Clarion garnered several national and local journalism awards this year for excellence in reporting, commentary, design, illustration and overall performance.
“Clarion always strives to be the best paper it can be for PSC members,” said the paper’s editor, Peter Hogness. “It’s good to see that work recognized by our peers.”
Among All Locals
In awards from the International Labor Communications Association (ILCA), which encompasses both national and local union publications across the US, Clarion won first place for Best News Story and Best Design among all local union newspapers. The paper received other honors from ILCA as well, including for three categories in which the paper placed second.
First place for Best News Story was shared by Associate Editor John Tarleton and Editor Peter Hogness for coverage of faculty concerns about management retaliation against faculty members at CUNY’s New Community College, now named Guttman Community College.
Design and Analysis
First place for Best Design went to Clarion designer Margarita Aguilar. ILCA also selected Hogness and writer Jake Blumgart for second place in the category of Best Analysis for their coverage of the relationship between Reed Elsevier, one of the world’s largest academic publishers, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) – a corporate-funded group that promotes right-wing legislation in the states, including bills that restrict teaching about climate change.
PSC President Barbara Bowen took ILCA’s second place for Best Editorial or Column in a local union paper for her article explaining the connection between Pathways and the politics of austerity in education. Artist Gregory Nemec also won a second-place award for an illustration on corporate raiding of private-sector pension funds.
Clarion’s design was also recognized by the Metro NY Labor Communications Council, or Metro, which presented its awards at its annual convention in June, held at CUNY’s Murphy Institute for Labor Studies. Aguilar won first place for Best Graphic Design, with contest judges describing the paper as “clean, crisp, and sophisticated in design.”
A Clarion photo won Metro’s first place for Best Photograph, with a picture by photographer Dave Sanders of Brooklyn College professor Samir Chopra. Chopra is author of a recent book on the legal status of robots and how it may evolve in the 21st century. In the photo, he holds his iPad in front of his face while the screen is filled with a live image of him via the back camera. It’s an “eye-catching and playful” image, commented the judges. “The portrait is warm and very human, which forces the viewer to think about that relationship” between man and machine.
Hogness and Blumgart’s article on Elsevier and ALEC took Metro’s second-place award for Best Reporting while Jud Guitteau received second prize for Best Artwork, with an illustration about the continuing importance of affirmative action. “This illustration takes the complex and controversial idea of affirmative action and explains it with a simple but effective graphic concept,” the judges wrote. “That is the essence of good editorial illustration.”
Noting Clarion’s “extensive cover[age]” of the Pathways battle “from a wide variety of different angles,” the judges praised the overall quality of the PSC paper’s work. “Substantive articles,” they wrote, “distinguish this newspaper, which communicates a seriousness of purpose and a conservative use of member dollars with its simple production values.”