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The Journal cleans up at Ontario newspaper awards

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Journal Staff

The Sarnia Journal had one first, two seconds, two thirds and an honourable mention at the Ontario Community Newspaper Awards on Friday.

It was the largest haul of awards in the six-year history of your hometown weekly newspaper.

Reporter Cathy Dobson won gold in the Sports and Recreation writing category. Her story about Sammy Kabat, a 12-year-old Sarnia girl who, despite losing a lung, went on to represent Canada at a world junior cheer championship in Florida, wowed the judges, who called it “tight, crisp and informative.”

Dobson had two nominations. The other, an evocative piece on Sarnia’s public art installations, placed third in the category of Arts and Entertainment.

The Journal itself was recognized for having the second-best Special Section in Ontario last year. “Sarnia Remembers” was a tribute to the city’s military heroes and their contribution around the world, and featured 22 original stories, many never told before.

Editor George Mathewson placed second in the In House Promotion category. The ad begins with the words “Helping You” and lists the benefits The Journal provides its readers, ending with the line: “for free, every week.”

Reporter Troy Shantz had a third-place finish in the highly competitive Best Feature/News Series category. Shantz’s series explored the secretive world of metal thieves and their social, financial and political impact on the community.

Finally, the OCNA Judges awarded the paper an honourable mention for Best Photo Layout, a two-page spread of remarkable nature photos by city photographer Ronny D’Haene.

The winners were announced Friday during a virtual awards ceremony in Toronto.

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