Blank Slate Media was recently recognized with five placements at the New York Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest, with a third-place honor, three second-place honors, and one first-place honor.
Publisher and editor Steven Blank won first place in the Best Editorials category, with judges for the contest calling his editorials on reassessment and school mascots “the strongest of the contest, with sharp, reasoned commentary on intensely local issues.”
“In a number of cases, [these topics] have a broader implication for people,” Blank said in an interview. “Issues of assessment, and fairness, is maybe the most heated debate that has taken place over the last number of years. And I think that the issue of the mascots has become such an important issue over the past few years as well. It’s the intersection of race and history, and that I think people are taking a second and third and fourth look to better understand the implications of the things that we do.”
The win was Blank’s first in the category in the contest. Previously he was honored by the Press Club of Long Island.
Layout editor Yvonne Farley, who has served at Blank Slate since 2016, earned second place in the Best House Ad Campaign and Best Small Space Ad categories, as well as third place in the Best Large Space Ad categories. Farley’s work was praised for standout images and eye-catching visuals.
“I count it a privilege whenever I get the chance to use my creativity to boost a customer’s ad campaign,” Farley said in an interview. “Winning an award for doing so is an added bonus. Special thanks to NYPA for the recognition and congratulations to all of the winners.”
Fellow layout editor Lorens Morris-Rawlings, a five-year veteran of the company, received second place in the contest’s Best E-Mail Marketing category, receiving praise for color and eye appeal.
“We were planning a move of our offices, but COVID really dominated,” Blank said. “So I was very proud that we won in areas of assisting our advertisers through our use of the email through our advertising. The fact that we’re doing a quality job, that we’re offering both quality in the advertising and the marketing end of our business, as well as the editorial side of the business, as well as the the reporting and in the opinions section.”