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Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News shines at Ma Murray awards

Editor Andrew Bailey and journalist Nora O’Malley both earn BCYCNA awards
From left, Westerly News journalist and sales rep Nora O’Malley, publisher Teresa Bird and editor Andrew Bailey celebrated receiving a first place trophy in the General Excellence category of the BC Yukon Community Newspaper Association’s Ma Murray Awards on May 14. (BCYCNA photo)

You are reading the best small town newspaper in the province.

The Westerly News earned first place honours in the general excellence category of the BC Yukon Community Newspaper Association’s Ma Murray awards on May 14.

“Excellent photography, a strong front page and terrific overall design. This paper has lots of local news indicating that the staff are interested in portraying the local community,” read the judges’ description of the Westerly. “West Vancouver Island should be proud of their newspaper.”

The Rocky Mountain Goat placed second in the category and the Eagle Valley News placed third.

Along with the general excellence trophy, Westerly News editor Andrew Bailey and journalist Nora O’Malley both earned individual accolades.

Bailey won gold in the Environment Writing category for his coverage of irresponsible attractant management leading to black bear deaths on the West Coast.

“Excellent ‘news you can use’ series that benefits both people and wildlife in the community,” read the judges’ comments on Bailey’s award. “Easy to read with practical, easy to follow tips backed up by reasons to follow them. Good use of interviews and quotes to explain the reasons for people to make behavioural changes. These articles will have a real impact.”

Brent Richter of the North Shore News placed second in the category followed by third place finishers Alyssa Noel and Megan Lalonde of Whistler’s Pique Newsmagazine.

O’Malley won silver in the Spot News Photo category for her photograph of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau during the couple’s vacation in Tofino on Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

“A ‘time and place moment’ spot news image of national interest showcasing the Prime Minister’s actions,” the judges wrote of O’Malley’s award winning shot.

Patrick Davies of the 100 Mile House Free Press earned gold in the category and Andrea DeMeer of The Similkameen Spotlight placed third.

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