2012-04-04 / Community

Elizabeth Ailes’s Newspapers Honored for Excellence in Reporting and Advertising

Papers nab 5 awards at state press meet
By Annie Chesnut

The PCN&R and the Putnam County Courier brought home five statewide awards for excellence in reporting and advertising, given during the annual meeting of the New York Press Association, Publisher Elizabeth Ailes announced Monday.

The Press Association met over the weekend at the Gideon Putnam Resort in Saratoga Springs. Representing Ailes’s newspapers were Douglas Cunningham, associate publisher of the PCN&R and Courier, who took part in the state board meeting of the group on Thursday, as well as Associate Editor and Reporter Annie Chesnut and Graphics Assistant and Photographer Chris Layton.

Throughout the weekend, the Press Association also gave out its coveted Better Newspaper Awards—and Ailes’s newspapers received two first-place citations. One went to the Courier and Cunningham, for In-Depth Reporting on the Vincent Leibell corruption scandal, including a Sept. 22 special report, “Money Greased Putnam Scandal,” which examined the role of the Putnam Community Foundation in Leibell’s wrongdoing. Much of that coverage also appeared in the PCN&R.

The other first place went to the PCN&R and Graphics Editor Matt Mellon, for Best Color Ad Created by the Newspaper; the ad was for Plumbush Restaurant and Inn.The winning color advertisement, for Plumbush, created by Matt Mellon.The winning color advertisement, for Plumbush, created by Matt Mellon.

In other categories, the PCN&R received 2nd Place recognition for an Art Photo by Chris Layton; a 3rd place award for Coverage of Local Government, much of it led by Chesnut; and an Honorable Mention for Best Small Space Ad, again designed by Mellon.

“We are committed to serving our communities with the best journalism we possibly can, both in a news sense and in connecting advertisers with valuable customers,” Mrs. Ailes said after the awards were announced. “I congratulate Doug, Matt, Ann and Chris, for their outstanding work this past year. It is a pleasure to work with these fine people. They are professionals, and know how to work as a team. We will continue to strive for excellence in our papers and accountability from public officials in our communities.”

The key take-away message this year, said Chesnut upon returning from the statewide gathering, was this: “Weekly newspapers, particularly in small communities like the ones we serve in Cold Spring and Carmel, are flourishing. It was very positive to see such optimism.”

Mrs. Ailes, noting the 146- year history of the PCN&R and the 171-year history of the Courier, said she looks forward to the papers being important parts of the community for many more years to come.

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