Well, we’ve done it again.
RahwayRising.com was awarded first place in the category of Independent Blog in the 2016 Excellence in Journalism Awards by the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. A complete list of winners can be found here (.pdf).
We won second place in 2012 and third place in 2015 but it had been awhile (2011) since we won first place in the Best Independent Blog category since 2011.
The winning submissions included posts about:
- A Redevelopment Agency commissioner resigning after conflict of interest questions were raised about serving on the Parking Authority as well. Kudos to the New Jersey Foundation for Open Government (NJ FOG) for raising these questions after seeing my posts.
- The Office of the State Comptroller citing the Rahway Arts District for lack of adequate internal controls and not following public contract laws in awarding contracts related to the Hamilton Stage;
- A legal opinion by the city attorney declaring no conflict of interest for the Parking Authority executive director to also serve as Redevelopment Agency executive director.
The judge’s comments:
“As the journalistic industry continues to transition, we look to independent bloggers who see themselves as news providers to uphold the tenants of our tradition, including the notion that we be ‘accurate, fair and thorough.’ We apply the winning submission’s hyper-local news coverage tracking conflict of interest questions. Posts are presented in news style with hyper links to primary sources, offering an example of how the traditions of the past can be honored while taking advantage of the opportunities modern technology presents.”
Thanks to our faithful readers and supportive advertisers who have stuck with the site over the years. While I may be the sole operator/writer/publisher of this site, I often refer to this effort as “we” because I feel like it’s a community effort of sorts, whether it’s someone sending in a tip, asking about a project, or just saying hi around town. You all can take some credit for this win — thank you!