The Yukon News took home 11 awards, including three first-place prizes, at the BC & Yukon Community Newspaper Association’s Ma Murray Awards on Saturday.
Ashley Joannou won best feature series for her writing on Whitehorse Correctional Centre’s treatment of mentally ill inmates. “She negotiates the somewhat Kafkaesque nature of this story, skillfully untangling its bureaucratic nature for the reader while weaving in the stories of those affected,” the judge wrote. “A great read.”
Keith Halliday won the top award for best column. “Keith Halliday’s cleverly woven mix of seriousness and humour work to great effect in creating insight and providing perspective,” the judge wrote. “His strong, clear writing allows readers to easily relate to the matters he explores.”
Alistair Maitland won best portrait photo for his image of a single mother, to accompany an article about the challenges two young mothers faced giving up alcohol. “Outstanding use of skill and black-and-white format to tell the young mother’s story,” the judge wrote. “Great use of light, camera perspective and lens selection.”
Jesse Winter won second-place for best black-and-white feature photo, with his shot of a man jumping into the icy Yukon River to practise rescue techniques. “A good capture of action.
Technically excellent image that challenges readers to look deeper into the article.”
John Thompson won a second-place prize for his editorial, “Stupidity outbreak mars Harper’s visit.” “A powerful editorial that uses vivid language – and more than a little sarcasm – to dissect the prime minister’s response to the troubling question of Canada’s First Nations’ murdered and missing women,” the judge wrote. “The editorial doesn’t pull any punches as it uses both sharp analysis and telling statistics to make the case that simply locking up more people will solve this national problem.”
Alistair Maitland garnered a second-place win for best sports photo for his shot of a girl performing the high kick. “Intensity and focus are captured brilliantly in this image. Technically challenging, the photographer has done well to freeze a split-second in this image. Great work.”
Heidi Neufeld won a second-place prize for best classifies section. “Well organized, with a classic classified look and feel, and easy to read.”
Tom Patrick took a third-place prize for best sports photo, for his shot of a mountain biker taking a dive over the side of Whitehorse’s clay cliffs. “A great shot that is truly spontaneous and genuine,” the judge wrote. “Great composition and capture of the moment.”
Jacqueline Ronson placed third for best feature series for her writing on violence against women. “A substantive and well-plotted series on violence against women, this is of deep interest to the community, given Yukon’s high rate of violence and sexual assault,” the judge wrote. “Jacqueline Ronson’s work features solid leads, well-crafted prose and careful attention to context.”
Ashley Joannou won a third-place prize for best history article, for her feature on residential school survivors, “Finding those lost to a tragic history.” “We’ve heard a lot about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, but this article really helps us understand some of the issues it has faced,” the judge wrote.
“I’ll admit that as an archivist I really appreciated the author’s care in explaining how the complexity of the records (or the lack thereof) is hindering the process. At the same time, the article is personalized for us with a heartbreaking opening story. The writing avoids cliches, and provides lots of concrete information about a highly charged subject. Excellent work.”
The News also won a third-place prize for best overall newspaper in our circulation size. “The Yukon News has always been an impressive product. Consistently strong writing and photography complement each other nicely. Good coverage of local sports, and an overall impressive job covering news for the entire Yukon. Well done.”
Last month the News won 13 awards, including three top prizes, from the Canadian Community Newspaper Association.