News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, October 25, 2018 and Island Ad-Vantages, October 25, 2018 and The Weekly Packet, October 25, 2018
Penobscot Bay Press wins 30 awards from Maine Press Association

Smoke on the water, fire in the sky

Two fishermen brave the early morning cold as they head out to their boat. Sub-zero temperatures in Stonington Harbor, passing above 40 degree water has set the stage for a string of beautiful sunrises filled with sea smoke and light. This photo won Best in Show in the 2018 Maine Press Association Better Newspaper contest.

Photo by Leslie Rice Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Anne Berleant

In the “Better Newspaper Contest,” held by the Maine Press Association, Penobscot Bay Press brought home 30 awards for its three newspapers, The Weekly Packet, Island Ad-Vantages and Castine Patriot. The papers compete in the Weekly 1 division, for newspapers with circulations under 5,000.

The number of awards won surpasses any other year that Penobscot Bay Press has entered the annual contest.

“I feel lucky to be surrounded by such an amazing and hardworking staff,” Managing Editor Faith DeAmbrose said after the awards banquet.

The Weekly Packet won a second-place award for General Excellence in Print, in its first instance of competing for the coveted award.

In the Best In Show Photo category, established in 2017, Penobscot Bay Press again brought home the award, this year for a photo of Stonington Harbor at sunrise by Leslie Rice.

“This image gives me a sense of place and makes me want to visit Maine,” wrote the judge.

For excellence in sports coverage, The Weekly Packet won a first place award for its Sports Section. Together, the Packet and Island Ad-Vantages, which publish the same weekly sports section, brought home three second-place awards for sports writing, a second and third place award for sports video, and a third place award for sports page design.

The Island Ad-Vantages won five awards, including three first place awards, for Religion/Spirituality Story, Scenic Photo, and Front Page Design, won by Cindy Haskell. “Overall appearance was the best. Good use of photos and nice balance of gray and white space,” the judge wrote of Haskell’s award.

The Castine Patriot won five awards, including a first place award in the Graphic category for “Big moments in State of Maine history,”by Jeremiah Savage. “Nice graphic, clean design and the boat photo really added to the chart,” the judge wrote.

The Weekly Packet won a total of 18 awards, including first place awards for Advertising-Circulation, Feature Video, and Political Story. For the latter, “Sedgwick neighbors protest Confederate flag on blueberry field,” by Anne Berleant, the judge wrote, “Well written article that tackled a challenging subject given the timing. … Clear winner.”

Nat Barrows, Penobscot Bay Press owner, publisher and editor took home a second place award in Editorial Writing, for “April Fools and fake news,” where he discussed breaking a decades-long tradition of writing April Fool’s news stories each year for his newspapers. Barrows also was inducted into the MPA Hall of Fame.