At the 2020 awards gala presented by the Canadian Christian Communicators Association (formerly Canadian Church Press), the New Brunswick Anglican came away with many honours, the biggest of which was being judged the best Christian newspaper in Canada.
The awards ceremony, normally held during the organization’s annual conference, was held June 26 using a ZOOM format. About 40 nominees, judges and organizers attended, including NB Anglican editor Gisele McKnight, and editors from other Anglican newspapers. Many of the winning papers, besides Anglican, included Catholic, Lutheran, Salvation Army, United and Mennonite.
The NB Anglican won seven awards in the broad categories of news, features, photography, design, opinion and general excellence.
“I am delighted that the NB Anglican has received these awards,” said Archbishop David Edwards. “It shows the results of the hard work of Gisele and other contributors as we have seen the face of the newspaper change.
“Personally, I am very happy that we have a concentration on articles about mission and that they are identified as such. I am always pleased to see the different and creative initiatives being undertaken by individuals and parishes across our diocese.”
Here are the list of winning entries and the judges’ comments.
First Place - General Excellence The submission had to include three consecutive newspapers published in 2019. The judge had the October, November and December papers to examine. The criteria says the papers must be “intelligent, lively, diverse, engaging and inviting reply.”
Judge’s comments: First, congratulations on publishing a first-rate, informative and diverse paper that clearly reflects the issues of interest to the Anglican community of New Brunswick. I was particularly impressed with the in-depth coverage of the Synod. But you also found the time to explore rural parishes, missions, summer camps, gatherings such as Deep Roots, church gardens, and much more. Well done.
I only saw letters to the editor in the October edition. It's another way to give community a voice. Perhaps you might consider a higher-profile invitation to send letters or emails for publication.
Editor/Reporter (and I am guessing layout person, photographer, cutline writer, troubleshooter and likely one-man band) Gisele McKnight may be one of the hardest working journalists I have had the pleasure to read, judging by the overwhelming amount of content she herself has produced. Amazing, and in my opinion, written and published at a professional level. Well done.
• • •
FIRST PLACE - Photo essay The entry was coverage of the Blessing of the Animals service in the Parish of Stanley in October, conducted by the Rev. Canon Bonnie LeBlanc.
Judge’s comments: I like the way this essay flows from one photograph to another. Your photographs back up your essay very well. This is a very difficult subject to tackle; animals will not just stand around and pose for you. You have managed to do this very well. Congratulations on such a wonderful entry.
• • •
SECOND PLACE - In depth treatment of a news story The news story was Bishop’s Court being used as an emergency Out of the Cold shelter. The entry included the news stories and photos from start to finish.
Judge’s comments: This is a story that does a very good job of explaining the numerous challenges that faced the opening of Bishop’s Court. In the February installment the writer has researched and assembled some impressive statistics about the facility and its self-sustainable nature and accomplishments. The writer provides readers with all the essential facts necessary.
The September follow up is essential because it closes the circle for readers. With winter approaching, the story provides readers with an important update and information about what the Bishop’s Court accomplished the previous year, what a difference it made in the community. This serves as more than news; it is encouragement for all those who volunteered to make the shelter succeed.
• • •
SECOND PLACE – Feature photo The photo was taken at the Camp On The Road event in the Parish of St. Stephen.
Judge’s comments: This entry works on several levels. First, let’s talk about how you managed to create a triangle with the children. This makes us to look at the entire photograph, from left to right. I am sure you did not plan this, but your background is what photographers refer to as neutral grey allowing all of your subject’s color to show. The children seem so happy and excited.
This a very pleasant photograph very well done and very well composed. The triangle that you created forces me to look at every individual person. Well done. The neutral grey background enhances all of the colors in the children’s clothes and then I look at their expressions. I think that they are having fun. I can feel the energy in this entry. Please accept my congratulations for such a fine entry.
• • •
THIRD PLACE – Feature layout & design The YIG (Youth & Intergenerational) annual poster was published in the NB Anglian and entered for its unique design features.
Judge’s comments: This is a very unique and unconventional layout, and I’m at a loss of how to critique it for those reasons. It could double as a poster, and looks like a calendar of events. The colour choices are youthful and the background image is very powerful. It doesn’t appear to follow a grid, it’s like a freeform design. Maybe this is the wave of the future, like abstract expressionism was to surrealism. For that reason, I’m intrigued. The design did entice me to head to the website to see what was going on.
• • •
THIRD PLACE – Feature story The selling of the historic Odell House, the rectory of Christ Church Cathedral, was a feature story that appeared in the April 2019 edition of the paper. It outlined the past, present and future of the house.
Judge’s comments: This would have been of interest to architectural fans for sure, but also anyone who loves design and old homes – and given the popularity of all the home renovation shows, I’d say that would be just about everyone. It was well organized. Very descriptive. Had great detail and anecdotes and historical detail.
• • •
THIRD PLACE – Personal Experience/First Person Account This was a thank you letter by former Youth & Intergenerational director Colin McDonald, sent to diocesan clergy and others who attended Clergy Conference in Saint John. It outlines their generous deed — and its outcome.
Judge’s comments: At first glance, this inspiring first person account looks suspiciously like another meeting report, but it quickly turns out to be so much more. Instead it chronicles what can happen when we are open to being followers of Jesus: we can change lives. The personal writing style is perfect for the story. Good use of detail and color.