A dog shot by its owner; a pilot saved; a skate park in limbo; a growing drinking and driving problem.
They’re all stories the Low Down published in 2012. They’re stories that hit home for many readers; stories we can all relate to; stories that documented the year that was.
They’re without doubt harrowing and intriguing tales from the Gatineau Hills. It’s no surprise then that the Quebec Community Newspapers Association (QCNA) has nominated them and other Low Down features as among the best in their respective categories.
The little paper is a nominee for the big prize – Best Overall Newspaper – to be handed out at this year’s QCNA gala at the Chateau Cartier in Aylmer on May 31.
“I was surprised we were nominated for so many awards,” said Low Down reporter Lucy Scholey, who leads all writers with seven nominations. Reporter Trevor Greenway is close behind with six writing nods and one for photography.
The Low Down leads all QCNA newspapers with 19 nominations – guaranteeing 19 medals – including Best Front Page, Best Feature Page, Best Sports Page, Best Headline Writing and Best Website. The Nation is next with 13 nominations, one ahead of the Shawville-based Equity.
If there’s another significant prize the Low Down hopes to win, it’s the Best In-Depth Reporting award for our three-part series, “Hammered in the Hills.”
The series, which featured more than two-dozen articles, sidebars and stats packages, took aim at the drinking culture in our area. Most of our readers agree that drinking and driving is a major problem in the Hills.
“It was a series we wrote that was really relevant, not just here, but in rural communities across the country,” added Scholey. “We all put our heads together and dealt with what could have been a controversial issue in a sensitive way.”
Scholey and Greenway face off against each other to vie for Best News Story and Best Business Story. Greenway’s news story about Cantley resident Stefan McClelland pulling a pilot from a sinking plane in the Ottawa River is up against Scholey’s tear-jerking tale about a dog that was shot by its owner and subsequently saved.
The two Low Down scribes also butt heads in the Best Business Story competition, with Greenway’s feature about a local Internet company being pushed out of competition by bigger companies, going against Scholey’s piece on Chelsea’s business boom in 2012.
Other notable Low Down nominations include Scholey’s business feature on Jim Duffy’s Kaza Cabana legacy and an item on the Wakefield skate park for Best Sports Story.
Greenway is also up for Best Community Health Story for his following multiple sclerosis patient Sandy Daviau’s plight in obtaining a medical marijuana-smoking license, and his photo of two hockey players captured through a shovel handle is up for Best Feature Photo.