For the third year in a row, Montclair Local has garnered the New Jersey Press Association’s General Excellence award, celebrating dozens of pieces that earned praise from contest judges.

The paper’s 34 awards (not including General Excellence) span many categories — for multimedia elements; online breaking news; coronavirus coverage; packaging the news; reporting, writing and illustration in multiple categories; responsible journalism in multiple categories, sports content and layout; and feature and portrait photos. The General Excellence Award winner is selected based on a tally of points assigned for the other awards. 

In 2020, Montclair Local won 24 NJPA awards for its 2019 coverage.

Competing against weekly papers from throughout the state, judges commended Montclair Local for its “balanced, unbiased reporting that provides a voice to the community.

“The newspaper staff does an excellent job of originally reporting the story and following up with coverage of related events.”

On Montclair Local’s coverage of the township being the test case for mail-in balloting in the May election, one judge wrote: “Comprehensive and easily understood sequence of events, serving the public’s need to understand the issue. As we saw later this past year, there is no limit to the detail that must be provided when voting is involved.”

On Montclair Local’s coverage of rent control, another judge wrote:

“Strong reporting on a complex issue and the government process that can add to confusion — but did not, in this series of stories.”

Montclair Local launched in March 2017 and became a member of NJPA — an organization comprising nearly 200 newspapers and dozens of digital news websites throughout the state — in 2018. The news organization has transferred all operations into a nonprofit effective January of this year. 

Of Montclair Local’s 34 awards, 11 were for first place in their categories, eight were for second place and 15 were for third place. In many cases, Montclair Local placed more than once in a single category.

Award-winning submissions were as follows:

First place

  • Packaging the News, General Typography & Layout of the Entire Paper: Feb. 20 and June 25 editions — Staff
  • Packaging the News, Special Section: Holiday Happenings — Jaimie Julia Winters, Andrea Bondy 

Second Place

Third Place