Mike MacAdam’s writing always makes an impact.
“Whether it’s horse racing, Union hockey or something away from his normal reporting beats — Mike MacAdam is a must-read reporter in our region,” Daily Gazette Sports Editor Michael Kelly said. “His writing sticks with you well beyond the time it takes to read, and that’s a credit both to his dedication and skill.”
MacAdam was named the 2019 Sportswriter of the Year by the New York Press Association, among eight awards The Daily Gazette received when results were announced from NYPA’s 2019 Better Newspaper Contest. The Gazette also earned first and second place in Division 4 in the Special Sections/Niche Publications-Newsprint category.
“It’s a really nice honor for a sportswriter like Mike MacAdam. There’s nobody better in the Capital Region,” Gazette Editor Miles Reed said. “He’s one of the best guys in the business at really telling the stories underneath the game. He’s never going to be someone where all he wants to cover is the game itself. He tells the stories about the athletes, about the dynamics involved. For 30 years, the Gazette readers have been treated to his stories. … It’s certainly something that we recognize every day, is how good he is.”
Also honored were Staff Writer Jason Subik and Business Editor John Cropley, sharing second place in Division 5 in the News Story category; Kelly taking second place in Division 3 of the sports feature category and photographer Marc Schultz receiving both second and third place in Division 3 of the Feature Photo category.
The eight total awards were the most for any newspaper in the Capital Region.
“It was nice to see the folks who were honored for this, because it represents a number of different facets within our news team,” Reed said.
MacAdam, a member of The Daily Gazette’s sports staff since 1987, covers the horse racing and college hockey beats and serves as the department’s columnist. He was selected as the winner in a field of 19 entries. According to the judges, “Great breadth and fine writing distinguish these entries. Without question, this was the number one entry.”
“It’s a thrill to be honored by NYPA, an organization for which I have great respect,” MacAdam said. “Never a dull moment around here, as we’re lucky to work in an area of the state with such a rich variety of sports to cover and stories to tell. Congrats, and cheers, to everyone who participated in the contest, for telling your stories.”
MacAdam’s willingness to always answer the call, no matter the assignment, makes him an invaluable member of the sports department, Kelly said.
“Beyond his talent, we’re lucky to have Mac in our sports department because of his attitude and work ethic,” Kelly said. “He’s someone that is always willing to pitch in whenever needed, and is a source of great advice for our staff members.”
The Daily Gazette took the top two spots in the Division 4 Special Sections/Niche Publications-Newsprint category. The 2019 special section on food, “Dine,” took first-place honors, with a section on summer travel and entertainment earning the runner-up spot.
Reed singled out the page design of John Thorpe — “one of our unsung heroes” — as a major factor for the section honors.
“That’s just representative of the incredible work he does all the time,” Reed said. “He’s our best designer. His fingerprints can be seen on all kinds of our best work. It’s nice to see him honored — even though he wasn’t named.”
Subik and Cropley shared second place in Division 5 in the News Story category for a package of stories that ran in the June 9, 2019, edition detailing the impact of budget cuts at the Greater Johnstown School District.
Subik’s work detailed the community’s reaction to a failed budget vote, while Cropley examined the impact through the lens of a longtime area real estate agent.
“I would describe my piece of this package as relatively small,” Cropley said. “Jason has feet on the ground in Fulton County and covered the issue very well. What I was able to do, through luck and persistence, is find the right voice for my story on the potential impact a school budget crisis would have on home sales: A fifth-generation Johnstown resident (and graduate of local schools) who has spent his whole career selling real estate in the Johnstown-Gloversville area.”
Kelly received second place in Division 3 of the Sports Feature category for a story on Siena men’s basketball star Jalen Pickett.
Schultz was honored for a pair of his feature photographs. The veteran photographer retired in September having served on the staff since 1983.
The entries were judged by members of the Washington News Publishers Association.