Home > Awards > 2012 CCNAs announced; Nanaimo Daily News, Valley Sentinel lead way

2012 CCNAs announced; Nanaimo Daily News, Valley Sentinel lead way

March 12, 2012

The finalists 2012 Canadian Community Newspaper Awards have been announced. There’s so bloody many of them, and it’s such a nightmare to format, that I’ll just direct you here to check out each and every category.

A couple categories haven’t been announced yet, most notably two general excellence categories.

But some early observations:

British Columbia papers and journalists earned a total of 107 finalist nods out of a total of 282 (!). Ontario had 62, while Alberta had 53. Speaks to the vast strength of the B.C. community newspaper industry compared to that in other provinces. Contemplating why community newspapers are so dominant here is worthy of a separate post.

Again, we still don’t have results from a couple of categories, but at this point the Nanaimo Daily News (let’s face it, punching below their weight in the 4,000 to 6,499 category), leads the way among B.C. papers with six nominations. An independent paper from Valemount is right behind with five nominations; The Valley Sentinel is nominated in each of the general excellence categories in its tiny class and Astrid Tevely also picked up a photo nomination. Several newspapers garnered four nominations: the Alberni Valley News [Corrected], the Chilliwack Times, the Cowichan Valley Citizen, the Gulf Islands Driftwood, and The Interior News,

The Hinton Voice leads all papers with eight finalist nods.


  1. Nastassja Savannah
    March 12, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Just noticed the results on the CCNA website and wanted to correct something from your blog. The Alberni Valley Times, a daily owned by Glacier Media Group, only had one top-three nomination, whereas the weekly (Black Press owned) Alberni Valley Times had four. Both publications serve the community on Vancouver Island — Port Alberni.

    • March 12, 2012 at 11:50 pm

      Thanks. Fixed it.

  2. Nicholas Morgan
    March 12, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    The daily in Nanaimo will garner higher votes over the competition in that smaller circulation class with relative ease, being a broadsheet compared to most being tabloids in that class. In the past newspapers like the Daily News did not compete in the CCNA’s (when it was owned by Thomson) because it was not considered a community newspaper, but a daily paper. I guess this has changed. Let’s see it go up against the award-winning thrice-weekly Nanaimo Bulletin, a paper I have judged in its class in past years as a true community newspaper, that does not run wire copy/photos, and truly reflects the Harbour City community. What I have noticed as a CCNA judge during the past decade — BC papers have tended to be much stronger and thus garner awards because they stood on their own, even within the chains like Black Press for example. Metroland papers in Ontario once dominated, but no longer. Same as the former Bowes papers, not under SunMedia. They tabloids now dump in Sun Media copy, and all look the same on the front page, and formats inside. Black Press is going this way, too. Generic looking papers, so how do you score high marks in the general excellence for front page, sports and editorial page, and overall look? Broadsheet papers also seem to score higher, because that extra space allows for more unique layout and design, especially front page where you have two photos and four stories, versus SunMedia and Black Press tabloids going with the one look of a square photo and three or four teaser boxes. Just some of my observations. Take a look at the weeklies in Abbotsford, or the Nanaimo Bulletin. Truly weekly papers that give off the impression they are dailies with the broad spectrum of coverage, including more indepth sports, which scores you some big points in general excellence. I have worked for Thomson, Black Press, Metroland and Bowes and they have all changed during the past thirty years. Gulf Islands is another community newspaper that looks crisp, reads well and garners high marks from CCNA judges. Papers with smaller staffs, where once they had five or six in a newsroom (Bowes papers in Alberta in particular, which are now down to an editor and reporter only) tend to rely on submitted copy/photos and thus lose marks for content. A community newspaper is a reflection of the community, but when you can’t cover it with the proper resources, then the overall product suffers, and this is acknowledged by the judges for the CCNA competition annually. Some papers have even bowed out of actually submitting annually.

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