Com­pass edi­tor ‘out­stand­ing jour­nal­ist’

Awards aplenty for NL Week­lies at At­lantic News­pa­pers gala

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - edi­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Com­pass edi­tor Terry Roberts was the win­ner in the cat­e­gory of “out­stand­ing jour­nal­ist” at the 2013 News­pa­pers At­lantic Bet­ter News­pa­per Com­pe­ti­tion in Hal­i­fax on May 11.

It was one of many ac­co­lades handed out dur­ing a gala at the Hal­i­fax Mar­riott Har­bourfront Ho­tel, which saw TC Me­dia and its em­ploy­ees from this prov­ince come away with mul­ti­ple awards, in­clud­ing two of the three “out­stand­ing awards.”

Fel­low edi­tor Adam Ran­dell of The North­ern Pen in St. An­thony was named “out­stand­ing pho­tog­ra­pher,” and was tops in the cat­e­gory of “best fea­ture story.”

Kevin His­cock, gen­eral man­ager of TC Me­dia com­mu­ni­ties news­pa­pers in New­found­land and Labrador, and man­ager of The Com­pass, also re­ceived a Pres­i­dent’s Award from News­pa­pers At­lantic, while ad­ver­tis­ing sales rep­re­sen­ta­tive Max­ine Drake of the South­ern Gazette in Marys­town won the tro­phy in a cat­e­gory called The Great Ideas Ex­change.

Drake, who has been in the me­dia in­dus­try for less than two years, was also a stand­ing fi­nal­ist for “out­stand­ing salesperson.”

His­cock said the show­ing by jour­nal­ists and sales staff from this prov­ince is a tes­ta­ment to their pas­sion and ded­i­ca­tion to the pro­fes­sion, and the high de­gree of re­spect to which they re­gard the com­mu­ni­ties they serve.

“Th­ese awards are very com­pet­i­tive, and they have to be earned,” His­cock stated. “I am very proud of the work we do in our com­mu­ni­ties, and such recog­ni­tion is val­i­da­tion of the im­por­tant role that com­mu­nity news­pa­pers con­tinue to play in our prov­ince.”

News­pa­pers At­lantic, for­merly known as the At­lantic Canada News­pa­per As­so­ci­a­tion, is a non-profit mem­ber­ship or­ga­ni­za­tion that rep­re­sents 70 news­pa­pers with a com­bined cir­cu­la­tion of more than 735,000 news­pa­pers in At­lantic Canada.

The an­nual gala high­lighted what was a two-day con­fer­ence that also in­cluded guest speak­ers, ed­u­ca­tional work­shops and net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Tal­ented writer

Roberts re­ceived the nod for out­stand­ing jour­nal­ist over two other fi­nal­ists — Ash­ley Thomp­son of The Wind­sor Hants Jour­nal and Belle Hat­field of The Yar­mouth Van­guard. Both pa­pers are based in Nova Sco­tia.

Judges de­scribed Roberts as “a tal­ented writer able to cover a wide range of top­ics well. Fear­less in chal­leng­ing the pow­ers that be, but also main­tains the abil­ity to feel com­pas­sion for those who have suf­fered loss.”

It was noted that Roberts “leaves me with all my ques­tions an­swered, which is the mark of a good jour­nal­ist and sto­ry­teller.”

Roberts was also a win­ner in the cat­e­gory of “best national edi­to­rial” for a piece head­lined Pe­nashue no longer has le­git­i­macy, which was pub­lished in the Oct. 23, 2012 print edi­tion of The Com­pass.

The edi­to­rial was de­scribed as “a straight­for­ward and com­pelling ar­gu­ment call­ing for the res­ig­na­tion of Labrador MP Peter Pe­nashue.”

The judge added: “The clear, clean writ­ing and sober rea­son­ing leads to the only log­i­cal con­clu­sion.”

Roberts was also a stand­ing fi­nal­ist for “best re­sources story” for a fea­ture head­lined A life with­out cod, which spot­lighted how the Town of Bay de Verde had changed in the 20 years since the col­lapse of the cod stocks. The win­ner was fel­low edi­tor Brodie Thomas of the Gulf News in Port aux Basques.

Roberts has worked in the news­pa­per in­dus­try in this prov­ince for more than two decades, with long stints at The North­ern Pen in St. An­thony and The Tele­gram in St. John’s. He joined The Com­pass in July 2010.

Mercer a fi­nal­ist

Mean­while, Com­pass re­porter/pho­tog­ra­pher Nicholas Mercer was a stand­ing fi­nal­ist in two cat­e­gories — “best spe­cialty col­umn” and “best photo es­say.”

Mercer, whose sports col­umn is called “To the point,” was praised by the judge.

“He is not afraid to tackle dif­fi­cult sub­jects, even to the point of giv­ing hockey fans hell for not be­ing loud enough sup­port­ers of the lo­cal team. And don’t get him started on TSN.”

Mercer, a na­tive of Bay Roberts, has worked in the news me­dia since the spring of 2011, with stints at The Tele­gram and The Bea­con in Gan­der. He started with with The Com­pass in Septem­ber 2011.

Long­time Com­pass em­ployee Bill Bow­man was also a stand­ing fi­nal­ist in the cat­e­gory of “best lo­cal edi­to­rial” for a piece he penned head­lined “Those de­mean­ing, in­suf­fer­able Screech-ins.”

Here is a sum­mary of the award win­ners:

• The Gulf News — Best Com­mu­nity Ser­vice;

• Adam Ran­dell, North­ern Pen — Out­stand­ing Pho­tog­ra­pher, Best Fea­ture Story;

• Bar­bara Dean- Sim­mons, Clarenville Packet — Best Lo­cal Edi­to­rial;

• Terry Roberts, The Com­pass — Out­stand­ing Jour­nal­ist, Best National Edi­to­rial;

• Jamie Lewis, The Labrado­rian — Best News Photo;

• Brodie Thomas, The Gulf News — Best Re­sources Story;

• The Advertiser, Grand Falls-Wind­sor — win­ner, gen­eral ex­cel­lence, class 1.

In all , news­pa­pers and their em­ploy­ees from this prov­ince were stand­ing fi­nal­ists in 26 cat­e­gories.

NL Week­lies were well rep­re­sented at the 2013 News­pa­pers At­lantic Bet­ter News­pa­per Com­pe­ti­tion in Hal­i­fax on May 11. Pic­tured here are, from left, Com­pass edi­tor Terry Roberts, South­ern Gazette (Marys­town) salesperson Max­ine Drake, NL Week­lies gen­eral man­ager Kevin His­cock, NL Week­lies cir­cu­la­tion man­ager Mar­i­lyn Pud­di­combe, and North­ern Pen edi­tor Adam Ran­dell.

Terry Roberts

Nicholas Mercer

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