Newsday reporter Rick Brand, who has exposed politics, delusions and irony in government for 34 years, was honored Thursday as the 2012 Outstanding Long Island Journalist by the Press Club of Long Island.
"What this says to me is that the Long Island Press Club recognizes the value of strong beat reporting," Brand said. "Strong beat reporting is the bricks and mortar of any strong news organization."
But even though he wrote about public officials' foibles and scandals, they never stopped calling with the latest gossip.
"Readers know that a Rick Brand byline means they're getting a story based on deep and broad understanding of the Long Island political scene," said Deborah Henley, editor of Newsday. "And political insiders know that Rick gets the real story."
The award recognized his accomplishments throughout his career.
Brand was among the journalists feted during the club's 2012 award ceremony Thursday night at the Woodbury Country Club.
Newsday collected 22 awards, including 10 first-place prizes in the dailies category:
Deadline news, "Friendly Fire," Newsday staff
Non-deadline news, "Fat Cats: Hempstead Animal Shelter," Will Van Sant
Non-local news features, "Child of War: Hope on LI," Martin C. Evans
Feature/Lifestyle, "9/11 Family Keepsakes," Newsday staff
Arts coverage, "Just the Way He Is," Glenn Gamboa
Environment/Science/Health /Technology, "Health Columns," Delthia Ricks
Business/Economic/Financial Reporting, "Why We Pay and Pay," Tom Incantalupo, Ted Phillips
Editorial commentary, "Chasing Mental Illness -- and Feeling Helpless," Anne Michaud
General Interest Humor Column, "The Cash Before the Storm," Paula Ganzi Licata
Photography/News Features, "Candlelight Vigil for Car Crash Victim in East Quogue," Thomas Ferrara
Newsday's website garnered 11 prizes, including six first-place awards in the online category:
Best news blog, LI Now, staff of Newsday and newsday.com
Business/Economic/Financial Reporting, "Voters Reject New Coliseum Plan," newsday.com staff
Editorial commentary, "Balancing Act: Get the U.S. Out of the Red," newsday.com staff
Photography, "Iraqi 4-year-old Boy on LI for Facial Surgery," J. Conrad Williams Jr., Jamshid Mousavinezhad
Video, "Marisa: A Little Girl's Fight To Live," Alejandra Villa, Arnold Miller
Multimedia project, "9/11 Anniversary A Decade Later," staff of Newsday, newsday.com
Breaking news, "Erin Colton vs. Hurricane Irene," Erin Colton, Charles Malicki, Alain Tingue
Feature/Lifestyle, "Fighting Spirit," Virginia Huie, David Garden
Environment/Science/Health/Technology, "Ride for Life," Elizabeth Hashagen, Brian Jingeleski
Business/Economic/Financial Reporting, "Hidden Treasures," Antoinette Biordi, David Rahner
Sports, "Sled Hockey," Christine Insinga, Brian Jingeleski
MSG Varsity won three awards, including one first-place prize:
Sports, stories of North Shore women's basketball coach, James Crepea
With James T. Madore