There’s nothing like a vote of confidence from the Quebec Community Newspaper Association during a pandemic to give this newsroom a boost.
For the second year in a row, we’ve won the best overall newspaper category of the 2019 QCNA Better Newspapers contest against a bevy of large newspapers with bigger staff and circulation numbers.
"We've been so discombobulated with this COVID-19 business, we almost forgot to put our big win in this week's paper," said publisher Nikki Mantell, explaining why it's on page three instead of the front page. "It is front page news, we work damn hard getting this little paper out into the hands of readers, and yes, we are pretty proud to win best overall newspaper two years in a row."
She gives credit to her whole team - whether reporter or ad sales director - as everyone brings their passion and dedication to work every day. "Plus there's no end of ridiculously interesting stories coming out of this community. It's a gold mine," summed up Mantell.
The Low Down also won the best feature page award for our coverage of the Sept. 27 climate marches in the Gatineau Hills and Ottawa –a collaboration between newspaper staff and reader-contributors; reporter Hunter Cresswell won best news photo for a picture of a La Pêche Fire Department firefighter responding to a brush fire in Edelweiss on May 7; and graphic designer Aleks Gniazdowska best small advertising creation for her Physio des Collines ad.
But that’s not all!
The Low Down was also the runner up for best community newspaper promotion for our “cheeky” subscription drive starring scantily clad humour columnist Julien Dionne, best local affairs editorial by publisher Mantell, best general editorial by Mantell, best environmental story about a butterfly named Elizabeth that got a wing transplant by former reporter Hollie Davies, best community health story about a local woman with chronic fatigue syndrome by former reporter Jake Munro, best editorial cartoon which was contributed by John Miedema, and best large advertising creation by Gniazdowska.