Andrea Rondeau column: Big award wins boost newsroom morale

This year both the Cowichan Valley Citizen and the Lake Cowichan Gazette garnered several prizes.

I’ve spoken before in this column about how a lot of the feedback we tend to get in the newspaper business is negative.

No, I don’t think it’s because we’re so terrible, it’s just the nature of the beast, so to speak. People are often much more moved to complain than they are to praise. But this week we actually got some really great feedback in the newsroom. It certainly brightened up my Monday.

Like many industries do, the newspaper business hands out annual awards. On Monday, News Media Canada announced the winners of the 2019 Canadian Community Newspaper Awards, recognizing some of the best stuff created and published in 2018.

This year both the Cowichan Valley Citizen and the Lake Cowichan Gazette garnered several prizes.

The Lake Cowichan Gazette was chosen as the third best all-around newspaper in Canada in its circulation category, and won first place for best editorial page among papers of its size.

The Cowichan Valley Citizen took second place in the best all-around newspaper competition in its circulation category, and also took second place for best front page and best editorial page.

In addition, I won second place for best national editorial, and our amazing cartoonist Elly Mossman also took second prize for best local cartoon.

We usually earn a couple of nods from the provincial and national awards, but it’s been a while since we did so well.

At the provincial awards this year the Cowichan Valley Citizen was named third for newspaper excellence in our circulation category, and reporter Sarah Simpson won second in the outdoor recreation writing category.

While accolades are not why anyone gets into the newspaper business (and if it is I can only imagine they get out of it really fast) it’s really nice to be acknowledged by your peers. It’s also really nice to have the hard work of our dedicated staff recognized for what it is: first class.

I’m proud of our entire staff, especially my editorial team of Kevin Rothbauer, Lexi Bainas, Sarah Simpson, and Robert Barron. And we couldn’t do it without our sales team: Lauri Meanley, Vi Moffatt, Darin Lashman, and Christian McKnight, under sales manager David van Deventer. Then there’s the indispensable Dawn Heggie, our office manager, circulation manager Audette LePage, and last but not least, publisher Warren Goulding.

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