Thursday, 11 March 2010

Sun Media & ONAs

Updated 03/13/2010 re story links
On a day when Quebecor bean counters and shareholders cheer an increase in 4th quarter profits, TSF salutes all Sun Media employees nominated for 2009 Ontario Newspaper Awards.

They submitted numerous entries knowing they would be on their own for any expenses incurred and fully aware of PKP's lack of interest in promoting excellence in journalism.

Congratulations to all involved and good luck May 1.

These are nominated Sun Media entries as found in the Canadian Press story:

Larry N. Smith Award for Novice Reporting (under 25,000 circulation)
Tyler Kula - Sarnia Observer

Spot News Writing (over 25,000 circulation)
News team - London Free Press

Spot News Writing (under 25,000 circulation)
Lara Bradley, Harold Carmichael, Rachel Punch, Bob Vaillancourt - Sudbury Star
Corey Laroque - Niagara Falls Review
Elliott Ferguson - Woodstock Sentinel Review

Gene Florcyk Memorial Award for Sports Writing (over 25,000 circulation)
Bruce Garrioch - Ottawa Sun

Robert J. Hanley Award for Sports Writing (under 25,000 circulation)
John Law - Niagara Falls Review
Brian Smiley - Brantford Expositor
Cory Smith - Woodstock Sentinel-Review

London Free Press Award for Excellence in News Feature Writing
Rob Tripp and Paul Schliesmann - Kingston Whig-Standard

Feature Writing (under 25,000 circulation)
Lara Bradley - Sudbury Star
Teviah Moro - Orillia Packet and Times

Ontario Power Authority Award for Green Environment Writing
Rachel Punch - Sudbury Star

James Bruce Award for Excellence in Coverage of Entertainment and the Arts
John Law - Niagara Falls Review

Walter J. Blackburn Award for Excellence in Editorials, Opinion and Analysis (over 25,000 circulation)
Kalvin Reid - St. Catharines Standard

K.J. Strachan Award for Editorials, Opinion and Analysis (under 25,000 circulation)
Monte Sonnenberg - Simcoe Reformer
Brian MacLeod - Sudbury Star
Brad Peters - Niagara Falls Review

Joan May Memorial Award for Columns
Tom Mills - Sault Star

K.A. (Sandy) Baird Award for Humour Writing
Bernie Puchalski - St. Catharines Standard

Spot News Photography (over 25,000 circulation)
Julie Jocsak - St. Catharines Standard

Jack Bowman Memorial Award for Spot News Photography (under 25,000 circulation)
Elliott Ferguson - Woodstock Sentinel-Review
John Lappa - Sudbury Star
Corey Laroque - Niagara Falls Review

Feature Photography (under 25,000 circulation)
Diana Martin - Chatham Daily News
Christopher Smith - Brantford Expositor

Sports Photography (under 25,000 circulation)
John Lappa - Sudbury Star
Ken Pagan - North Bay Nugget
Brian Thompson - Brantford Expositor

John E. Motz memorial Award for Excellence in Layout and Design
Owen Sound Sun Times

Design and Graphics (under 25,000 circulation)
Sherri Lavigne - Sudbury Star
Darryl G. Smart - Woodstock Sentinel Review

Municipal Affairs Reporting (under 25,000 circulation)
Hugo Rodrigues - Woodstock Sentinel-Review
Denis St. Pierre - Sudbury Star
Gord Young - North Bay Nugget

Online Multimedia Special Project
London Free Press

As for the benefits of slashing staff, cancelling the Dunlop Awards, removing water coolers, cutting benefits, selling off real estate, eliminating Sunday sections, firing janitorial staff, closing papers, rolling three community newspapers into one, eliminating some Monday papers, selling out Pages 1 and 2 to advertisers, having employees work from their homes, eliminating newsroom cable TV service and other Sun Media carnage, click here.


  1. This year's awards are going to need an asterix with all the newspapers who aren't entering.
    That's so sad.

  2. Shame on you 2:09 p.m. You should be applauding and not giving an "asterix" to these people's efforts. In a year of uncertainty and a whole lot of negativity these people persevered and rose to the occasion instead of moping around. Maybe you should have entered and proved that your work was award worthy instead of trashing those who worked hard and continued to do what they do despite the hardships within the company.

  3. I didn't mean for that to come across as trashing the nominees.
    I was trashing our company for not supporting the awards.
    And that's Mr. 2:09 p.m. to you.

  4. From reading these articles, 19 of the 32 eligible papers have at least one nomination, and most of the bigger papers seem to be in there. With the smaller papers, I would imagine that the main thing holding them back isn't so much that the company won't pay for the cost of entering, though I'm sure that doesn't help, but rather that staff levels have been cut so brutally that it isn't really feasible for staff to find the time to produce award winning work. When you're making your reporters churn out four or five stories a day, plus drive around town shooting picture of people handing out giant novelty checks and write soul destroying advertorials or whatever, it kind of limits how much time they can spend on their work. I know there are some small papers, like those in Woodstock and Simcoe, that have a history of producing award winning stuff with small staffs, but sadly they seem to be more the exception than the rule.

  5. Were entries down significantly this year?

  6. Interesting that the tagline at the end of the Reuters story provided at the link on Quebecor's profits indicates it was reported and edited in India.