HAMILTON – Journalists for the Courier News, Home News Tribune and MyCentralJersey.com took home nine awards when they were honored by the New Jersey Press Association in its annual contest.
Awards were presented on April 11 at the Hamilton Manor.
“I’m so proud of the journalists in our newsroom who are so passionate and dedicated to their craft,” said Joe Martino, News Director of the Courier News, Home News Tribune and MyCentralJersey.com.
The Courier News, Home News Tribune and MyCentralJersey.com, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey, cover Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somerset and parts of Union counties.
Nick Muscavage, a staff reporter since 2016, received a first-place award for “Responsible Journalism – Enterprise Reporting” for his reporting in the Home News Tribune on clergy abuse in the Catholic Church. In the same category, he and veteran reporter Mike Deak were awarded second place for their Courier News report about public officials’ health insurance costs. This marked the fourth award in three years for Muscavage and “too many to count” for Deak, who has been with the Courier for a dozen years.
Also, a first- and second-place recipient, second-generation reporter Bob Makin, who joined Gannett in 1995, was honored twice in the “Reporting and Writing – Business & Financial Writing Portfolio” category. These marked Makin’s 10th and 11th NJPA awards for MyCentralJersey.com, the USA Today Network and Gannett. Five of the six honored stories were part of Makin’s year-long redevelopment series that featured New Brunswick, East Brunswick, Carteret, Scotch Plains and Fanwood. The sixth story highlighted The Family Soul Spot, a Plainfield comeback success story.
The MyCentralJersey.com staff won second place in the “Reporting and Writing – Local News Coverage” category. These reporters include Suzanne Russell, Susan Loyer, Brad Wadlow, Cheryl Makin, Alexander Lewis, Muscavage, Deak, Jenna Intersimone, Cheryl Makin, Carolyn Sampson and News Director Martino, as well as recently retired staff members Paul Grzella and Pam MacKenzie.
Intersimone, with Gannett since 2013, received a second-place award in the “Reporting and Writing – Feature/Entertainment Column” category. All three stories included in this award hailed from Intersimone’s popular “Destination Jersey” column.
Veteran reporter Russell, who has been with the Home News Tribune for 23 years, was named a third-place winner for her cold case stories in the “Reporting and Writing – News Writing Portfolio” category. Cheryl Makin, who joined Gannett in 2011, received her fourth NJPA award, this time for the “Reporting and Writing – Specialty Writing Portfolio” for her feature stories in the Courier News on the opioid epidemic.
Another third-place award was received by the trio of rookie reporter Lewis, who joined the staff in 2018, Grzella and Sampson. The three were honored in the “Reporting and Writing – Special Issue-in Paper” for their work on the annual Courier News Wish Book project.
The NJPA was founded in 1957 and is one of the nation’s oldest media trade and education groups. Altogether, the seven news sites of the USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey won 80 awards for writing, photography and online content.
Award-winning stories mentioned can be found here:
Staff Writer Cheryl Makin: 732-565-7256; [email protected]
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