PCLI Awards 2017: Fire Island News Wins “Best Front Page” 2nd Place

By Timothy Bolger & Shoshanna McCollumALONGSIDE NEARLY 50 PUBLICATIONS in the Long Island region, Fire Island News was bestowed a Press Club Long Island 2017 Media Award at the Woodbury Country Club at a ceremony held on Wednesday, June 7.Our Visual Design Director, Pamela Gurman, and photographer, Rachelle King, share Second Place for “Farewell to Summer” in the Best Front Page, Visual category. They competed against fellow finalists Barbara Barnett of Long Island Weekly for “Oscar Buzz,” and the staff at Fire News (a publication for firefighters) for “Massive House Blaze Jumps Canal” winning First and Third Place respectively. Ms. Gurman is president of the design firm Fat Cat Graphics, Inc. of Center Moriches, NY. Ms. King is an art teacher in the New York City public school system, who earned her photography degree at Hampshire College.How the award-winning
front cover came to be was
both serendipitous, and a regular evening in the news room.
It was the ninth and final issue
of the 2016 summer season,
dated Sept. 2. While Rachelle
is not employed with the paper, she regularly submits images to our Day in the Life of Fire Island reader contributor photograph section. Much of that particular issue was preplanned to coincide with Founder’s Day, a highlight of the National Park Service Centennial celebrations. When Rachelle wrote to us seeking to send some images for the last issue, this editor sent her the following reply:“Sadly, due to deadline restrictions, I had to prepare parts of the last issue in advance – including the reader contribution page – but what has not yet been chosen for the final issue is the cover. If you wish to send larger resolution images, we will gladly consider them.”Later that publication cycle we were sorting through potential cover candidates, and kept coming back to a sunrise image in soft blue and yellow tones, with the shoreline bisecting the composition in half – it was one of the photographs submitted by Rachelle in response to that email. In translucent block typeface, Pam superimposed the simple phrase the editorial team had come to agreement on making the concept complete. By the end of the night, we all knew that cover was very special. Clearly the judges for the Media Awards competition agreed.Additionally Fire Island News Reporters Timothy Bolger and Jaime Franchi both won multiple PCLI Media Awards on Wednesday night for their work with Long Island Press.
As a PCLI Officer as well as Editor-in-Chief of Long Island Press, Mr. Bolger’s accolades for the evening included a PCLI Exemplary Service Award for his assistance in preparing the comprehensive Long Island Open Records Report Card; First Place for Crime & Justice Narrative the Long Island Serial Killer Investigative Series; and Third Place In-Depth Report Narrative for “Inside Look at How Skelos Trial Exposed Slimy Side of NY Politics.”Ms. Franchi won First Place in the Education Narrative for her coverage of the Common Core Program; Second Place, Sports Feature Narrative for “The Battle of the Selden Hills Warriors & the Seven Beasts” and Second Place again in the Entertainment Narrative Category for “Real Life ‘Stranger Things’ DiCaprio & Agdal in Hamptons Fender-Bender; Rock Star Jim Breuer Destroys Mulcahy’s.”Fire Island News is certainly fortunate to have such talent on our team!Press Club of Long Island is among the largest professional chapters of the Society of Profession al Journalists in the country. Its mission includes protecting and advocating for First Amendment rights, furthering ethical standards, and offering ongoing training opportunities.