The Buffalo News won five top awards in the New York News Publishers Association competition among the state’s largest newspapers.
Leah Samol won in the distinguished page design/presentation category for her design of the Nov. 20, 2014, front page featuring the iconic photograph taken by Derek Gee of a lone man shoveling his Depew driveway during a break between the November lake-effect storms. The photo and stories appeared under the headline, “Here we go again.” She was recognized for a design that demonstrated strong visual appeal, style and originality that enhanced the written content, making it easy to understand or navigate.
Tim Graham was recognized for distinguished feature writing for stories on former Buffalo Bill Darryl Talley hitting hard times and Jim Kelly’s hometown roots in East Brady, Pa. Graham was also recognized for his profile of quarterback Kyle Orton and a takeout on the lack of an NFL team in Los Angeles for nearly two decades.
Lou Michel won in the distinguished beat reporting category for his examination of the opiate epidemic in Buffalo. Michel’s stories covered the increasing fatality rate from drug overdoses to the human toll drugs take, with a story of a couple found dead in a motel room and the release of a potent new painkiller.
Tom Precious won for distinguished state government coverage with stories on the governor’s approach to local governments, New Yorkers moving to states that allow medical marijuana, the effect on Buffalo’s influence in the State Senate without representatives in the majority political party and behind-the-scenes lobbying in Albany.
Buffalo News staff won distinguished sports writing for stories leading up to and including the sale of the Buffalo Bills to billionaire Terry Pegula, which was finalized Oct. 8, 2014, when the NFL owners approved the sale to Pegula and his wife, Kim. The category recognizes articles showing clarity, creativity and the capacity to distill and capture the essence of the story.
The News is in the over-175,000 circulation class. Also receiving awards in that class were Newsday and the Wall Street Journal. The awards were presented at a banquet in Albany on Wednesday evening. The New York News Publishers Association represents daily, weekly and online newspapers across the state.