Woman Around Town Celebrates Two New York Press Club Awards

A free press has never been more important. On June 7, journalists from the city gathered at the Water Club to celebrate excellence in journalism, recognizing work that appeared during 2022 in print, radio, TV, and the Internet. After cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on an outdoor terrace overlooking the East River, the attendees gathered in the club’s dining room to enjoy dinner and honor the winners.

Debra Toppeta

New York Press Club President Debra Toppeta, who is publisher of Woman Around Town, opened the night’s event with a welcome and introduced Beth Karas, who served as master of ceremonies reading the names of the award winners.

The Gabe Pressman Truth to Power Ward, named after the legendary reporter for WNBC-TV, was presented to The Times Union. The newspaper, located in the state’s capital of Albany, was commended for its numerous articles involving the Cuomo administration lying to the public about COVID-19 practices at nursing homes, and sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior by then-Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2021.

Woman Around Town’s MJ Hanley-Goff (right), and her daughter, Emily Goff.

Accepting the award, Times Union editor and vice president Casey Seiler and managing editor for investigations and Capitol bureau chief Brendan J. Lyons, emphasized the importance of local newspapers that are struggling in the current edit ecosystem.

The Gold Keyboard Award was presented to Jeff Horwitz and the staff of the Wall Street Journal for their series of articles, “The Facebook Files,” exposing how the tech giant was downplaying flaws in Facebook and Instagram that could harm users, particularly with regard to Instagram, girls and young women.

The Nellie Bly Cub Reporter Award went to Troy Closson of the New York Times, who as a metro reporter for the newspaper covers law enforcement and criminal justice.

The Rev. Michael Judge Heart of New York Award, named after the Catholic priest who was the first to die on 9/11, was presented to: newspaper, Alex Vadukul, New York Times, for “Lives of New York”; TV, Virginia Huge and Patrick Mantle, News 12, “9/11 Birthday Roses”; and internet, Ali Better Cohen, “Subway Book Review.”

Maria-Cristina Necula

Woman Around Town received two awards. In the Critical Arts Review category, Maria-Cristina Necula was recognized for “A Boldly Magnificent and Moving Premiere: Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice at the Metropolitan Opera.” Cristina is a classically-trained singer who has performed in the New York City area in many venues, including Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. She has also presented on opera at The Graduate Center, Baruch, The City of College of New York, and UCLA Southland. Cristina, who speaks six languages, is the author of several books on opera, including “The Don Carlos Enigma: Variations of Historical Fictions.”

Alix Cohen now has ten New York Press trophies to her credit. This time she was cited in the Entertainment News NYC Metro for “Magician Escapist Dorothy Dietrich.” Alix regularly reviews theater and cabaret for Woman Around Town. She is a voting member of Drama Desk and Drama League.

We congratulate all the winners.

Photos by Theresa Giannetti