As the big guys were patting themselves on the back this week over the National Newspaper Award nominations, smaller newspapers in Quebec also got a list of nominations: for the Quebec Community Newspaper Association awards.
The full list is here in PDF format, but since we judge papers by the number of awards they are nominated for, let’s tally the numbers:
The clear winner in number of nominations is the paper with the best name: the LowDown to Hull and Back News. The Gatineau hills paper with the adorable publisher has 17 nominations and two honourable mentions. Surprisingly, Best Overall Newspaper isn’t one of them.
Others, in order:
- The Suburban (10, plus one honourable mention)
- Kahnawake’s The Eastern Door (9, plus one honourable mention)
- The Nation (7)
- Huntingdon’s The Gleaner (6, plus one honourable mention)
- The Nunatsiaq News (6)
- Vaudreuil’s Your Local Journal (6)
- The Westmount Examiner (5)
- Bulletin d’Aylmer (5)
- West Island Chronicle (5)
- Pontiac Journal (4)
- Pontiac’s The Equity (4)
- The Laval News (3, plus one honourable mention)
- Canadian Jewish News (3)
- Townships Outlet (2)
- The Sherbrooke Record (1)
- West Quebec Post (1)
- Quebec Farmers’ Advocate (1)
- Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph (1)
It’s a bit silly to judge these papers strictly on the basis of these numbers, but the disappointing showings from some former QCNA stars is worth noting.
The Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph, whose claim to fame is being North America’s oldest continually-running newspaper, was one of the few English media in the Quebec City region, and a strong community paper. But problems at the ownership level led to a fear that it would stop publishing, a fear that its fans hope is no longer necessary after a new owner came in in November.
The West Island Chronicle, meanwhile, is suffering after the departure of its editor and only reporter a year ago. The paper was among the leaders last year on the strength of their work before they left, but now it has become at best average as its young staff learns the ropes and reinvents the journalistic wheel.
(If you want some advice, by the way, having reporters paraphrase celebrity gossip rumours they found online like a poor man’s Doug Camilli probably isn’t an optimal use of limited resources, even if it’s attracting a bunch of junk traffic online.)
The QCNA awards are handed out May 27 in Vaudreuil.
UPDATE (June 1): The list of winners is out. The Suburban won five awards, including best overall newspaper. The Eastern Door won two, Your Local Journal four, The Nation three, The Equity three and Pontiac Journal two.
The Gleaner Nunatsiaq News, Westmount Examiner, Bulletin d’Aylmer, Laval News, Townships Outlet, Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph and West Island Chronicle won one each.