In 2012 Clarion was named as the best labor union newspaper in New York City and best NYSUT local newspaper in its circulation class. These awards were among several top prizes the PSC newspaper won at the local, state and national levels for excellence in reporting, opinion writing, and graphic design.
“PSC members have high expectations for their union newspaper,” said Clarion editor Peter Hogness, “and we do our best to meet them.”
The PSC website was also named as the best among the largest locals in NYSUT.
Here in New York City, Clarion won first place for General Excellence among the largest unions in NYC from the Metro New York Labor Communications Council.
Describing Clarion as “solid in every way,” the judges commended the PSC paper as “lovely to look at” and “well-organized” and having “writing [that] is excellent and geared to the union membership.”
The breadth of Clarion’s coverage also made a strong impression. “We like the show of solidarity with other unions,” the judges concluded, “the inclusion of some international news, the extensive coverage on adjunct health care, the spread on PSC members taking union action. And so nice to see poetry!”
Metro Labor awarded first places for Best Reporting to Clarion Associate Editor John Tarleton for his “particularly compelling” on-the-ground coverage of the role University of Wisconsin teaching assistants played in the February 2011 occupation of the Wisconsin State Capitol by labor union members and their allies.
The takeover came in response to Gov. Scott Walker’s surprise move to gut the collective bargaining rights of public-sector employees. Tarleton also won first place for Best Reporting from Metro Labor New York last year.
Metro Labor’s first place for Best Editorial went to Sunshine Ludder and Chloe Tribich for an article that debunked the myth that wealthy residents would flee New York if Albany increased their marginal tax rates in order to help address the deficit crisis caused by the 2008 Wall Street crash and the subsequent downturn in the economy.
Calling the article “timely and counterintuitive,” the judges saluted Ludder and Tribich for us[ing] unexpected facts to support a strong conclusion, as a good editorial should.
In addition to winning a first-place award for Best Publication from New York State United Teachers, Clarion also won three other first prizes from NYSUT, the PSC’s state affiliate.
Michelle Fine, a distinguished professor of social psychology at the Graduate Center, won first place for Best Opinion Writing for a bold, uncompromising essay proclaiming the importance of the public sector to the life of a vibrant, democratic society. The piece was based on the text of Fine’s May 2011 commencement address at the Graduate Center and then adapted for use in Clarion.
Clarion’s designer, Margarita Aguilar, won NYSUT’s first place award for Best Design. And the PSC’s revamped website was also recognized by NYSUT with a first place award for Best Website, to longtime PSC webmaster Bill Friedheim.
Clarion’s prize-winning ways in New York carried over to the annual nationwide competition sponsored by the Washington D.C.-based International Labor Communications Association. Competing against union local newspapers from across the country, Aguilar won first place for Best Design while Tarleton took first place for Best News Story for his Wisconsin coverage.