WESTFIELD, NJ — TAPinto Westfield is a finalist in three categories for the Local Independent Online News Publisher’s inaugural awards, including for medium sized Publisher of the Year.

The hyperlocal news website is among 45 publishers across the nation named as finalists by LION Publishers, a group whose mission is to foster the viability and excellence of locally focused independent online news organizations. The awards measured editorial work, business initiatives and technological advances made between July 1, 2018 and July 1, 2019.

In addition to being named a finalist for Publisher of the Year, TAPinto Westfield earned nods in the categories of Investigative Report of the Year for its coverage of a police widow’s fight to fund her cancer care through her late husband’s health insurance and Best Breaking News Coverage for its reporting on the Westfield Police Department’s arrest of an armed man found on the grounds of a local intermediate school.

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“Some of our fellow independent publishers have been doing really amazing, important local reporting,” said TAPinto Westfield Publisher Jackie Lieberman. “So for us to be recognized as a finalist in this competition among them is very exciting.”

LION Publishers considered awards for small, medium and large sized publications. TAPinto Westfield qualified as a medium-sized publication: that which has 150,001 to 500,000 pageviews per month. Judging was done by experts in the field, including Jim Rutenberg, media columnist for the New York Times; Ken Doctor, the author of Newsonomics, a column for the Nieman Journalism Lab; and Craig Silverman, the media editor for BuzzFeed. The winners will be announced at the end of October.

TAPinto Westfield is a part of the network of more than 80 independently operated news websites founded by its CEO, Mike Shapiro.

“At TAPinto we have found a way to recreate the local journalism model at the grassroots level through our unique franchising concept for local news,” Shapiro said. “TAPinto Westfield is exemplary, and we are delighted that TAPinto Westfield is now being recognized nationally by our media peers. We are very proud of TAPinto Westfield’s owner/publisher Jackie Lieberman and her editor Matt Kadosh, and we are fortunate to have them as part of our TAPinto family.”

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