2022 Canadian Community Newspaper Awards

2021 Premier Awards - Best News Story ( Circulation up to 1499,Circulation 1500 to 3999,Circulation 4000 to 6499,Circulation 6500 to 9999) Back

  • Place Name: First Place
    Contestant Name: Vibank Quad Town Forum (Vibank, SK)
    Entry Title: ‘I just wanted my truck back’; Odessa-area farmer leads RCMP to arrest of suspects in officer’s death
    Entry Credit: Brad Brown
    Judge Comment: There’s no doubt Leonard Gaetz never expected his day to unfold as it did in this well-crafted account presented by the Quad Town Forum. When the local farmer’s truck was stolen, he had no idea he’d unwittingly aid the RCMP in the arrest of a suspect wanted in connection with an officer’s death. Beyond the novelty of story, it was a tale well told, with a good first-person account and illustrative comments from the police. A good read and of compelling interest to the community, which are points for which we all strive.
  • Place Name: Second Place
    Contestant Name: The Haldimand Press (Haldimand County, ON)
    Entry Title: Migrant Workers Alliance calls for changes after newest death in Haldimand Norfolk
    Entry Credit: Mike Renzella
    Judge Comment: The COVID-19 pandemic launched a million stories, including many about people succumbing to the virus. The Haldimand Press story tells of migrant worker whose death sparked a call for change, and highlighted an ongoing issue around the use of temporary foreign workers. The well-sourced piece was certainly germane to the readership in an agricultural region, offering an insight to the pandemic’s impact on vulnerable segments of the population.
  • Place Name: Third Place
    Contestant Name: Almaguin News (Burks Falls, ON)
    Entry Title: Is OPP equipped to handle mental health calls
    Entry Credit: Sarah Cooke
    Judge Comment: In a time when mental-health issues and police shootings are under overdue scrutiny, the Almaguin News had a firsthand look at the situation in this story of a 38-year-old mother shot by an officer responding to a mental-health call. The story brings home both efforts to destigmatize mental-health issues and the calls to “defund the police” in favour of less-confrontational methods of dealing with people in distress. The piece was well sourced despite the all-too-common “no comment” from officials who ought to be much more transparent to the public.
  • Competition Comment: The last couple of years have presented many challenges to all. Our newsrooms were no exception. Pretty much everything we did went through the COVID filter, from stories focused on the virus itself and the resultant public-health responses to the way we went about collecting news. Despite all that, this year’s candidates in the “Best News Story” category found ways to get the job done. The entries were as varied as the newspapers that submitted them. Our organizations found ways to serve our mandate of keeping the public informed of the goings-on in our communities, come what may. As always, picking out just three for awards wasn’t easy: each entry had something to recommend it. That bodes well for a (perhaps) post-pandemic future where we return to something closer to normal when it comes to doing our jobs as journalists.