It’s that time of year when we offer especially warm greetings to people we encounter. Our neighbors, colleagues, family and friends. The shopkeepers, postal workers, delivery people and all the rest of the folks who flow in and out of our daily lives.
In that spirit, we’d like to offer similarly warm greetings to our readers and share a few insights about a recent award the Record-Journal received that has a strong connection to you.
It was announced this month that the Record-Journal was named New England Newspaper of the Year among its peers by the New England Newspaper & Press Association. For the second year in a row, the Record-Journal received Newspaper of the Year honors among daily newspapers in the 10,000 to 20,000 circulation category. The Record-Journal also received distinguished Sunday newspaper honors for publications with a circulation of less than 25,000 this year. The NENPA competition has the distinction of being the only newspaper industry award judged by audience members.
While, obviously, we’re proud of this recognition, what’s of particular note is that awards are judged by a panel of New England newspaper readers.
“New England newspaper readers are appointed to evaluate the entries from a news consumer point of view and decide which deserves the honor of being named Newspaper of the Year,” said John Voket, editor of the Newtown Bee and host of the awards event. The criteria for excellence centers around the interests and needs of readers.
Here’s how he described the process: “Readers evaluate every paper’s relative strengths and weaknesses including the quality of reporting and writing, the use of photos, design and presentation, digital offerings, overall utility and value, and general impressions like ‘Does the newspaper inform, educate and entertain, inspire, motivate or lead? Does it reflect and care about the community it serves? Does it put the interests of the readers first. Is it unique or special in some way?”
Our readers are engaged and with every click on websites, newspapers or daily news email subscriptions, interactions on social media, and — of course — letters to the editor, the conversation continues.
You don’t always agree with our coverage — and we hear about it, for sure. But overall the conversation between the news staff and readership is an open, positive and trusted one. In some cases, when the news is about you, you generously give your time for interviews and photographs, too.
This award belongs to all of you as well, because it wouldn’t be possible for us to do what we do without your support and engagement.