NEWARK, NJ – TAPinto SOMA has won a second-place award for its reporting in 2018 from the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  

Joe Strupp, who formerly wrote for TAPinto SOMA, won the second-place award in the category of Best Grassroots Journalism for his “Video of School Board Member in Altercation with Police at Traffic Stop in South Orange”:  https://www.tapinto.net/towns/soma/articles/video-shows-school-board-member-in-altercation-wi

Strupp also submitted the stories about the former Columbia High School Baseball Coach for consideration in this category.

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Strupp, who is currently working for the Asbury Park Press, said:  “I am honored to be recognized and for an important story that held a public official accountable. Thanks to TAPinto for giving me the space and support for a meaningful story.”

The three additional awards were received by TAPinto Newark reporters. Rebecca Panico received two first place Awards, one for Best Grassroots Journalism and the other for Best Investigative Story by a Hyperlocal Web Site. The links to the variuous stories submitted fir the Grassroots Jounalism are a combination of stories by Panico and Mark J. Bonamo, Editor of TAPinto Newark. in essence, Bonamo and Panico share this award. Panico is full time reporter for TAPinto Newark and the investigative award is based soley on her work. 

Here are the stories submitted in each category:

Best Grassroots Journalism:

1. https://www.tapinto.net/towns/newark/articles/governor-murphy-i-drink-newark-s-water 

2. https://www.tapinto.net/towns/newark/articles/newark-city-council-members-are-mad-they-didn-t-get-front-row-seats-at-sotomayor-event



3. https://www.tapinto.net/towns/newark/articles/5-major-issues-newark-public-schools-inherited-from-state-controlled-leadership

4. https://www.tapinto.net/towns/newark/articles/mcgoverns-summer-renovation-closing-party-celebr

5. https://www.tapinto.net/towns/newark/articles/hip-hop-manager-turned-developer-becomes-part-of

 Best Investigative Story -- weeklies and hyperlocal web sites:

1. https://www.tapinto.net/towns/newark/articles/newark-contracts-with-pr-firm-for-225k-to-help-with-lead-messaging

2. https://www.tapinto.net/towns/newark/articles/those-boarded-up-homes-in-the-west-ward-newark-h

3. https://www.tapinto.net/towns/newark/articles/mystery-developer-gets-ok-to-turn-historic-griffith-building-into-apartments

4. https://www.tapinto.net/towns/newark/articles/5-major-issues-newark-public-schools-inherited-from-state-controlled-leadership

5. https://www.tapinto.net/towns/newark/articles/pharma-company-being-sued-by-newark-gets-40m-in

Thomas E. Franklin was awarded Second Place in the Awbrey Award for his multi-media report which told the story of Daniel Castro, a 28-year old construction worker who had never had an issue with the law during the 15 years he’s been in the United States. Here’s a link to the original story: https://www.tapinto.net/articles/despite-newarks-sanctuary-city-status-undocumen-7.

Franklin is a freelance reporter for TAPinto Newark and a full-time professor of multi-media journalism at Montclair State University. He previously worked as a photojournalist for The Bergen Record. It was Franklin who shot the iconic photo of three New York City firefighters raising an American flag at ground zero in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

His photo was subsequently turned into a US postage stamp. It has been used to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for 9/11 charities.