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Nunatsiaq News earns 14 newspaper award nominations | June 30, 2022

Categories: news

QCNA recognizes growing newsroom’s coverage of Iqaluit water emergency, COVID-19 pandemic and other big stories

This photo, taken by former reporter Mélanie Ritchot, of two people filling a jug during Iqaluit’s water emergency last October, has been nominated in the Best News Photograph category at the Quebec Community Newspapers Association awards. It is one of 14 nominations earned by Nunatsiaq News journalists for work done in 2021. (File photo by Mélanie Ritchot)

By Nunatsiaq News

Nunatsiaq News’ coverage of the Iqaluit water emergency and the COVID-19 pandemic are among stories that have earned the paper 14 nominations in the Quebec Community Newspapers Association’s awards.

The annual awards recognize the best journalism of the association’s member newspapers from 2021.

“Newspaper award nominations affirm that we are consistently running with the best in our business. They should also give readers confidence their communities are well-served by a strong team of journalists,” said managing editor Corey Larocque.

Reporter David Venn received three nominations: in feature writing, for coverage of the Nunavut Impact Review Board hearing on Baffinland Iron Mine Corp.’s Mary River mine expansion plans; business writing, for a story about how Iqaluit businesses struggled through last fall’s water emergency; and investigative reporting, for stories about Iqaluit’s water emergency.

Web editor Randi Beers is nominated for Best News Story for a piece about the Government of Nunavut’s struggle to support its COVID-19 isolation hubs, and Best Community Health Story for an article about how the public health department tracked COVID-19 in Arviat.

Former reporter Mélanie Ritchot, who left Nunatsiaq News this year to pursue a master’s degree, has four nominations — two for writing and two for photography.

An article she wrote about a youth doglsledding trek from Kimmirut to Iqaluit is in the running for Best Sports Story and her piece on a country food facility’s opening in Taloyoak is nominated in the Best Agricultural Story category.

Ritchot’s photo of two people filling water jugs in the dark during Iqaluit’s water crisis is up for Best News Photo, while an image of a woman weaving an amauti tie in Pangnirtung is being considered for Best Feature Photo.

The entire newsroom shared a nomination in the Best Website category. And despite its print edition being on hiatus during the pandemic, Nunatsiaq News garnered a nomination for Best Front Page. Its e-edition continues to be hosted on the paper’s website.

“I am extremely proud of our newsroom for the high-calibre journalism they do every day. But our reporters worked under difficult conditions last year, including the COVID-19 lockdowns in Iqaluit and the city’s water emergency,” said Larocque.

Larocque was also nominated, in the General Editorial Writing category.

Madalyn Howitt, who joined the paper last September, received her first nomination in the Best Education Story category for her coverage of a Nunavik class that petitioned the Quebec government for better internet access.

Ayla Kreelak, a Baker Lake woman whose comic strip, Smidge and Friends, began appearing in Nunatsiaq News last year, is nominated in the editorial cartoon category.

The Quebec Community Newspapers Association gave Nunatsiaq News a special honour by renaming its local editorial writing category in memory of Jim Bell, the longtime, legendary editor of Nunatsiaq News who died nearly a year ago.

“It’s a beautiful tribute. Readers admired Jim for his take-no-prisoners editorial-writing style and decades of fearless journalism in Nunavut,” Larocque said.

The winners in each category will be announced in September at QCNA’s annual general meeting.

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