Utica University Tangerine, ‘We’re certainly very white’ Inside the lack of diversity in Utica University’s athletic programs, Mickale Thompson
  • 2nd place: The Daily Orange, LYONS LEGEND: Jim Boeheim’s hometown of Lyons, New York, celebrated with him in 2003, Anish Vasudevan
  • Honorable mention: Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Conspiracies about Damar Hamlin’s injury find traction, Cameron McKeon
  • Honorable mention: The Daily Orange, Smith: The ending was bizarre, and Jim Boeheim deserved better, Connor Smith

Judge’s comment on winner: Well reported story…good use of data. This is how sports becomes news.

Student Television/Video News Story

  • 1st place: NCC News | Syracuse University, Zipcar Zooms Out of Syracuse, John Perik
  • 2nd place: Ithaca College Television (ICTV), ICTV Reports: Drag Performers Create Community in Small Cities, Grant Johnson

Judge’s comment on winner: Great job trying to get answers from Zipcar. Good interview subjects. Next step: work to eliminate sit-down interviews and replace them with active interview. Put the wireless mic on your subject(s) and talk to them while they are doing what they do. That gives you great natural soundbites that you can use to introduce us to the subject and invest us emotionally in them. Here, perhaps you could have talked to Maddy while she was at whatever job she has, discussing how difficult it is to make ends meet and how her finances preclude her from getting to the grocery store without Zipcar. Or maybe ride with her as she takes an Uber to the grocery store, telling us how much that cost verses Zipcar.

Student Television/Video Feature Story

  • 1st place: Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Dandelion, Wendy Wang
  • 2nd place: Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Kay and Mal, Collin Bell
  • Honorable mention: NCC News | Syracuse University, Preaching Pride to the Choir, Nicole Aponte

Judge’s comment on winner: Beautiful videography and a lovely story about connecting with one’s community through photography.

Student Television/Video Sports Story

  • 1st place: NCC News | Syracuse University, Local Boxing Gym Gives Hope to Parkinson’s Patients, Nick Luttrell

Judge’s comment on winner: The reporter did a really nice job figuring out what’s special about this program and focusing his story on that. The emotional component is what set this story apart.


Best Investigative Story or Series

  • 1st place: CNY Central, Woman in debt due to Social Security mistake, Morgan Scott
  • 2nd place: WSYR-TV, Walmart Skimming, Andrew Donovan
  • Honorable mention: CNY Central, I-Team: Manlius Police Chief resignation, Matt Mulcahy
  • Honorable mention: CNY Central, I-Team: Cannabis ads break NYS law, Conor Wight

Judge’s comment on winner: The reporter takes the viewer from localizing a story that ran on 60 Min about the gov’t looking to recoup funds they claim were overpaid via social security. She talks to a woman who shares that she hasn’t been overpaid, in fact she goes hungry. Viewers respond, and the story includes officials who are brought in to help figure things out. It was the final update in the piece that got my attention – here we learn that SS informed the woman that they were in the wrong, that she did not receive more than due, and her benefits would re-start. This story captured some of the paper trail that serves as a strong message to the audience to question what information even the gov’t may challenge you on and how this situation can greatly impact one’s livelihood.

Best Special Program

  • 1st place: CNY Central, The Parkway Bridge, CNY Central Staff
  • 2nd place: WSYR-TV, More Than A Number: The Opioid Epidemic in CNY, Christie Casciano, Iris St. Meran, Melissa Thorne, Sabrina Betts, Jack Estabrook, Jeff Mercer, Mike Brown, Brenton Finizio, Jim Lamanna
  • Honorable mention: WSYR-TV, Newsmakers With Andrew Donovan 5/26/23, Andrew Donovan, Bill Goldschmidt, Shawn Wayson

Judge’s comment on winner: This is public-service journalism at its best. The team at CNY Central brought together decision makers and stakeholders in a town hall to address the long standing problem of fatal and troublesome crashes and traffic redirects because of the low-hanging Parkway Bridge. It was obvious that the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing – if much of anything – and that public pressure, such as this broadcast, is needed to finally resolve this issue. Kudos for visual interest by holding the town hall outdoors, and interspersing with historical segments and interviews that explained the full impact of the problem, which is much bigger than it appears on the surface.

Best Sports Show

  • 1st place: | The Post-Standard, Will to Win: Syracuse Basketball’s Unlikely Rise from Underdogs to 2003 NCAA Champions, Christa Lemczak, Mike Waters, Nate Mink, Lauren Long, N. Scott Trimble
  • 2nd place: Spectrum News 1, Orange Empire: Syracuse Football Preseason Special, Jesse MacWilliam, Kevin Carroll, Rachel Hopmayer, Jackson Wang, Adam Tiff, Daniel Scharfenberger

Judge’s comment on winner: Wonderful historical retelling of the Syracuse national championship. Really well done, comprehensive and just fun to watch.

