BOSTON, Mass. — The Sun Journal and The Bowdoin Orient were among the publications honored by the New England Society of News Editors at its annual journalism awards ceremony Thursday evening.

The ceremony, known as the NESNEs, was held at The Boston Globe and recognized excellence in journalist achievement and the very best editorial work produced in New England in the past year.

The Sun Journal and the Bowdoin newspaper were the only Maine publications honored at the event.

Sun Journal Staff Writer Christopher Williams won top honors for hard news reporting for his investigative piece titled “Caged in Van No. 1304,” a report detailing the inhumane transport of prisoner Meghan Quinn from Florida to Maine over a five-day period.

The investigative piece, which prompted district attorneys across Maine to drop contracts with U.S. Prisoner Transport, was also named a finalist in best enterprise reporting. The work had previously been recognized with top honors by the Maine Press Association and the New England Newspaper and Press Association.

Sun Journal Managing Editor Nights/Sports Justin Pelletier won first place in sports writing for his feature profile “A quiet leader” of Jeromey Rancourt, last year’s co-captain of the Lewiston High School hockey team and the son of fallen Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office diver David Rancourt. In the profile, Pelletier explored the younger Rancourt’s relationship with his father, their shared love of hockey, and the sad reality that the elder Rancourt died while on duty before ever seeing his son play in a hockey game.


The newspaper’s executive editor, Judith Meyer, was named a finalist in the hard news category for her coverage of a double fatal car crash in Durham in 2016.

She was also the recipient of the Judith Vance Weld Brown Spirit of Journalism Award, given to a female journalist for excellence in journalism, and for work guarding public access and mentoring young reporters.

The staff of The Bowdoin Orient was named New England’s College Newspaper of the Year, besting entries by The Harvard Crimson, The Gatepost at Framingham State University and The Daily Campus at the University of Connecticut.

The New England Journalism Educator of the Year was presented to Kristen Nevious of the Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication at Franklin Pierce University, and NESNE’s Newsroom Rising Star Award was given to Amaris Castillo of The Sun in Lowell, Mass.

For a full list of awards, go to

Judy Meyer (Sun Journal file photo)

Christopher Williams (Sun Journal file photo)

Justin Pelletier (Sun Journal file photo)

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