Newsday’s five-day 2015 series on “zombie houses” — thousands of abandoned homes in foreclosure limbo that become eyesores and community dangers — has won the Press Club of Long Island’s Robert W. Greene Public Service Award.
The organization has also inducted into its Hall of Fame former Newsday associate editor and Pulitzer Prize winner Les Payne, and other Long Island journalism staples: Associated Press reporter Frank Eltman, Long Island native Marie Colvin, a war correspondent who was killed covering the conflict in Syria in 2012 and Vicky Penner Katz, a former PCLI president who taught and practiced journalism and public relations.
“These select award winners are outstanding examples of the great journalism being done on Long Island,” said PCLI president Chris R. Vaccaro, in a news release announcing the winners. “The press club board and I look forward to celebrating the success of these hardworking individuals in June.”
The winners of the special media awards were selected by the PCLI board of directors and the winners of other categories were selected by outside judges. PCLI will present these awards and prizes honoring articles and multimedia packages deemed the best of 2015 at its annual Long Island Media Awards dinner at Woodbury Country Club on June 2.
Other recipients include: Briana Smith, a senior at Hofstra University, who won the college journalism scholarship award, and Katie Blasl, a reporter for RiverheadLOCAL, won the James Murphy Cub Reporter of the Year.
The Delphian at Adelphi University clinched best collegiate newspaper and The Great Neck News won best community weekly newspaper, while the best high school newspaper title was given to The Elmont Phoenix of Elmont High School and The Harbor View of Cold Spring Harbor High School.
Tim Bolger, managing editor of Long Island Press, receives the Phil Spahn Memorial Award, a prize awarded to a PCLI member “who has demonstrated leadership, ability and outstanding service to journalism, PCLI and the community,” the organization said.