The Fair Media Council, a Bethpage-based nonprofit media watchdog group, honored the Long Island Press with the title of Best Newspaper at the 2020 Folio Awards, which were held virtually Tuesday.
The judges based their decision upon review of the November 2019 edition of the Press, the region’s premier news and lifestyle publication, which was submitted as one of the best examples of the monthly newspaper.
“Take me back to those times,” Lew Leone, the vice president and general manager of WNYW-FOX 5, who presented the award, joked while recalling the pre-pandemic holiday season in which the issue was printed.
Retired News12 Long Island anchor Carol Silva, who recently announced that she has beaten cancer, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the ceremony. In addition to Best Newspaper, three Press staffers shared two more Folio awards for their coverage of local news.
“For our judging process, we bring together about 50 distinguished community leaders with varied backgrounds and interests to judge news and social media campaigns using a scorecard method,” said Fair Media Council Executive Director Jaci Clement. “Developed with the help of Bob Greene, the late Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter from Newsday, reporting news stories are scored for relevance, quality, originality and completeness, which really illustrates the storytelling and editing ability of a newsroom grappling with the public’s diminishing attention span.”
Business reporter Claude Solnik won a Folio in the Consumer News category for his story about local water filtration sales representatives taking advantage of the public’s fears about the quality of drinking water on Long Island.
Solnik’s story, “Water Worries: Companies Selling Costly Filters Target Long Island,” also won a pair of awards from the New York Press Association last month.
Reporter Alan Krawitz and Editor-In-Chief Timothy Bolger also shared a Folio for Continuing School Story with their work on a series of stories about the troubled Hempstead School District, which has struggled with corruption scandals, low graduation rates, and other issues.
In addition to those honors, Press intern Brianna Knibbs took home a pair of Folio Awards for stories she wrote as executive editor of The Catalyst, the student newspaper at SUNY College at Old Westbury.
Knibbs was a Folio for Best News Story for her story about protest against mold in campus dorms and Best Continuing Coverage for her coverage of Sean Bell’s death at the hands of New York City police officers.