The New York Press Club Celebrates its Award Winners

The New York Press Club honored the winners of its 2019 Awards for Journalism at the Water Club on Monday night, June 3.  Winners in 31 categories were selected from over 530 entries submitted by TV, radio, newspapers, websites, magazines, podcasts, and newswires in New York City and around the U.S.

Newsday was the major winner; the Long Island outlet won the 2019 Gold Keyboard Award, the competition’s highest, for “Pathway to Power,” an investigation into the rise of political power broker Gary Melius. Newsday also won the most awards with 12.

Other major award winners were Ari Feldman of The Forward who received the Nellie Bly Cub Reporter Award for “How A Respected Educator Preyed on Children for a Half Century” and winners in four categories for the Rev. Mychal Judge Heart of New York Award: Benjamin Weiser of The New York Times (print); Jim O’Grady, Patricia Willens, Sean Bowditch, Wayne Shulmister, William Moss and Jen Munson of WNYC (radio); Michael Scotto, Brianne Barry, Dan Komarinetz and Joel Siegel of Spectrum News NY1  (TV); and Rebecca Bengal and Chris Mottalini of Curbed (Internet).

NYPC President Jane Tillman Irving and CNN’s Jim Acosta greet Vera Pressman  

New York Press Club President Jane Tillman Irving applauded all the award recipients and added that the high number of entries across all news media platforms attests to the continued good health of journalism despite recent challenges, not the least of which has been physical threats to journalists and attempts to delegitimize the media.

The ‘true enemy of the people’ are those who would restrict us, obfuscate or lie…If we accept restrictions without fighting back, we are complicit in suppressing the news. We then would be just as much an ‘enemy of the people’ as those who accuse us of that crime.  

Gabe Pressman, former president, New York Press Club

CNN’s chief Washington correspondent Jim Acosta received this year’s “Gabe Pressman Truth to Power Award,” which recognizes the club’s late president and friend, who was a staunch supporter of the First Amendment.  Acosta accepted the award by noting that, “As journalists and citizens we must take a stand – not against the President or any other foreign leader – but a stand for the truth.”

Acosta’s debut book, The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America, was released in June by Harper and focuses on his experience covering Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and President Trump’s first two years in office.  As Acosta reminded the gathering at the dinner, “Just because we are pro-truth, does not make us anti-Trump.”

Click here for a list of all 2019 Journalism Award Winners.

Photos | José A. Giralt


Post Script:  The morning after the award dinner, award winner Mary Gregory (Critical Arts Review for  “X x Art,” published in Long Island Pulse Magazine ) sent the following email to NYPC First VP Debra Toppeta. It perfectly captures the camaraderie of the evening. We are printing it with Mary’s permission.

Dear Debra,

Good morning after a stunning evening.  Adel and Marsha and I were so happy to finally say hello in person!

It was an absolute thrill to have won a NYPC J-Award.  But what we took away most from the evening was a deep appreciation and respect for the NY Press Club and its incredibly meaningful work.

We met a courtroom illustrator, podcasters who traveled to the arctic circle and Africa to study climate change, sportscasters, and more.  I doubt anyone in that room wrote, photographed or filmed in order to win a trophy (though it’s a beauty!).  But for everyone there, the camaraderie and support of their colleagues was the real prize.  As Rabbi Potasnik said, there will always be those who are waiting to knock people down, but last night, the NY Press Club so beautifully lifted everyone up.  Knowing that admired colleagues watched, listened or read and then said ‘Bravo’ means more than I can put in words.

Always thanks for all you do and always all our best,