The Recorder – Recorder wins two awards in annual newspaper competition

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Published: 5/2/2022 4:39:36 PM

GREENFIELD — The New England Newspaper and Press Association (NENPA) recognized photographer Paul Franz and the editorial staff at the Greenfield Recorder on Saturday for their work at the daily newspaper for Franklin County.

Franz received first place in the feature photo category of the 2021 NENPA Better Newspaper Competition. In the general excellence category, which recognized two editions published in March 2021, the staff was awarded second place.

The Recorder competed against other daily publications throughout New England that have fewer than 20,000 subscribers.

“The recognition for general excellence speaks to the team effort and talent in the Recorder’s newsroom,” said Pioneer Valley Executive Editor Dan Crowley. “The staff should be very proud of this award.”

He added that Franz is an experienced photographer, well-known for his wildlife photography.

“It’s no surprise that he received a first-place honor for his work,” Crowley said.

Franz attended the awards ceremony at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel on Saturday evening with News Editor Shelby Ashline.

Franz said he recalled the winning photograph — which captured the image of a bald eagle perched atop the roots of a fallen tree in the Connecticut River in Gill — for the beautiful, warm light that helped to compose it.

“It’s nice to be recognized for your work,” he said. “It’s also nice to sit in a room with journalists who do the same thing you do every day.”

In other recognitions, Chuck Goodrich, president and CEO of Newspapers of New England, the Recorder’s parent company, was inducted into the Newspaper Hall of Fame.

“The recognition from my peers is greatly appreciated,” Goodrich said. “I dreamt of being a newspaper publisher as a middle schooler back in the 1960s, but never understood what a long, strange trip it would be. I’ve been fortunate to have some amazing mentors, colleagues and industry associates who helped me become a better journalist and leader through the years. Even after all the disruption and change of the past several decades, I still love this work and believe deeply that what we do makes a difference to our readers, our communities and our employees.”

Publisher Shawn Palmer offered his colleagues his “sincere congratulations for their exemplary work.”

“The readers of the Recorder rely on the coverage of Franklin County that we provide on a daily basis,” Palmer said. “They are our ultimate judges, but recognition from our peers in New England journalism is very meaningful.”

The Recorder’s sister paper, the Daily Hampshire Gazette, also took home several awards on Saturday. News reporters Brian Steele, Dusty Christensen and Bera Dunau took home second- and third-place prizes in different editorial categories. Photographer Carol Lollis took home third place in the spot news photo category. In sports, reporter Kyle Grabowski took home third place for his coverage of the University of Massachusetts Amherst hockey national championship and staff writer Steve Pfarrer was honored in the arts and entertainment reporting category for a December 2020 piece on a 9-year-old Northampton musician.

Reporter Mary Byrne can be reached at or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne

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