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Best Sports Photo B22

1) Nation

2) Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph

3) Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph

Judge comments:

As a group, this year's entries really raised the bar and made for some extremely difficult decisions in ranking them. For the most part, those that didn't place in the top three fall into two categories: 1) Compelling and action-packed photos that lacked slightly in sharpness, and 2) Others that scored well across all categories, just not quite as highly as this year's winners. That said, there's truly not a bad photo in the bunch this year. Keep pushing yourselves, and each other - this category was an absolute pleasure to judge.


Best Sports Story B6

1) Nation

2) The Equity

3) The Eastern Door

Best Environmental Story B17

1) Low Down to Hull & Back News

2) The Eastern Door

3) Nation

Judge Comments:

WOW.......... What an amazing group of 19 entries. Authors particularly, along with editors, publishers and all staff should be very proud of such well produced very interesting environmental stories.

Some stories might have placed higher, except for the fact they did not have accompanying photos or graphics.

In an overall basis, I have never seen suck a great selection of submissions. With many years in publishing and several judging assignments across Canada, never has the ultimate choices been so difficulty.
HONOURABLE MENTION: NUNATSIAQ NEWS, Steve Ducharme - Very informative. Will be interesting to see results of the analysis. Detailed study will determine which part of the world, this area was originally adjoined prior to the earthâs plates missing and parts of continents moved. This story is further proof many areas of Canada need to be preserved and not opened up to large scale corporate development and greed simply to generate tax dollars and a few jobs.

Best Sports Page(s) A5

1) The Suburban West Island

2) Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph

3) LavalNews

Judge comments:

Very tough competition to judge this year as each entry had very distinct strengths and weaknesses, and putting the top three in order was an exercise in splitting hairs. In a broader sense, those that separated themselves from the pack did so through some combination of quality and prominence of photography, punchy headlines, variety of/commitment to local coverage, and general aesthetic. Across the board, if any of this year's entrants are looking for room to improve, a good place to start would be investing in the art of storytelling. There is more to sports than scores and stats; seeking out and then emphasizing a compelling personal story within the context of the event being covered would add untold dimensions to any of these entries.





Best Column Writing B8

1) Record

2) Canadian Jewish News

3) Record

Judge comments:

Nineteen entries, most of them very good. Three more columnists finished just behind the three winners. I was disappointed that a couple entries didn't follow the rules and enter three columns from the same columnist, or entered editorials as columns. One columnist who entered only one-and-a-half columns (the jump on his second column was missing) wrote perhaps the best-single column in the competition, but I had to toss his entry. Everyone, please read the rules next time.





Best Investigative Reporting B5

1) Nunatsiaq News

2) LavalNews

3) The Eastern Door

Judge Comments:

It's always impressive to see investigative stories appearing in small publications. Reporters there face challenges that those in larger centres do not. That said, several of the stories submitted do not truly constitute investigative reporting. I would encourage reporters and editors to keep pushing the boundaries of the material they produce for their publications.




Best Advertising Creation Large Format (1/2 page or larger) B25

1) The Suburban City

2) The Equity

3) Low Down to Hull & Back News

Judge Comments:

Everyone did some really great work. Very challenging to pick a winner.




Best Advertising Creation Small Format (smaller than 1/2 page)B26

1) The Suburban City

2) Nation

3) West Quebec Post

Judge Comments:

Making small space ads work is more challenging. These designers did a fine job overall.





Best Community Newspaper Promotion A7

1) The Equity

2) Low Down to Hull & Back News

Judge Comments:

The entries in this competition represented innovative attempts by the individual newspapers to put their brand before the people in hopes of underscoring the relevance of local media. In producing and moderating a political debate, the winning entry, The Equity, demonstrated to its readership that it is very much in a position of authority when it comes to engagement in news that matters locally. In availing of traditional print and digital media to successfully promote the event and to draw public participation in the formulation of questions, The Equity demonstrated to its industry peers that it owns a sense of place and also an understanding of how to use the tools provided by emergent technology in the service of its mission. The task of selecting a winner was simplified by this overview.




Best Photo Essay B23

1) The Equity

2) Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph

3) The Suburban City

Best French-language Editorial/Column B14

1) Bulletin d'Aylmer

2) Pontiac Journal

3) Pontiac Journal

Best French-language News Story B13

1) Bulletin d'Aylmer

2) Pontiac Journal

3) Pontiac Journal

Best Feature Photo B21

1) Nunatsiaq News

2) Nation

3) Nunatsiaq News

Best Editorial Cartoon B24

1) The Suburban City

2) Pontiac Journal

3) The Suburban West Island

Judge Comments:

Full credit to those who can effectively use their design and art skills - as well as creativity - to provoke thought and discussion. Editorial cartoons have been around for a long time for a reason. The entries judged this year were strong for varying reasons.





