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Examiner Publisher Wins High Honors from Pair of Journalism Groups

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Examiner Publisher Adam Stone won honors in six categories at last week’s New York Press Association (NYPA) Better Newspaper Contest, including first place for best Freedom of Information journalism project and third place in the Writer of the Year category.

Separately, last week the Silurians Press Club announced that Stone won a Certificate of Merit in the Health and Science Reporting category of its 2024 Excellence in Journalism competition for his columns about CareMount/Optum/UnitedHealth and corporate healthcare, awarding a series anchored by a piece headlined “Your Care Has Been Outsourced.”

The Silurians Press Club is a New York City-based organization dedicated to journalistic excellence and integrity, founded in 1924.

In the NYPA contest, judges commended an in-depth Stone’s Throw reporting-based column about a Katonah resident who was barred as a patient from the medical group after suffering a stillbirth and demanding her medical records.

“Fantastic investigative reporting,” the judges stated for the Writer of the Year award. “The writer takes a deep, inside look at a tragic story of a local woman stonewalled by a local corporate giant.”

Entries were judged by members of the Tennessee Press Association, and only included work published in 2023.

The Examiner also won first place in the Best Video category for footage accompanying Stone’s column about the patient. Former Examiner guest contributor Art Nelson shot the footage.

“Touches the viewer’s heart,” the judges stated of the video. “Excellent camera work. Both interesting and informative.”

In the Freedom of Information category, designed to honor the best journalism using the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), judges highlighted the long-term commitment required for public records reporting.

“This was a fascinating series about how public records requests might take some time to get, but they yield a treasure trove of information in this case invaluable to patients caught up in a healthcare company’s questionable billing practices,” the judges said of the CareMount/Optum/UnitedHealth pieces that used FOIL to help illustrate longtime patient allegations. “It changed the conversation on this type of behavior. The stories revealed by the records shed light on a terrible situation.”

For the Community Leadership category, the judges cited the importance of Stone’s dogged reporting in awarding the second-place prize for his corporate healthcare coverage.

“The writer is a pitbull on steroids,” they wrote.

Similarly, judges referenced persistence when awarding third place to The Examiner in the Best Solutions Journalism Project for Stone’s coverage of ACCES-VR, a problematic program that is run through the state Education Department and designed to help New Yorkers with disabilities gain employment and develop careers.

Michelle Rea
Examiner Publisher Adam Stone with New York Press Association Executive Director Michelle Rea at last weekend’s New York Press Association conference in Saratoga Springs.

“When this guy digs in, watch out,” the judges wrote, also quipping, “I bet the bureaucrats have to keep an extra pair of clean underwear at the office when his paper hits.”

The Examiner secured an honorary mention in the Best News or Feature Series category: Stone’s multipart packages on local environmental issues, policies impacting people with disabilities, corporate healthcare, near-death experiences, and reporting on Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) were all submitted for the category.

Last year Stone and Examiner Media won in the NYPA contest for best editorials, column writing, and newsletter coverage.

A Putnam County newspaper, The Highlands Current, shared Newspaper of the Year honors for the second straight year with The Times Union, an Albany-based daily news organization.

Other big winners included the East Hampton Press, Dan’s Papers, and Herald Community Newspapers, all longtime Long Island institutions.

The annual spring conference was held on Apr. 26 and 27 at the Gideon Putnam hotel in Saratoga Springs.

Founded in 1853, NYPA has held the annual Better Newspaper Contest since 1930.

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