Hampton Daze

NYPA Weekend

Last weekend The Independent headed to Albany for the New York Press Association’s Better Newspaper contest. It’s a competition that comprises New York’s local newspapers. This year, Indy took home the third place Past Presidents’ Award for Overall Excellence. This was a great win for us. The Independent competes in some of the highest circulation categories. Go team Indy!

Other local papers like Dan’s, The Southampton and East Hampton Press, the Sag Harbor Express, and Shelter Island Reporter also took home many awards. It was a reminder of how strong East End media really is.

This was my first time visiting our state’s fine capitol. And my first time to NYPA’s conference. We stayed at the Renaissance Albany, which turned out to be a hotel I’d recommend even if you were not heading to Albany for work. It’s located in a historic building, complete with beautiful decor and a nice spa, right across the street from the capitol building. It also didn’t hurt that they upgraded us to a huge suite.

The conference consisted of two days of speakers, awards, and lectures. The biggest topic of discussion seemed to be the future of newspapers. What I took out of it was that print media is doing well, newspapers have community trust, and digital media is a great tool for newspapers to get stories out to a wider audience.

On Friday night, we were bussed (yellow school-bussed) to a gala in Troy. Everyone gathered at the historic Franklin Plaza Ballroom for a night of dinner, dancing, and casino games. Once the “Electric Slide” was played, we figured we were done with our newspaper duties for the evening and decided to grab an Uber back to Albany to explore.

When we asked our driver what his favorite restaurant was he promptly answered “Chuck E. Cheese’s.” Considering he wasn’t an eight-year-old, that didn’t give us high hopes for Albany’s dining scene. We did, however, find our way to a fun speakeasy with live jazz and drinks made with charcoal.

Before heading back to the East End, on Saturday we collected our awards and sat in on a few lectures — I did not attend the lecture on “How to keep yourself inspired visually after 20 years at the same paper, covering the same annual events, while dealing with staff cutbacks” but the course name did make me extremely thankful for all of the new and exciting initiatives at The Independent.

We are always inspired.

Congrats to our winners Bridget LeRoy, Justin Meinken, Ed Gifford, and Gordon Grant.