The New Jersey Chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists has recognized three TAPinto publishers for their reporting as a part of their annual NJ-SPJ Signature Awards.    

"I am proud that NJ-SPJ has recognized our publishers for providing objective, independent, truly local news reporting," said TAPinto Publisher and CEO Michael Shapiro.  "As news outlets pull back on local news coverage, or in some cases have folded entirely, high-quality local news coverage has never been more critical," Shapiro continued.  "Mark, Rema, Matt and Maureen have clearly shown how local news coverage strengthens communities."    

Mark Bonamo and Rema Rahman of TAPinto Newark won the Barbara Reed Award for best grassroots journalism. The award recognizes the print weekly or local website that does the best, most comprehensive job covering the community which it serves.  Matt Kadosh of TAPinto Westfield earned runner up in the same category.  

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Rahman commented, "There's so much going on in Newark, from efforts to solve the homelessness crisis to providing context and information to our readers on what government agencies are doing and how it impacts them."  Bonamo added, "Local journalism matters.  People need to know what's going on in their communities. We're proud to have been honored with the Barbara Reed Award for our reporting."

Kadosh said of being chosen as runner up in this category, "Journalism is about taking what are sometimes difficult, or even tragic stories, and turning them into information that our readers can use.  Whether that's holding local government accountable, or raising awareness of a serious issue, we're glad to be able to provide this service to our community and to be recognized for it."

Maureen Berzok earned third place for the Stuart and Beverley Awbrey Award that honors "both hard-hitting investigative journalism that is public-spirited as well as more 'uplifting' efforts such as creating care packages for soldiers overseas or helping a handicapped child get an education."

Berzok stated, "There are tough stories that need to be told, but there are also stories that highlight the strength and diversity of our communities.  It's gratifying to have been honored for our work at TAPinto East Brunswick."

Al Sullivan, former veteran reporter for the Hudson Reporter, also won two awards.  Sullivan now writes for TAPinto Bayonne, TAPinto Hoboken and TAPinto Jersey City.