The Cleveland Jewish News was named best non-daily community newspaper in Ohio, and its website, cjn.org, was selected as best website in Ohio for the second consecutive year in the Press Club of Cleveland’s 2019 All Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards. The CJN has been named the best non-daily community newspaper in Ohio in 2019, 2018, 2016 and 2015 and was runner-up in 2017.
Those top honors were among the 19 awards – 10 of which earned first-place accolades – the CJN earned from the Press Club in 2019. The awards were announced during a June 7 ceremony at the House of Blues in downtown Cleveland.
“It is truly humbling for our team to have our individual and collaborative works recognized in this fashion by our esteemed colleagues across the journalism world,” said Kevin S. Adelstein, publisher and CEO of the CJN and president of the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company.
“While we celebrate the individual achievement of those recognized, we know that it takes a village to maintain and grow each of our products. Our entire staff has its hands in everything we do. These awards are a testament to the professional and gifted team we’ve assembled and their commitment, drive and passion toward fulfilling our mission to our community, each and every day.”
In being named best non-daily community newspaper, judges said the CJN had “solid coverage with a balance of news, features, columns and lifestyle content all packaged with clean layout. Excellent work.”
In being recognized for having the best website, judges comments described an “exciting layout and easy navigation. The website allows for a nice overview along with being easy to drill down when necessary.”
The CJN placed first in the Digital Media – Newspaper Website category for cjn.org. “This site was more colorful, the photos were livelier and larger and the organization was neat,” judges remarked.
For the third consecutive year, the CJN placed first in the Non-Daily Newspapers – Section category for its local news coverage. Judges observed the CJN has a “good mix of features and local news.”
The CJN’s coverage of the tragedy at Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh earned it three first-place awards.
The CJN staff received first place in the Non-Daily Newspapers – Breaking News category for its coverage of “Pittsburgh #StrongerThanHate.” Judges said the coverage was “sensitive, timely, and comprehensive coverage of a tragedy that affected Jewish communities around the country.” CJN also earned top honors for Best Use of Multimedia category for “Pittsburgh #StrongerThanHate.”
The CJN won the Digital Media – Breaking News Single Story category for “Security quickly increased at area synagogues,” which appeared on cjn.org within hours of the Pittsburgh tragedy. “Covering extraordinary news events requires more than just great reporting – there are logistical problems to be managed as well. The Cleveland Jewish News handled both challenges with aplomb in covering the local reaction to the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue. An excellent example of breaking news coverage,” judges said in noting the sensitivity of covering issues on Shabbat.
CJPC Lifestyle Editor Michael C. Butz captured five awards, including three first-place honors.
He earned first place in the Reviews/Criticism – Single Article category, an open category that includes reviews for movies, restaurants, television, books, music and arts, for “Call to Action: HEDGE Gallery’s ‘Don’t Be Still,’ which was written for Canvas magazine. Judges said, “Enjoyed reading this very much. Review made me want to immediately visit this exhibit. Well done.”
Butz won first place in the General Circulation Magazines – Features: General category for “Sandwich tzedakah,” which appeared in Jstyle magazine. Judges’ comments: “Very touching story, excellent storytelling and writing.”
He also received first place for Photography – All Others: Studio Photography category for an image that appeared in “Cookie Dough Craving,” which appeared in Jstyle.
He took second place in the General Circulation Magazines – Features: Art category for “Change Agents,” which was published in Canvas. Judges said, “Good survey of a wide range of artists, capturing a current snapshot of their careers.”
Butz placed third in the General Circulation Magazines – Food category for “Twist on tradition,” which appeared in Jstyle.
Amanda Koehn, former staff reporter and now Columbus Bureau Chief, received second place in the Non-Daily Newspapers – Features: General category for “Cleveland conversion connection.” Judges remarked, “I really liked this article. I think it needed a few more quotes to underline what a process it is.”
She also placed second in the General Circulation Magazines – Features: General category for “Repairing (literally) the world,” which was published in Jstyle.
Managing Editor Bob Jacob earned second place in the Digital Media – Breaking News Single Story category for “Robert ‘Mendy’ Klein recalled as a ‘giant’ in philanthropy world.”
He also took third place in the Best in Ohio – Headline Writing category for the following headlines: “Couple catches curling club camaraderie,” “Finally, Chief Wahoo is out at the old ballgame,” “Menorah lit at Nationwide Arena before Flames extinguish Blue Jackets,” “Seasons come and Seasons go” and “Weight! Judaism can help you shed unwanted pounds.”
Staff Reporter Alyssa Schmitt was third in the Non-Daily Newspapers – Features: Personality Profile category for her profile of retiring Jewish Federation of Cleveland President Stephen H. Hoffman, “Hoffman set to pass the torch as Federation president.” Judges said "the article captured Mr. Hoffman’s legacy to his community very well.”
Arts and culture columnist Bob Abelman placed second in the Reviews/Criticism – Single Article category for “CPH leads with expressionistic, heavyweight drama ‘The Royale.’”
He placed third in Best in Ohio: Reviews/Criticisms for “CPH leads with expressionistic, heavyweight drama ‘The Royale,” “Dietz’s road-not-taken tale, ‘Bloomsday,’ given a delightful turn at none too fragile, "Dobama’s ‘Ella Enchanted’ brims with bibbidi-bobbidi-boo,” “Great Lakes Theater treats Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ with austerity” and “Touring ‘Aladdin’ is the catnip of screen-to-stage Disney musicals.”
In the Best in Ohio categories and the digital media categories, the CJN competed against all daily, non-daily and alternative newspapers and trade, business and general circulation magazines.
More than 841 entries were received from journalists in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo and other cities around the state. Press clubs from Florida; Idaho; Los Angeles; Milwaukee; New Orleans; Orange County, Calif.; San Diego; San Francisco; southeast Texas; Syracuse, N.Y.; and western Pennsylvania judged the entries in the 41st annual contest.
Read the winning entries here
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