Over the years, New Brunswick Today has been honored with over a dozen awards from the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists.
Awbrey Award for Community-oriented Local Journalism
“The Awbrey honors the weekly or local online publication that goes beyond standard reporting of local events, instead seeking to inspire communities to better themselves,” according to the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists (NJ-SPJ).
Editor Charlie Kratovil won the prestigious award in 2016 for his work in 2015 covering the embattled New Brunswick Water Utility during a tumultuous time for the city.
“New Brunswick Today is being honored for a series of stories it called Watergate — except unlike the original Watergate, this one involves actual water. The mainly web-based independent news operation (it publishes a monthly print edition) engaged in a relentless inquiry into the operations of New Brunswick’s water treatment plant, ofttimes putting itself at odds with city officials. Kratovil’s dogged efforts helped raise the profile of an important local issue and helped New Brunswick residents get and stay involved in the matter.”“NJ-SPJ contest winners, announced!”
New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists
Wilson Barto Rookie of The Year Award
Carlos Ramirez started reporting at New Brunswick Today when he was just 14 years. In his first year as a local reporter, Carlos shined a light on many important issues that were of great interest to New Brunswick’s Latino community and the general public.
“Carlos tackled serious issues ranging from the hot button immigration issue to a fight at a local school,” wrote the judges, who gave Carlos the third-place Barto Award in 2017. “Carlos is a strong writer and captured everyone’s views in his stories.”
Tim O’Brien Award for Open Public Records Act Reporting
New Brunswick Today is known for its use of the important Open Public Records Act, also known as “OPRA.” In 2016, Daniel Munoz was the first-place winner of the prestigious NJ-SPJ award for local reporting that made use of this law.
Daniel’s coverage of privacy concerns surrounding the controversial “anti-cheating software” rolled out by Rutgers University in 2015 led to the award, as well as coverage in the New York Times and many other national news organizations.
Local Enterprise Series Investigative Reporting Award
Editor Charlie Kratovil’s series of articles about the New Brunswick Housing Authority were awarded the NJ-SPJ’s first-place award in the local enterprise/investigative/series category in 2016. The judges stated that “these articles reflect effort and guts in holding an important local agency accountable.”
The following year, Charlie once again took home the first-place award in this category, this time for his coverage of the New Brunswick Water Utility.
Additional Journalism Awards
- Cartooning – Sam Romero (“Rutgers Football Under Arrest”)
- Business Reporting – Dave Schatz (“J&J is Largest Contributor to Pharma Lobbying Group Opposing California Ballot Question“)
- Headline Writing – Richard Rabinowitz, Charlie Kratovil, Michael Benavides, and David Bedford (“Concerns About Corruption, Parking, and Urban Design Come Together in 17 Mine Street Hearings“)
- State or Regional News – Charlie Kratovil (“Meet RWJ Barnabas Healths Secret Board of Trustees”)
- Public Service Local Journalism – Sarah Beth Kaye, Charles Kratovil, Silvana Escobar, Carlos Ramirez, Hernan Guarderas, Jennifer Goldberg, and Chris Roberts (Immigration Coverage in 2016)
- Best Local News – Charlie Kratovil (“Christie Judge Nominee Stripped of Pension by Fraud & Abuse Unit”)
- Health Science Technology and Environmental Reporting – Danielle Bruno (“Scientists Question Use of Biosolids, Citing Potential For Heavy Metal Contamination”)
- Business Reporting – Dave Schatz (“Latest Risperdal Verdict: J&J Hit With $70 Million in Compensatory Damages”)
- Headline Writing – Charlie Kratovil and Matthew Wozniak (“Growing Concerns About Police Credibility in County Where Culture of Retaliation Dominates”)