YDR trauma journalism, reader initiative efforts recognized with two statewide awards

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The recent Fixing York community forum was part of a York Daily Record/Sunday News initiative that won a big state award – the Readership Initiative Award.

We’re honored that the Pennsylvania Newsmedia Association has recognized the York Daily Record/Sunday News with two statewide awards, revealed Thursday:

  • The YDR’s trauma journalism/peer-support program received the 2015 Public Service Award, given to one news organization, regardless of circulation size, that “has helped improve the community through public service leadership.” The YDR, working with the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, has focused on training in best practices to cover stories of trauma and conflict, including interviewing with sensitivity, for example; and it has created a peer-support program in which journalists are trained to help take care of each other before, during and after they cover traumatic stories. It’s the ninth time since 2002 that the YDR has won this award, for various efforts. Judges said:

    “This is the unequivocal choice for the Public Service Award. By linking the oft-overlooked emotional wellbeing of journalists to more sensitive reporting about people and communities in distress, the newspaper has created a program that connects reporters to the people they are covering. Traditionally, in this business, we have stressed the need for journalists to cultivate detachment and to practice objectivity, and these values remain an integral part of the profession. But the YDR has taken things a giant step further by nurturing a bond between reporter and subject that has usually been considered taboo, but that will, we believe, provide great benefit to journalists, the stories they write and the communities their newspaper serves.
    “YDR has launched an effort that already has achieved statewide, regional and national impact.”

  • The YDR also received the 2015 Reader Initiative Award, given to a news organization regardless of size, and which “honors the efforts by Pennsylvania member news companies that continue to accept the challenge of growing readership through innovative initiatives.” The efforts cited were “ ‘Fixing York,’ a Facebook community to help people call attention to problems and connect them with solutions; ‘No Sweat York,’ a fitness initiative with free fitness classes in the YDR’s back yard and a blog with healthy recipes and home workout suggestions; ‘Teen Takeover‘ involving high school students who meet monthly with newsroom staffers to learn about journalism from AP style to digital multimedia tools; ‘GameTimePA.com,’ a multimedia sports coverage experience presenting results and statistics in depth; and ‘NewsVroom,’ a mobile media van that acts as a classroom and remote newsroom.” It’s the seventh time the YDR has won this award since 2006; it has received second-place honors two other times. Judges said:

    “Any one of the initiatives cited in this entry meet the innovation criteria for this award, and taken as a whole were very impressive. York displays the innovation or new idea component multiple times. In today’s environment, innovation should lead the efforts, which hopefully leads to new audiences and tighter ties with existing audiences. And, if interdepartmental cooperation isn’t a given, something’s wrong.”

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Newspaper of the Year

YDR Content Editor Susan Martin put the results of yet another contest out to the staff:

More good contest news!

This time it’s the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association’s Newspaper of the Year awards.
We won our division, earning the General Excellence Award.
In the individual categories, which are based on overall work both online and in print, not one particular project, we earned:

First Place: News excellence
First Place: News presentation
Second Place: Best use of photography
Second Place: Diversity
First Place: Community service (this included our efforts on Fixing York and No Sweat)
First Place: Best use of video

These honors come on the heals of some other good news recently.

As you’ll recall, we just won the statewide Public Service award and the statewide Readership Initiative award. Also, we won the Accountants award for our North York financial investigations.

Congratulations to all.

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National recognition:
Eppy Award finalists, Editor and Publisher. (Winners of these two categories to be soon notified).

Best Use of Social Media/Crowd Sourcing with under 1 million unique monthly visitors
Chattanooga Strong: A city mourns, a city heals – Chattanooga Times Free Press
Fixing York – York Daily Record/Sunday News
Holiday Hills shooting, manhunt – Shaw Media KUsports.com live game blogs – The World Company –

Best News or Event Feature Video with under 1 million unique monthly visitors
Domestic Abuse: Why he did it – York Daily Record/Sunday News
Philadelphia’s Glass Making Culture – Philadelphia Glass Land
Temple University TU South Africa- Buskaid: Bringing Music to the Township – Temple University

About Scott Blanchard

Enterprise editor at the York (Pa.) Daily Record/Sunday News. Follow me on Twitter and Google+.
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