The Journal scores big at Ontario newspaper awards

Journal Staff

The Sarnia Journal had one gold, three silver and a bronze at this year’s Ontario Community Newspaper Awards.

The five overall awards tied the most received in a single year by your hometown newspaper.

The Journal finished first in the category of Best Special Section for Sarnia Remembers: A special tribute to our local heroes.

“I thought this was one of the best Remembrance Day tributes I have seen,” the OCNA judge said of the 24-page special section. “Easy-to-read stories of the locals who participated in the war that were compelling, relatable, and often made me cry.”

The Journal had a second place finish in the largest category of all – General Excellence – which recognizes the best weekly newspapers in Ontario based on overall writing, photograph, presentation and advertising.

“A clean design keeps the Sarnia Journal a breezy and fun read for news about civic and community happenings, business, local history, sports and arts,” a panel of three judges said. “The listings and weekly trivia are an added bonus, and they highlight their excellent photography well.”

Reporter Cathy Dobson placed second in the highly competitive category of Best News Story. Her exclusive on the local Children’s Aid Society ending placement of kids in group homes blended research and concise writing, judges said.

Editor George Mathewson and local photographer Ronny D’Haene teamed up for a second-place finish in Best Photo Layout, a two-page spread that featured “calendar quality photographs” and a look at the Secret Life of Urban Wildlife.

Finally, D’Haene had a third place in Best Feature Photo for his shot of a great egret landing in Lake Chipican on outstretched wings.

The winners were announced during a virtual awards presentation on April 29th.