Giving readers our best: Black Press newspapers capture national, B.C. awards

  • May. 4, 2011 4:00 p.m.

Photographer Sharon Tiffin snapped Ruth Smith

Black Press reporters, photographers and editors work hard to present an interesting combination of news, community events and personalities and information that is relevant to readers.

At the recent Canadian and B.C. community newspapers awards galas, that commitment to community was noted, as Greater Victoria publications captured 11 medals, including three for overall excellence.

“The newspaper excellence awards are a real tribute to the hard work of our entire staff, from ad design and classified to editorial and circulation,” said Black Press group publisher Penny Sakamoto.

At the B.C. and Yukon Community Newspapers Association’s Ma Murray Awards gala Saturday in Richmond, the Victoria News, serving Victoria and Esquimalt, captured gold in Category E (30,501 to 53,000 circulation) ahead of 13 other papers.

Judges commented: “Great front pages that entice the reader to see what else is inside; it’s thorough news coverage and attractive design certainly qualifies it as a paper that knows its community and serves it extremely well.”

The Peninsula News Review, which serves Central Saanich, Sidney and North Saanich, won Category D (11,201 to 30,500 circ.) while the Oak Bay News finished third.

The awards of excellence are judged by peers in the industry, with marks based on front page, community news content, editorial and op-ed pages, photography, advertising content and design and classified listings.

Individually, photographer Sharon Tiffin scored a double win at the B.C. awards. Her gold-medal shot for the Victoria News of two women singing to a dog (black-and-white, 25,000 circulation and over) prompted judges to say, “Well done in picking out a humorous moment from the crowd. Isolating the trio makes the image more effective.”

Tiffin also earned a silver medal (best sports photo, under 25,000) for her colour picture of a rugby tackle that appeared in the Oak Bay News.

Sooke News Mirror staffer Jim Sinclair captured gold (colour, under-25,000) for his shot of a beached grey whale.

Former Victoria News reporter Lisa Weighton also placed third, for her feature series on aboriginal rebirth by reburial.

At the previous night’s Canadian Community Newspapers Association awards, the Goldstream News Gazette, serving the West Shore, took third for best photo essay.

Regional photographer Don Denton collected a national silver for his colour shot of a timid woman trying to feed seagulls at Clover Point.

Victoria News reporter Roszan Holmen took bronze for her historical story (12,500 and over) on D’Arcy Island, a former leper colony that housed early Chinese immigrants.

Black Press editorial director and Victoria News editor Kevin Laird said he is proud of the results, but pointed to the company’s overall goal.

“It’s all about readership – we do this all for our readers,” he said. “This is what strong newspapers have to do; always remember who we’re writing for.”

editor@saanichnews.com

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