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March 25, 2024

WBJ wins eight New England newspaper awards

Two brick buildings side by side in Worcester's Main South neighborhood  Photo | Christine Peterson The Main South neighborhood was included in the worst-ranked section in the 1936 redlined map of Worcester, and the area has remained in a cycle of poverty and lack of investment ever since. A series produced by WBJ in collaboration with the Worcester Regional Research Bureau examining the subject of redlining in Worcester won first place in the Excellence in Newsroom Collaboration and Partnership category at the 2023 NENPA New England Better Newspaper Competition on Saturday.

Highlighted by its collaboration with the Worcester Regional Research Bureau on the legacy of redlining in the city, Worcester Business Journal took home eight awards at New England Newspaper & Press Association’s 2023 New England Better Newspaper Competition on Saturday.

The publication was recognized with four first place awards, two second place awards, and two third places awards for its coverage of diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as its reporting on the Polar Park baseball stadium and challenges facing small businesses.

“Day in and day out, WBJ’s team of journalists puts out amazing work, highlighting the goings-on of the Central Massachusetts economy,” said Editor Brad Kane. “Being honored by an organization like NENPA is a wonderful recognition of these efforts and reflects WBJ’s commitment to the highest standards of journalism.”

WBJ won first place in the Excellence in Newsroom Collaboration and Partnerships category for its “Redlining: An Economic Legacy” series, developed in partnership with the Worcester Regional Research Bureau, detailing the lasting impact of Worcester’s racially motivated redlining dating back to 1936. 

Former staff writer and current WBJ Account Manager Timothy Doyle won first place in the Social Issues Feature Story category for his “Power through community” article on the Main South Business Association’s work to create community and advocate for small businesses.  

Former Staff Writer Kevin Koczwara won first place in the Government Reporting category for his “Paying Polar Park’s debt” article documenting how public property sales continued to make up for low tax collections when it came to the City’s annual payments for Polark Park. 

Former WBJ staff writer Isabel Tehan won two awards. She placed first in the Health Reporting category for her feature story “Bankrupting the system” on how the high cost of travel nurses post-COVID places a dire financial strain on hospitals. Tehan also took home a third place award in the Social Issues Feature Story category for her “The final drop” story on the underrepresentation of female college presidents in Central Massachusetts. 

Renee Diaz, WBJ columnist and owner of Worcester bakery The Queen’s Cups won second place in the Serious Columnist category for her The Hustle is Real column chronicling the hurdles of owning a small business.

Former WBJ Editorial Intern Sadie Leite won second place in Arts & Entertainment Reporting for her coverage of the restructuring of Worcester Walls, formerly referred to as POW! WOW! Worcester.

WBJ Art Director Mitchell Hayes was awarded third place in the Overall Design and Presentation of a Specialty Publication category for his 2022 40 Under Forty layout.

WBJ's sister publication Mainebiz, which is owned by parent company New England Business Media, won four awards in the competition. Mainebiz Senior Writer Renee Cordes won in the Racial, Ethnic or Gender Issue Coverage category for her story "Forces of nature" about women farmers in Maine. Art Director Matthew Selva won three design awards, including for an illustrated cover of Mainebiz, where he used artificial intelligence to develop the main image.

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