Nunatsiaq News takes 8 QCNA awards
Coverage of Iqaluit water emergency among news stories earning journalism awards for 2021
Nunatsiaq News journalists earned eight newspaper awards from the Quebec Community Newspapers Association on Friday, including six for three reporters who were in their first year with the paper.
David Venn’s coverage of last year’s Iqaluit water emergency earned him the organization’s award in the Best Investigative Reporting category. Venn, who joined Nunatsiaq News in January 2021, also won in the business writing category for a story about how businesses struggled through that crisis.
Madalyn Howitt’s feature story on a campaign by Nunavik students calling on the Quebec provincial government to improve internet service won for Best Education Story. She started at Nunatsiaq News in the summer of 2021.
Former reporter Mélanie Ritchot earned three awards, including the 2022 Outstanding Photojournalism award (shared with Trevor Greenway from The Low Down to Hull & Back News), Best News Photo for a picture of people filling jugs during the water emergency, and Best Sports Story for her coverage of a dogsled race from Kimmirut to Iqaluit.
Ritchot, who recently returned to a graduate school program in B.C., also came in second place in the Best Agricultural Story category and third in the Best Feature Photo category for an image of a Pangnirtung woman weaving an amauti tie.
Ayla Kreelak, an artist from Baker Lake, received top honours in the Editorial Cartoon category. She began drawing the Smidge and Friends comic strip — an original feature exclusive to Nunatsiaq News — last year. In September, Kreelak began studying art at a college in New Brunswick.
Nunatsiaq News also earned top spot in the Best Website category for the second year in a row. The paper placed third in the Best Front Page category for its e-edition fronts.
The paper had been up for 14 nominations in the annual awards that recognize the best journalism of 2021 by the organization’s member papers.
“The QCNA results are just one indication of the great work that was done by a relatively young newsroom with much more to come,” managing editor Corey Larocque said following the awards presentation that was held virtually as part of the QCNA’s annual general meeting.
Four new reporters joined the Nunatsiaq News team in 2021.
“The individual writing awards are testaments to the talent of our journalists. The website award recognizes that we’re consistently presenting readers with important news in a way they can digest it.”
This was the first year that the newspaper association honoured former Nunatsiaq News editor Jim Bell by renaming its Local Editorial Writing category in his memory. Bell, who was renowned for his fearless editorials while working for this paper since the 1980s, died in August 2021.
The winner of the inaugural Jim Bell Award for Best Editorial (local affairs) was Charles Dickson of The Equity from Shawville, Que.
Well done, the paper is more tempered in what it publishes now that Jim is no longer at the helm, nonetheless still bringing home the awards.
Tempered is one way to put it. You could also point out the absolute dearth of insightful, meaningful even interesting analysis that has been the norm since Jim left us. When was the last time this publication ran an editorial? 5 months ago?