2016 PCLI Media Awards Winners

The Press Club of Long Island announced the winners of its annual awards, including the latest inductees of the Long Island Journalism Hall of Fame and winner of the Robert W. Greene Public Service Award, at its Media Awards Dinner on Thursday, June 2, at the Woodbury Country Club.

“It is such an honor for the press club to present awards to the top journalists on Long island each year,” said PCLI President Chris R. Vaccaro. “From our hall of fame inductions to giving out prestigious awards to deserving professionals and students, this is the highlight of our year, and we congratulate all the winners. We hope that the awards competition helps to make the journalism on Long Island even stronger.”

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This year’s Long Island Journalism Hall of Fame inductees:  Frank Eltman is a longtime Long Island correspondent for the Associated Press. Les Payne is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who spent most of his career as an editor and columnist at Newsday. He is also the founder of the National Association of Black Journalists.

This year’s posthumous inductee is Marie Colvin, an Oyster Bay native who served as a war correspondent for The Sunday Times in London and died in the siege of Homs in Syria in 2012. In her honor, Stony Brook University established the Marie Colvin Center for International Reporting.

This year’s inductee to the PCLI Contributors Wing of the Hall of Fame is Vicky Katz Whitaker, who served as president of the press club in 1979-1980 and was instrumental in creating many of its current programs and policies.

The Robert W. Greene Public Service Award was awarded to Newsday for its multi-part series “LI’s Zombie Houses” about the glut of abandoned homes stuck in foreclosure.

Briana Smith, a senior at Hofstra University, is the recipient of this year’s College Journalism Scholarship.

Katie Blasl, a reporter for RiverheadLOCAL, is the James Murphy Cub Reporter of the Year.

The Delphian, the student paper at Adelphi University, was selected as the Best Collegiate Newspaper.

The Great Neck News, published by Blank Slate Media, was selected as the Best Community Weekly Newspaper.

The award for Best High School Newspaper is being shared by The Elmont Phoenix of Elmont High School and The Harbor View of Cold Spring Harbor High School.

Tim Bolger, managing editor of Long Island Press, is this year’s Phil Spahn Memorial Award winner. The Spahn Award is presented to a PCLI member who has demonstrated leadership, ability and outstanding service to journalism, PCLI and the community.