Blank Slate Media wins 11 Press Club of Long Island awards

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Editor and publisher Steve Blank poses for a photo with Matt Bodkin, who won third place for best editorial cartoon. (Photo courtesy of Steve Blank)
Editor and publisher Steve Blank poses for a photo with Matt Bodkin, who won third place for best editorial cartoon. (Photo courtesy of Steve Blank)

Blank Slate Media took home 11 awards from the Press Club of Long Island for news, features, headline writing and commentary at the group’s annual gala at the Woodbury Country Club on Thursday.

Blank Slate Media, which publishes six weekly newspapers covering the North Shore, won first place in the categories of editorial/commentary and website home page design, second place for nonlocal news/feature and best headline and secured third place in the government and politics, breaking news, editorial/commentary, humor column, editorial cartoon, nonlocal news/feature and best headline categories.

“I think that as the editor I couldn’t be more pleased to see us win in such a broad swatch of categories and in categories that are very indicative of the overall quality of a newspaper,” Steve Blank, the editor and publisher of Blank Slate Media, said in an interview.

This year’s awardees were a mix of newcomers and alumni, with former Assistant Managing Editor Noah Manskar taking home four awards while current columnists and reporters took home seven awards.

“It was good to see staff members who have left and people who have come on to replace them do well,” Blank said. “So I think it speaks well for us on an ongoing basis.”

Blank Slate Media won first and third place in the editorial/commentary category. Paul Glader won first place for his column “Show More Long Island Vision for Pedestrian Safety,” while Blank won third place for “Bringing politics to a gang fight.”

Amelia Camurati, a reporter for the Manhasset Times and the Roslyn Times, won third place for “9/11 Bond Stays Strong,” which told the story of Port Washington resident and firefighter Tom Rice serving as a father figure to a boy from Nebraska.

Manskar won second place for best nonlocal news/feature about a New Hyde Park author reuniting with the teacher who inspired him, as well as second best headline for “Band stops playing at Eleanor Rigby’s.”

Manskar won third place for government/politics coverage with his report investigating the power Gerard Terry, a former Democratic Party chairman, once held in the Town of North Hempstead before being tried for tax fraud and evasion.

He also won third place for “Applause and then a resignation call,” which reported on county Republicans calling for the resignation of embattled County Executive Edward Mangano mere hours after applauding the state of the county.

Blank won third place for crafting the “Applause and then a resignation call” headline.

Judy Epstein holds up her award for excellence in humor column writing. (Photo courtesy of Judy Epstein)
Judy Epstein holds up her award for excellence in humor column writing. (Photo courtesy of Judy Epstein)

Matt Bodkin won third place for his editorial cartoon “Working in Nassau County…” while Judi Epstein, who writes “A look on the lighter side” each week, won third place in humor for “Watch out for that real estate column.”

The Press Club of Long Island awards follow Blank Slate Media winning eight awards at the New York Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in April in categories like editorial pages, ads, special sections and reporting.

At last year’s Press Club of Long Island gala, Blank Slate Media took home seven awards, including in editorial/commentary, humor, breaking news and features. Three members of the Blank Slate Media family also took home honors that year.

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