Best Agricultural Story B16

1) Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph

2) Low Down to Hull & Back News

3) The Eastern Door

Best Overall Newspaper

1) The Suburban City

2) Pontiac Journal

3) The Suburban West Island

Judge Comments:

All seven entries deserve credit but unfortunately can not all be winners. It was tough but a pleasure judging these entries





Best Overall Newspaper

1) LavalNews

2) Nation

3) Low Down to Hull & Back News

Judge Comments:

Excellent work in taking a whole bunch of information and have it look appealing as the LavalNews did. The big photo followed by different coloured boxes helped with what could have been clutter. Good job. The Pontiac Journal certainly had their hands full and did a good job but in the end it did come out looking more cluttered. Still a valiant effort. Good work. The simplicity of copy and photos gave my second choice extra points over the Low Down submission although I really liked the S'erving Up treats' idea. Congratulations to all!





Best Headline Writing B12

1) The Equity

2) Nation

3) The Eastern Door

Judge Comments:

Many submitted headlines have a punch, or a touch, that is appropriate to the story, and that will attract and please readers.
Other headlines showed somewhat too great a fondness for puns.





Best News Photo B20

1) The Equity

2) Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph

3) The Eastern Door


Judge Comments:

There were a number of entries that earned consideration to be one of the finalists, but it was the human element that set apart the final three.
There were a number of entries without faces/people, which don't resonate at the same level.
There were also three entries that probably would have done very well in a feature photo category.





Best Editorial Page A3

1) The Eastern Door

2) Bulletin d'Aylmer

3) The Suburban West Island

Judge Comments:

The level of editorial talent and commitment at work in Quebec's community newspapers is both astonishing and reassuring. And judging by community engagement, it is clear that readers are drawn both to the issues addressed in local editorial offerings, and to the comfort zone provided for expressing their own views. This made judging the editorial page submissions extraordinarily difficult because so many are so good.
Editorial choice and stance on matters of community concern, reasoned debate written in a convincing manner, inclusion of respectful opinion from the community, thoughtful and original editorial cartoons, and design elements that embrace the best aesthetics of the newspaper as a media form.
Combined and polished these working parts are the beating heart of the best community newspapers. It's good to know that so many hearts remain strong.





Best Feature Series B3

1) The Eastern Door

2) The Eastern Door

3) Low Down to Hull & Back News

Best Front Page A2

1) The Eastern Door

2) Nunatsiaq News

3) Low Down to Hull & Back News

Best Municipal / Civic Affairs Story B18

1) The Eastern Door

2) The Suburban West Island

3) The Suburban West Island

Best Education Story B15

1) Nunatsiaq News

2) Nation

3) Nation

Best Editorial (local affairs) B10

1) The Suburban Laval

2) Nunatsiaq News

3) Low Down to Hull & Back News

Judge Comments:

The 19 entries in this competition were divided into three tiers for judging purposes.

There were those written in traditional editorial style that included sound, reasoned arguments.

Others followed the format, with perhaps less impact or readability.

Some, however, were more personal or column-like in their approach, and were marked down for that reason even if the premise or writing showed promise.





Best Feature Story B2

1) Nunatsiaq News

2) Low Down to Hull & Back News

3) Nation

Judge Comments:

HONOURABLE MENTION: âA dish for for the Godsâ was a great read: A story with lots of detail and many relevant quotes about kosher dining from several perspectives. A worthy runner-up in a tough competition.

***

This was the strongest field I have seen in my 20+ years of judging newspaper competitionsâcommunity journalism is here to stay based on these excellent entries which were a joy to look through and judge.





Best Arts & Entertainment Story B7

1) Nation

2) Nunatsiaq News

3) Canadian Jewish News

Judge Comments:

Another strong year in the arts and entertainment category just goes to show there is plenty of talent out there willing to write about this country's talent. Kudos to all who entered.




Best Business Story B4

1) Low Down to Hull & Back News

2) Nation

3) Pontiac Journal

Judge comments:

Congratulations to the winners in the business category, who all went the extra mile to research their stories. In this category, a profile of a local business isn't enough; we need to know why the story is relevant right now. What's the news value? All three winners demonstrated why and presented strong writing skills with clean, typo-free copy.





Best News Story B1

1) Nunatsiaq News

2) The Eastern Door

3) Nation

Judge comments:

This was a very difficult category to judge as all entrants submitted well-crafted stories of vital local importance. Kudos to all.





Best Community Health Story B19

1) Nunatsiaq News

2) Iorì:wase

3) Record

Best Website A9

1) The Suburban City

2) The Eastern Door

3) LavalNews

Judge Comments:

Overall comments
There was an issue with stale content on many sites. In mid-March 2018 there should not be stories from 2017 on the landing page of a news site or at the top of an inside webpage. Chances are regular readers have already seen content from previous week or month. When designing an effective news site where readers can access pertinent information quickly and easily, form should follow function. If there is a lot of outdated content up front, perhaps the web design needs a rethink to put older news a few clicks in and/or move it to a searchable archive.
Since consumers are using multiple devices including cell phones and tablets to access their news, I checked all the sites on my iPhone. Most, but not all, had responsive layouts that were mobile friendly.
There is clearly work to do in making community newspaper websites more user friendly and ensuring the news is easily accessed and fully up to date. In a brave new world where news readers are turning away from print and shifting online, getting it right is going to be crucial to the survival of community news outlets.





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