Northern sweep at newspaper awards
Yellowknifer, Inuvik Drum, The Hub win for excellence in advertising and editorial

NNSL (Sep 25/98) - Northern newspapers grabbed headlines at the annual newspaper competition held in Calgary, Alta. earlier this month.

In total, Yellowknifer and Inuvik Drum, owned by Northern News Services, and the Hay River Hub, walked away with nine awards in nine categories in a field of 103 community newspapers.

Yellowknifer took both first and second place for Excellence in Creative Advertising.

"Graphic Designer Bonnie Rioux had no difficulty with immediately pulling a reader's eye to her 'Discover the World' ad for Tamarack Computers," the judges commented.

The judges found Yellowknifer's second place winner, an ad for Buffalo Air Express, had "all the winning elements" required for an effective ad. This same ad won the Most Creative Ad award at the Canadian Community Newspaper Association earlier this summer.

Inuvik Drum took first place in the Special Sections and Supplements competition with its Visitors Guide '97. "This guide gives the reader a sense this is a vibrant community that has a great deal of pride in itself," the judges said.

Editorial awards

Yellowknifer took first place in the Best Local Editorial category. Headlined 'When will the nonsense stop?', the editorial dealt with Tuaro Dairy and the city's finance director's conflict of interest.

"It is important to note that despite threats of legal action, the newspaper persisted with its coverage and editorializing over a period of time, sparking letters to the editor and finally, the resignation of the finance director," the judges said, adding: "This is fearless editorial writing at its best."

Inuvik Drum took first place in the Best Editorial on a Business Topic. Headlined Gas Guzzlers, editor Richard Gleeson demanded more details about the Inuvialuit Petroleum Corporation's deal to supply natural gas to Inuvik.

"It's a strong opinion, said the judges, "expressed directly and well, and clearly stands up for the citizens in the community."

Yellowknifer placed third with a business editorial headlined 'A city with an image problem', commenting on the city's low rating by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Yellowknifer also placed second in Best Column or Feature Article on a Business topic with a special report on the diamond industry.

Local news

Yellowknifer and Hay River's The Hub took second and third place in Best Local News Story.

Jennifer Pritchett's series on street violence in Yellowknife impressed the judges with "strong writing and feature photos" and a "particularly gripping account of a beating."

Pritchett also shared first place at the Canadian Community Newspaper competition with Yellowknifer summer intern Alison Blackduck for a series on the drug trade in Yellowknife.

The Hub's third place winning entry by David Helwig, covered the local health board appointment of a board member as finance director.

"An example of the media as watchdog," commented the judges. "Going behind the scenes and into the minutes to bring to light an issue of public importance."