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Newspaper staff nab six first-place awards - Jun. 04, 2014


Donna Ross photo
Holding the four first-place Newspapers Atlantic awards received Friday are, from left, Courier Editor Vern Faulkner, Business Manager Shelley McKeeman, and Director of Advertising Heather Cunningham.


Charlottetown, PEI
The Saint Croix Courier/Courier Weekend claimed four first-place awards during the Newspapers Atlantic awards banquet Friday night.
Awards were earned by Kathy Bockus (best news story), best cartoon (Ted Michener), best special section, and best community service.
In addition to the four regional awards, plaques were given for this year’s two first-place finishes in the Newspapers Canada awards, as editor Vern Faulkner claimed first place for best local editorial, for his writing on about Anglophone South School District’s decision to ban a rainbow flag at Sir James Dun Academy. Faulkner also claimed the top billing in best feature series for his “Rural Redefined” series outlining how businesses and individuals here and elsewhere have revitalized their communities.
The newsroom’s collective efforts in its goal to promote local revitalizations were praised by Newspaper Atlantic judges, who stated, “… it’s obvious that this was a project the entire staff got involved in and developed for the community to fall behind.”
“This was great work and community development and economic development was tackled from a variety of angles with the underlying theme.”
Bockus was praised for her work breaking the story outlining plans to build a medical marijuana facility in St. Stephen.
“Excellent article, concisely written,” the judges stated. “Relevant to the community, newsworthy and educational, as well as having good literary flow.”
The judge’s comments indicated that “I also enjoyed reading it, indicative of a job well done by the journalist.”
The 2013 Coast Guide gained praise for its colourful images and “a variety of articles that would be of interest to community members as well as travellers to the area.”
Michener, who is a perennial national and regional award winner, once again gained praise. His graphic of seas washing away at a diminishing island, representing economic decay in the province, was “Clear, crisp, creative with humour that works across all potential audiences.”
In addition to the above, the paper’s works gained acknowledgement as standing finalists in the regional awards for ad creation, sports writing and news photography.
Nationally, the paper also gained a third-place nod for “best feature series,” for the newsroom’s three-part “Wasted” series examining impaired driving in the region. Faulkner’s interview with the mother of a child who had committed suicide gained second place for best feature story. The newspaper also gained a third-place standing for its editorial critical of federal industry Minister Rob Moore’s comments about government not being responsible for the poor.