The Alberni Valley News’ editorial on the Humboldt Broncos’ tragedy won second place for Best National Editorial in the annual Canadian Community Newspapers Association competition. It was one of six national awards the News collected in the 2018 awards. SCREEN SHOT

Alberni Valley News earns six national journalism awards

This year, judges celebrated our editorial pages

The Alberni Valley News has earned six Canadian Community Newspaper Association awards in the 2019 competition.

This year, judges celebrated our editorial pages. Our section was judged third best in Canada for our circulation category. We also won second for Best National Editorial, “Our lives all changed on a country road,” about the Humboldt Broncos’ tragedy; and third for Best Local Editorial, “Time to stop stereotyping homelessness.”

Editorials take the pulse of a community. They are meant to choose one side of an issue, present the facts, form an opinion and back up that opinion. Editorials are sometimes unpopular, depending on which side of an issue one is sitting, and spark debate.

Editorials are a starting point for critical thinking and further discussion of issues that are important to the residents of a community. They are the first half of a discussion among opinion pages: letters to the editor are the second half, where readers are able to respond and share their opinions.

Editorials are only one part that makes a whole newspaper and news website, though.

Every story needs a headline, whether in print or online, to direct readers to different stories. Journalist Elena Rardon’s use of alliteration and puns in headlines earned the AV News third for Best Headline Writing.

Each Christmas, we host a story-writing contest and publish the winners’ stories in the edition closest to Christmas. We strive to include holiday-related stories in the same issue, as well as advertising features to pull together an entire package for the season. This year, we earned third for Best Holiday Edition.

Port Alberni is a gem of an arts and entertainment centre, often overlooked due to the rich cultural communities in Nanaimo to the southeast and Comox Valley to the northeast. There is no end to the stories of events, performers and artisans throughout the Alberni Valley, and we love to write about as many as we can. This year, we won second place in Canada for Best Coverage of the Arts.

While we are proud of these accomplishments and the recognition from our peers, we don’t write, photograph, create ads or videos for awards: we do all that for our readers.

— Susie Quinn, editor

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