Syracuse Press Club announces 2023 Professional Recognition Awards finalists

Award winner holding certificates
Award winner holding certificates

The Syracuse Press Club congratulates the finalists for the 46th 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 Saturday, May 4, 2024.

For more information and to reserve your seat or table by April 22, 2024, click here. You must provide dinner selections for each guest reservation.

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 two 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 458 entries across 54 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 Magazine

  • New York Horse, New York Horse/Equine Alley Almanac, Janis Barth, Renee Gadoua, Barbara Lindberg
  • Central New York Magazine, Central New York Magazine – January/February 2023, Mary Jo (MJ) Kravec, Amy Bleier Long, Susan Santola, JoAnne Walsh
  • 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

  • Data Key Communications, Northeast Dairy Magazine Q1, Courtney Kless, Robin Barnes

Digital Journalism: All

Multimedia Story

  • 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
  • Central Current, How a mysterious stone carving has secured a new home at the Onondaga Nation Arena, Gabriel Pietrorazio, Michael Greenlar
  • Central Current, Onondaga Nation’s ‘Seven Buffalo Maple Syrup Co.’ taps into traditions, Gabriel Pietrorazio, Michael Greenlar
  • CNY Central, People with full-time jobs left homeless, Conor Wight, Emma Misiaszek

Breaking News

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

Best News Website

  • CNY Central,, CNY Central Staff
  • Urban CNY,, Kenneth Jackson

Best Use of Social Media

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

Best Blog

  • CNY Central, Matt’s Memo, Matt Mulcahy
  • Spectrum News 1, New York State of Politics, Luke Parsnow


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

Digital Video Journalism

  • | The Post-Standard, 2023 stories, N. Scott Trimble
  • | The Post-Standard, 2023 stories, Katrina Tulloch


Carl Single Award for Spot News Photography

  • The Citizen, Firefighter down, Kevin Rivoli
  • | The Post-Standard, Wildfire smoke over Syracuse, N. Scott Trimble

Feature Photo

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

Photo Essay

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


  • | The Post-Standard, Veronie Alex, Dennis Nett
  • The Citizen, Golfer on Genesee, Kevin Rivoli

Sports Photo

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

Print News

Front Page Design

  • The Palladium-Times, Charles Ellis

Print/Digital News: All


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

Spot News

  • | 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
  • | 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
  • | The Post-Standard, Customers leave waitress $1,000 tip at CNY diner: ‘Santa, everything’s going to be OK’ (video), Charlie Miller
  • The Palladium-Times , Anthony Waldron guilty, Ken Sturtz


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


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

Headline Writing

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

Investigative Story or Series

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

Print/Digital News: Daily

Human Interest Feature or Series

  • | The Post-Standard, Remember the naked man trapped in the Landmark Theatre wall? His real story is no joke, Marnie Eisenstadt
  • | 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
  • | The Post-Standard, Happy National Sandwich Day! Here are 50 of the best you should celebrate in CNY, Charlie Miller
  • Central Current, Service and Sacrifice: How Haudenosaunee Veterans View Memorial Day, Gabriel Pietrorazio, Michael Greenlar

Sports Story

  • | 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
  • The Palladium-Times, Reese Niver is proving that she is ‘Brady Strong,’ while joining Fulton girls wrestling team, Josh St. Croix
  • | The Post-Standard, Inside the punch and punishment that put LeQuint Allen’s Syracuse season in jeopardy, Emily Leiker, Anne Hayes

News Feature or Series

  • Central Current, He was appointed to reduce gun violence in Syracuse. Then his son was shot., Chris Libonati
  • Cortland Standard, ‘There’s still people there’, Margaret Mellott
  • 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

  • The Catholic Sun, A dream within a dream, Tom Maguire
  • The Reporter, Yentl at the Bat, Bill Simons

News Feature or Series

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

Human Interest Feature or Series

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


Human Interest Feature or Series

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

Investigative Story or Series

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

Spot News

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

News Feature or Series

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

Sports Show

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

Sports Story

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

Special Program

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


Student Radio/Podcast News Story

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

Student Radio/Podcast Sports Story

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

Student Best Use of Multimedia

  • Utica University, Utica Parks and You Multimedia Project, Utica University Multimedia Web Design Class

Student Print/Digital News Story

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

Student Print/Digital Feature Story

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

Student Print/Digital Sports Story

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

Student Television/Video News Story

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

Student Television/Video Feature Story

  • NCC News | Syracuse University, Preaching Pride to the Choir, Nicole Aponte
  • Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Kay and Mal, Collin Bell
  • Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Dandelion, Wendy Wang

Student Television/Video Sports Story

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


Investigative Story or Series

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

Special Program

  • 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
  • CNY Central, The Parkway Bridge, CNY Central Staff
  • WSYR-TV, Newsmakers With Andrew Donovan 5/26/23, Andrew Donovan, Bill Goldschmidt, Shawn Wayson

Sports Show

  • | 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
  • Spectrum News 1, Orange Empire: Syracuse Football Preseason Special, Jesse MacWilliam, Kevin Carroll, Rachel Hopmayer, Jackson Wang, Adam Tiff, Daniel Scharfenberger


  • WKTV, NewsChannel 2 Sportscast, Jon Cerio
  • CNY Central, NBC3 6pm sportscast, Samantha Croston

Sports Story

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

Spot News

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

Photo Essay

  • Spectrum News 1, National Agriculture Week, Krystal Cole

Television Video Journalism

  • Spectrum News 1, Kyrstal Cole
  • Spectrum News 1, Brian Dwyer
  • WWNY-TV, Trevor Payant

News Feature Short From (less than 2:30)

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

News Feature Long Form (2:30+)

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

Best Weathercast

  • WWNY-TV, 7News Weather, Kris Hudson
  • WSYR-TV, NewsChannel 9 at Noon 6/7/2023, Kate Thornton

Human Interest Feature or Series

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

Best Local Newscast

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

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