Six New England journalists will receive the prestigious Yankee Quill award this spring for their contributions to the betterment of journalism in the six-state region. 

Five current journalists and one historical figure will be honored with the award on April 29, 2022, says George Geers, chair of the sponsoring Academy of New England Journalists.

The inductees were selected in 2021, but the celebration and induction ceremony was postponed due to the pandemic.

The Yankee Quill awards will be presented at a luncheon as part of the annual convention of the New England Newspaper and Press Association at noon, on Friday, April 29, 2022, at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel in the Seaport District of Boston, Mass.

The honorees are:

Paul Bass, founder, publisher, and editor of the New Haven Independent, one of the country’s leading nonprofit digital news organizations. For more than 40 years, Bass has provided the city of New Haven with outstanding news coverage, earning multiple regional and national awards for journalistic excellence – first with the New Haven Advocate, and now with the New Haven. He is described as a “change-maker,” a champion for Black and Brown people, and a promoter of the advancement of women in the news industry.

Tom Condon served the profession for 45+ years as a bureau chief, columnist, editorial writer, and investigative reporter, wit and conscience at the Hartford Courant. His powerfully written columns and editorials have helped free three wrongly accused men, saved historic buildings from demolition, and helped get the state of Connecticut to drastically change its gun laws. He is currently working at CT Mirror.

Photo by: Robin Lubbock/WBUR

Melvin B. Miller, founder, publisher, and editor of the Bay State Banner for more than 55 years, a weekly newspaper advocating for the interests of Greater Boston’s African American community. For over five decades, Miller has used his voice to dive deeper into issues ranging from politics, social justice, and economic development that have local and national impact. The Banner has meticulously told the stories of the minority community – stories often overlooked in mainstream media. 

Marianne Stanton, who has spent more than 40 years at the weekly Inquirer and Mirror on Nantucket Island, Mass., including as editor and publisher, grew up with the paper which was owned by her parents for many years before being sold to Ottaway Newspapers in 1990. She started as a reporter, became editor, and then publisher. Under her leadership, the paper has won numerous awards and gained a stellar reputation for its integrity and unwavering belief in the right of people to know what their public officials are doing. The paper was sold several more times to other chains but most recently was returned to its original local ownership.

Terrence L. Williams, president and chief executive officer of the Keene Sentinel in New Hampshire is the definition of an accomplished newspaper leader, both as an editor and a publisher. He has been one of New England’s leading publishing executives throughout most of his distinguished 40-year career. His news products have won numerous awards for excellence in journalism and bold revenue solutions. He is an outstanding leader and strong communicator and is regarded as one of the most thoughtful and collaborative publishers in New England media.

William Monroe Trotter (1872-1934) historical figure, was a major early 20th-century civil rights activist who founded the Boston Guardian newspaper. Trotter, the first Black Harvard University graduate who was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, challenged the political dominance of Booker T. Washington and was an inspiration for the formation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Besides founding the Boston Guardian in 1901, Trotter was a founder of the National Negro Suffrage League, the Niagara Movement, and the Negro American Political League. During his life, Trotter’s outspoken activism included his direct denouncements of President Theodore Roosevelt for discharging three companies of the all-Black 25th U.S. Infantry after the Brownsville Riot in Texas, in 1906, and for confronting President Woodrow Wilson in 1914 after Wilson imposed racial segregation on federal employees for the first time. In 1915, Trotter led the Boston protests against the screening of the racist film The Birth of a Nation.

The Yankee Quill, which began in 1959, is bestowed annually by the Academy of New England Journalists through the auspices of the New England Society of News Editors. It is considered the highest individual honor awarded to newspaper, TV, radio, magazine, and other journalists in the six-state region. Winners are selected based on a history of lifetime achievement showing a broad impact in New England Journalism.

Selection for the award is not based on any single achievement, or for doing your job each day, but rather on the broad influence for good over the course of a career.

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