WESTFIELD, NJ — TAPinto Westfield is among the sites in TAPinto’s network to be recognized by the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for its reporting as part of the NJ-SPJ Signature Awards for work done in 2019.

Managing Editor Matt Kadosh was named runner-up in 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.

“As TAPinto Westfield's managing editor, Matt has been doing a terrific job covering the news that’s important to this community,” said TAPinto Westfield Publisher Jackie Lieberman. “It’s really great seeing the Society for Professional Journalists acknowledge that.”

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In giving the second-place award, the judges considered multiple stories including coverage of a lawsuit claiming a New Jersey state trooper was texting moments before a crash that killed a Westfield teenager, a series of stories on local priest sex abuse and second-day coverage following the arrest of a man found with a handgun and hollow point bullets on the grounds of Tamaques Elementary School.

“Journalism is about taking what are sometimes difficult, or even tragic stories, and turning them into information that our readers can use,” Kadosh said. “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.”

Mark Bonamo and Rema Rahman, of TAPinto Newark, earned the top spot in the Barbara Reed Award for best grassroots journalism.

“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,” Rahman said.

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.”

Maureen Berzok, of TAPinto East Brunswick, earned third place for the Stuart and Beverley Awbrey Award that honors “both hard-hitting investigative journalism that is public-spirited and more ‘uplifting’ efforts such as creating care packages for soldiers overseas or helping a handicapped child get an education.”

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

TAPinto Publisher and CEO Michael Shapiro noted that the awards come at a critical time for local news coverage.

“I am proud that NJ-SPJ has recognized our publishers for providing objective, independent, truly local news reporting,” Shapiro said. “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. Mark, Rema, Matt and Maureen have clearly shown how local news coverage strengthens communities.”

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Are you a business interested in reaching our audience? Contact Jackie Lieberman at jlieberman@tapinto.net.