Home > Awards > CCNA special winners, with judges comments!

CCNA special winners, with judges comments!

April 30, 2011

This year’s Canadian Community Newspaper Awards were handed out Friday night. I managed to get my hands on a CD of all the winners (no books were handed out) so not only can I tell you who won. I can tell you why they won. But that’s gonna take time so I’m going to split these posts up for ease and brevity. Also, I’m not going to bother with the categories that don’t include a B.C. or Yukon award winner.

First, the “Special Competition” award winners, a title that seems a little like a backhanded compliment but that’s what they’re called so…

Best environmental writing – Circ. up to 9,999

GOLD – Michael Gorman And Tina Comeau, Yarmouth (NS) Vanguard

SILVER – Genesee Keevil, Whitehorse/Yukon Territory (YT) The Yukon News

Judge (and Kamloops This Week reporter) Dale Bass wrote: “This is a subject that could have easily been ignored, other than following it through the court system, but Keevil takes a thorough look at the issue and provides the reader with an impressive review.”

BRONZE – Martha Perkins, Bowen Island (BC) Bowen Island Undercurrent

Bass wrote: “There is more to environmental reporting than identifying the big issues, the science behind them and then trying to make it accessible to the reader. Sometimes it’s about what one person can do to make the world a better place – and this story about one man does that. It’s readable, it’s fun and it’s refreshing.”

Best environmental writing – Circ. more than 10,000

GOLD – Joni Miltenburg, Elmira-Woolwich (ON) Observer

SILVER – Jerold LaBlanc, Wetaskiwin (AB) Times Advertiser

BRONZE – Kristine Salzmann, South Delta (BC) South Delta Leader

Judge Stu Salkeld wrote: “Third place was earned by the South Delta Leader’s reporter Kristine Salzmann, along with brilliant photography by Tyler Garnham. Salzmann’s story told an interesting and compelling profile of Carole Vignale, an average local woman whose dedication to a zero environmental footprint on her community. The story showed such a zero footprint lifestyle is actually a lot cheaper and easier than many people think. The front page photo was dazzling, while inside color photos accompanying the story were good, but should have been bigger. The article was heavily narrated by the reporter; that is, more quotations, especially in Vignale’s own words, would have made the story better and explained why it is so important to this lady to live in such a manner.”

Excellence in Rural Reporting – Circ. open

GOLD – Monique McKay and Kevin Woodmark, Moosomin (SK) World-Spectator

SILVER – Angele Cano, Enfield (NS) The Weekly Press

BRONZE – John Thompson, Whitehorse/Yukon Territory (YT) The Yukon News

Judge (and former Kamloops This Week reporter) Melissa Lampman wrote: “John Thompson’s series on ATVs’ impact on the local environment showcases his solid writing and reporting skills when tackling an obviously divisive and contentious issue. Thompson offers insight to both sides of the issue, as well as a first-hand perspective that cannot be found from an office. Excellent reporter initiative.”

Best Business Writing Award – Circ. up to 9,999

GOLD – Martha Wickett, Salmon Arm (BC) Salmon Arm Observer

Judge Lee Berthiaume wrote: “Great main article. Good feature lede gets readers right in the Peterson’s kitchen, followed by a strong, clean nutgraf that explains why this story is important. This is a key question many should be ready to answer: Why is the story they’re writing important? Also, this piece has good sidebars. More interviews would have helped, as would including the minister in the main story instead of a sidebar. However, this was a great read and a great way of highlighting an important issue for the community while at the same time giving it a human face.

SILVER – Guy Quenneville, Yellowknife (NT) Yellowknifer

BRONZE – Journal newsroom, Humboldt (SK) Journal

Best Business Writing Award – Circ. more than 10,000

GOLD – Sandra Thomas, Vancouver (BC) The Vancouver Courier – West Side

Judge (and Agassiz-Harrison Observer editor) Jessica Peters wrote: “First place went to the Vancouver Courier for its compassionate and comprehensive look at the business of death, and how we can mitigate our eco-footprint. This potentially morbid topic was handled with humour, grace and plenty of usable information. I feel better prepared to make a decision myself, because of the story, and it was interesting enough to bring up in conversations in the weeks after reading the story. Well done, Sandra!”

Ed note: Throughout the CCNAs, when a recipient was present to receive his or her award, host Arthur Black would read a brief description of the story. This was a great way to give the recipients more time to shine, but invariably, it seemed, the story was about some less-than-happy occurrence or aspect of life, so you had Black trying to sound excited for the award-winner while describing a story about sexual assault or in this case, death. A little incongruous, but what can you do?

SILVER – Mario Bartel, New Westminster (BC) News Leader

Peters wrote: “Second place was given to the News Leader for answering the question: Why do businesses fail? By juxtaposing two business — one at its end and one starting up — the reader gets a compelling and clear look at the risks, guts, preparation and education involved in succeeding in small business.”

BRONZE – Cory Hare, St. Albert (AB) Gazette

Best Agricultural Edition – Circ. more than 10000

GOLD – Duncan (BC) Cowichan Valley Citizen

Judge Rob Learn wrote: “From the front cover to the diverse yet focused local articles that seamlessly wound their way throughout the edition, their Annual Agricultural Edition sets the standard for community newspapers getting their fingernails dirty. Nearly every story is accompanied by strong art and the planning and thought that went into each article is very evident.

SILVER – Swift Current (AB) Prairie Post

BRONZE – Lloydminster (SK) Lloydminster Source

Best Agricultural Story – Circ. Open

GOLD – Pat Peckover, Humboldt (SK) Journal

SILVER – Doug Coxson, New Hamburg (ON) Independent

BRONZE – Judie Steeves, Kelowna (BC) Capital News

Judge Karen Miceli wrote: “Judie Steeves’ piece for Kelowna Capital News deserves third spot for her extensive reporting on the end of an era for irrigation districts.”

Sarah Simpson of the Cowichan Valley Citizen got an honourable mention “for her piece on local beekeepers’ concerns about the lift of a ban on importation, due to possible disease and fungus.”

Paul J. Henderson of the Chilliwack Times also got an honourable mention “for his strory on the decline of rural life. It was part of a three-part series,” Miceli wrote. “I wish I could have read all of it.”

No B.C. campus publications received awards.

Coming soon: the so-called Premier Awards…

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