Best Sportscast

  • 1st place: CNY Central, NBC3 6pm sportscast, Samantha Croston
  • 2nd place: WKTV, NewsChannel 2 Sportscast, Jon Cerio

Judge’s comment on winner: Solid local sportscast.

Best Sports Story

  • 1st place: Spectrum News 1, 81-year-old Globetrotter rival finds fountain of youth, Vincent Briga
  • 2nd place: CNY Central, Challenger Baseball raises money for handicap-accessible park, Tommy Sladek
  • Honorable mention: WENY-TV, A look inside of a NASCAR hauler, Ryan Campbell

Judge’s comment on winner: Well told story…engaging visuals.

Best Spot News

  • 1st place: WSYR-TV, CNY Flooding: 8/7/23-8/8/23, WSYR-TV Staff
  • 2nd place: CNY Central, Vermont mass shooter CNY ties, Conor Wight, CNY Central Staff
  • Honorable mention: WWNY-TV, Watertown Without Water, Jeff Cole, Erin Bischoff, 7NEWS Staff

Judge’s comment on winner: Clarity and urgency presented in this coverage. The anchor and reporter did a nice job reflecting the time of day “changing as the sun comes up.” Good use of video.

Best Photo Essay

  • 1st place: Spectrum News 1, National Agriculture Week, Krystal Cole

Judge’s comment on winner: Fantastic videography and sound. The storytelling was informative and humorous, and it taught viewers something.

Best Television Video Journalism

  • 1st place: Spectrum News 1, Krystal Cole
  • 2nd place: WWNY-TV, Trevor Payant
  • Honorable mention: Spectrum News 1, Brian Dwyer

Judge’s comment on winner: Great use of nat sound. Excellent storytelling!

Best News Feature Short From (less than 2:30)

  • 1st place: Spectrum News 1, Aftermath of Block Party Shooting, Justin Velazquez
  • 2nd place: WWNY-TV, Sheriff on MRAP: ‘I want another!’, Diane Rutherford, Trevor Payant
  • Honorable mention: Spectrum News 1, Army Training Program for Pregnant Soldiers, Brian Dwyer
  • Honorable mention: WWNY-TV, Crazy Cemetery Lady, Emily Griffin

Best News Feature Long Form (2:30+)

  • 1st place: WSYR-TV, Oneida House Explosion, Andrew Donovan, Will Houle, Bob Driscoll
  • 2nd place: Spectrum News 1, Living With Cystic Fibrosis, Justin Velazquez
  • Honorable mention: Spectrum News 1, Fort Drum Buffalo Bills Flyover, Brian Dwyer

Judge’s comment on winner: Intro- good reference to video behind anchor. Standup had purposeful movement showing one home’s damage to another. Good use of silence when showing the officer’s video. Soundbites from several people. Tag had the company’s response. Nice job.

Best Weathercast

  • 1st place: WSYR-TV, NewsChannel 9 at Noon 6/7/2023, Kate Thornton
  • 2nd place: WWNY-TV, 7News Weather, Kris Hudson

Best Human Interest Feature or Series

  • 1st place: WWNY-TV, Ember & Finn: Twins and Storms, Lexi Bruening
  • 2nd place: CNY Central, Father’s viral hug goodbye sends message, Michael Benny
  • Honorable mention: CNY Central, Front Row Players gives those with special needs the chance to shine, Abbey Buttacavoli
  • Honorable mention: Spectrum News 1, F.I.R.E. Festival, Krystal Cole

Judge’s comment on winner: What a coincidence! Good get. Timely with the weather, and the story is shot and edited well.

Best Regularly Scheduled Local Newscast

  • 1st place: Spectrum News 1, Your Morning March 9, 2023, Dan Scharfenberger, Nick Endres, Michelle Houston, Maricruz Reyes
  • 2nd place: WWNY-TV, 7News This Evening: Watertown without Water, Jeff Cole, Erin Bischoff, 7News Staff
  • Honorable mention: WSYR-TV, NewsChannel 9 at 6:00 1/26/23, WSYR-TV Staff

Judge’s comment on winner: This newscast had a good mix of packages and live content. The news and sports team delivered the story of the retiring coach in a personalized way that allowed the viewer to feel closer to the content without feeling outside of the circle of familiarity. The banter was delivered in this way as well, which can be a tricky formula to achieve. In addition, the set was unique and caught my eye from a visual component.

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