NORTHPORT, Maine — The Bangor Daily News was presented with 17 first-place awards and a reporter for the paper received a top honor during the Maine Press Association’s annual banquet Saturday evening at the Point Lookout Resort.
Reporter Heather Steeves received the Bob Drake Young Writer Award, presented each year to a journalist with less than two years experience whose work demonstrates ability and great potential. Steeves, a University of Maine graduate, joined the BDN staff in 2010. She covers the midcoast region.
Bangor Daily News Editor-in-Chief Michael J. Dowd, who earlier in the day was named president of the MPA, presented the award to Steeves. He praised Steeves for being “an enthusiastic and energetic reporter” and cited noteworthy stories she produced including one about a Maine Attorney General’s investigation of a former drug enforcement agent. The investigation potentially jeopardized several cases the agent had been involved with because it questioned his credibility.
Steeves, addressing the crowd of approximately 130 journalists and newspaper employees, urged editors to “hire young [reporters]. We’re eager to do this work.”
Bangor Daily News journalists who received first-place awards for their work were:
• Emily Burnham, for her feature story on a paralyzed man helping to build his own handicap-accessible home.
• George Danby, for his editorial cartoon of Governor Paul LePage.
• Elyse Kahl, for her page one design on election day 2010.
• Kevin Miller, for his analysis of reported sightings of mountain lions in Maine.
• Eric Russell, recognized in the Environmental Story category, for his reporting on the status of the landfill in Hampden.
• Pete Warner, for his weekend sports story on the effects of aluminum bats in baseball.
• Eric Zelz, for his infographic on the expansion of natural gas pipelines in the Bangor area.
• The BDN Display Desk took first in news headline writing in the weekend category.
• Former BDN photographer Bridget Brown was honored for her photo illustration of leggings for women.
• Bangor Daily News advertising staff also received first-place awards. They are: Shelley Sund, Nicole Stevens and Kathy Keegan.
• The BDN took firsts in self-promotion and circulation promotion as well.
The Bangor Daily News finished third in the General Excellence category in both the daily and weekend categories. The Portland Press Herald took first in the daily category, followed by the Lewiston Sun Journal. The Sun Journal took first in the weekend category, followed by the Maine Sunday Telegram. The BDN website received second-place honors, behind the Sun Journal.
Reporter Steve Mistler of the Lewiston Sun Journal was named Maine’s Journalist of the Year for his coverage of state government.
Alan Baker, owner and publisher of the Ellsworth American, was presented with a special achievement award for his contributions to Maine journalism. The American earned top honors in General Excellence among weeklies in its size category.
A complete list of MPA awards is expected to be available later this week.
This story was amended to clarify the nature of the story by Heather Steeves cited by Michael J. Dowd during the awards banquet.