The Brooklyn Paper won two more awards this week — this time new honors for our already-award-winning Web site, BrooklynPaper.com.
The Suburban Newspapers of America, a nationwide trade group, just awarded us the title of “Best Local Community Web site” in the intensely competitive category of non-daily newspapers with a circulation under 100,000.
The same group also gave our Web site first prize for “Best Site Architecture and Overall design.”
The awards follow what many readers are already discovering: BrooklynPaper.com is the best Web site in town. Thanks to lively features, such as our hard-news stories on development, our intensely local neighborhood news, our arts and entertainment coverage, our interactive and searchable calendar and nightlife sections, our peerless dining listings, columns such as Smartmom, Dooley Noted and the Brooklyn Angle, and even our regular podcasts and video segments, we’re now routinely hitting 650,000 page views per month.
Publisher Emeritus Ed Weintrob, who sold The Brooklyn Paper to News Corporation in March, took particular pride in the award.
“The achievement of building BrooklynPaper.com from the ground up is an extraordinary one,” he told the staff in an impromptu, Champagne-fueled celebration in The Brooklyn Paper’s Downtown newsroom last Thursday. “You have created something that multi-layered staffs, teams of consultants, and outside vendors haven’t.”
Weintrob also praised the BrooklynPaper.com production team — Senior Editor Vince DiMiceli, webmaster Sylvan Migdal and Art Director Leah Mitch — for keeping the spirit of the 31-year-old print product, The Brooklyn Paper, while also showing a way forward for the entire newspaper industry.
“We certainly are contributing to the current debate over the future of newspapers,” he said. “Our formula is a model: Do it. Fix it. Fix it again. Stay ahead of the competition, which is everywhere. And do it always with determination and integrity.”
Judges in the best Web site category said BrooklynPaper.com provided “the most comprehensive offering of multi-media, interactive and innovative features” that “engage the audience and provide hyper-local news.” They also praised our Brooklyn Wire — our all-Brooklyn, all-the-time Web aggregation feature — for putting a wealth of “relevant and interesting” information at our Web readers’ fingertips.
In the Web site design category, the judges said that our “simple design, clean features and colorful content prove that even America’s largest city is still a collection of small communities. [This site] shows that hyper-local works even in big cities.”
James Spielman, vice president of marketing and operations for the Community Newspaper Group, which now includes The Brooklyn Paper and sister publications in Brooklyn and Queens, said the latest awards live up to the CNG slogan, “Your neighborhood, your news.”
“I’m very proud of what our Web team has been able to accomplish,” Spielman said. “The judges’ comment about providing ‘hyper-local news’ is a testament to the success of our overall strategy of providing the best local neighborhood coverage.”
Editor Gersh Kuntzman was his usual subdued self.
“It’s customary for me to take credit and issue a self-congratulatory statement about how I will soon be enjoying a nice steak on the publisher, but these awards actually reflect solely the work of Vince, Sylvan and Leah,” Kuntzman said. “I had nothing to do with their genius, except, perhaps, a minor role in saying, ‘Good job, guys’ every few days.”
The Suburban Newspapers of America, which represents nearly 2,400 daily and weekly newspapers in both urban and suburban markets, has certainly honored us before. Earlier this year, we won five editorial and design awards from the group. And in 2007, the SNA named us “Newspaper of the Year.”