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Black Press comes up big at B.C. newspaper awards

Greater Victoria publications earn multiple honours
News publisher Penny Sakamoto accepts the gold Ma Murray Community Newspaper award for newspaper promotion for Tweed Magazine at the awards ceremony April 20.

Greater Victoria Black Press newspapers were honoured at this weekend’s Ma Murray Community Newspaper Awards gala in Richmond.

“It was a fabulous evening,” said group publisher Penny Sakamoto. “The awards are a wonderful acknowledgement for all the hard work our staff puts in all year.”

The B.C. Yukon Community Newspaper Association has been hosting the Murray Community Newspaper Awards for almost a century. Dedicated to celebrating excellence among its member newspapers, the accolades recognize all aspects of the newspaper industry, including production, publishing, reporting, editing, advertising, photography, website design and community contribution.

“It’s no surprise our papers did so well this year,” said editorial director Kevin Laird. “Our staff puts in a tremendous amount of effort into the entire product. These awards are well deserved.”

The Oak Bay News earned a silver award in its circulation category for General Excellence.

Reporter Natalie North’s Saanich News story on photographer Ted Grant earned her a gold award in the category for arts and culture writing.

Monday Magazine’s cover story on bio-diesel from April 2012 earned writer Danielle Pope a silver award in the Environmental Initiative category. The judges said the piece used “a slick combination of facts and humour to give readers new respect for a different kind of homebrew.”

Monday and Pope scored another win with their front page story on the chicken egg industry from March 2012. The story took a gold award in Business Writing.

In the same category, former reporter Roszan Holmen and the Victoria News won a bronze award for a March 2012 story on taxpayers footing the bill for Victoria Conference Centre losses.

Editor Laura Lavin and team earned a silver in the Photo Essay Award category for the 2012 A Day in the Life of Esquimalt special edition.

For her photo of a muddied extreme obstacle course athlete, Monday Magazine’s Rebecca Blissett walked away with a gold Portrait/Personality Photo Award.

Monday Magazine artist Joseph Williams took gold for his cartoon on B.C. Hydro smart meters.

In the category of Newspaper Promotion Award, the Oak Bay News and Sakamoto took gold for its promotion of the new Oak Bay magazine Tweed.

An advertisement for Vis à Vis restaurant in the Oak Bay News earned Oliver Sommer and staff a silver award for Ad Design.

Two Black Press publications earned honours in the Special Section Award category: Monday Magazine took gold for its Student Survival Guide and Lavin and team took silver for Oak Bay News’ Day in the Life of Oak Bay special edition.

Sakamoto, Sommer, Lily Chan and staff earned a bronze award for Tweed magazine in the Special Publications category.