Eagle-Tribune awarded by regional newspaper publishing group

TIM JEAN/Staff photo Mayor Daniel Rivera, right, hugs supporter Grace Akinmurele during an election night celebration at the Claddagh Pub and Restaurant in Lawrence. 11/7/17

NORTH ANDOVER — The Eagle-Tribune was honored with nine awards from the New England Newspaper and Press Association on Saturday, including an award for general excellence in a daily newspaper.

"The Eagle-Tribune is perennially recognized as one of the best small daily newspapers in New England and the recognition is well-deserved," the judges noted of the paper's third-place finish in the general excellence category. "The Eagle-Tribune continues to deserve the reputation of a top-notch local daily newspaper."

Several individual reporters and photographers also were recognized for their work in general news reporting, photojournalism, multimedia coverage, spot news and election coverage. 

Reporters Zoe Mathews and Breanna Edelstein took home the top award in general news reporting for their dogged work after the murder of a North Andover woman, Wendi Davidson, whose former fiance is accused of the crime. Brian Chevalier, the accused, had been paroled in New Hampshire just four months prior to the crime.

Mathews and Digital Editor Alexandra Nicolas were jointly recognized with a third-place finish for their info graphic detailing the alleged killer's prior criminal record.

Reporter Keith Eddings took second place in the same category for his coverage of the "beyond neglected" Bay State apartment building in Lawrence. Nicolas took home first prize for her video that accompanied that story, detailing the horrors inside the building that "sheds light on problems many don't see," the judges said.

Eddings, Nicolas and photographer Paul Bilodeau also were jointly awarded second place for their multimedia coverage of the apartment building, which allowed readers not only to understand the depth of the neglect, but to see and hear it for themselves. 

Photographer Tim Jean won first place in general news photography for his "excellent reaction image" featuring Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera.

"I could not be more proud of our journalists who, day in and day out, prove their dedication to covering the Merrimack Valley and North Shore," said David Joyner, executive editor of the North of Boston Media Group. "They prove themselves by crafting memorable stories about local personalities, by covering tragic breaking news, and especially by exposing complex stories that otherwise wouldn’t get told — such as the decisions of the New Hampshire parole board that preceded the murder of Wendi Davidson, or the conditions of the Baystate building in Lawrence. The reporters, photographers, editors and designers working at The Eagle-Tribune and North of Boston Media Group are exceptionally talented, and it’s extremely gratifying to see them so honored."

Tribune Managing Editor Tracey Rauh agreed.

"It's very gratifying to see our staff recognized and rewarded for their excellent work," she said. "From breaking news to photojournalism, enterprising journalism and multimedia, our team has been recognized this year for it all. And to also make a showing in the General Excellence category is an indicator of the quality of work coming out of The Eagle-Tribune newsroom every day."

More prizes received by the Tribune include a second-place finish for reporter Kiera Blessing for her "detailed and heartfelt" coverage of the death of an 11-year-old girl, killed in a hit-and-run crash on Broadway at the Methuen-Lawrence line. Eddings also took third place for his detailed coverage of finance reports in a Lawrence election. 

The Tribune's sister papers in Salem and Gloucester also were recognized. The Salem News took home first-place prizes for its special sports section, as well as for crime and courts reporting and arts and entertainment reporting, awarded to Julie Manganis and Will Broaddus, respectively. That paper also won second place for best special section/advertising supplement and an honorable mention for Mary Markos' health reporting. 

The Gloucester Daily Times won first place for Joann MacKenzie's local personality profile of a bartender's last call, as well as for photographer Desi Smith's spot news photo. 

Both The Readings Magazine and Newburyport Magazine were recognized as exceptional niche publications.