The Algonquin Times recaptured the title of best Ontario campus newspaper after being awarded the top prize in the college/university category at the Ontario Community Newspapers Association awards on Friday, April 7.
The award was presented at a gala ceremony at the Toronto Marriott Airport Hotel, which was attended by students from both the journalism and advertising programs, along with professors Joe Banks and Karen Kavanagh. Former Times editors, Sarah Ferguson and Nicole McCormick, current editor Stuart Kite, along with ad manager, Belema Jenol Obunge, and production/traffic manager, Komal Gupta, were all on hand to accept the prestigious award.
The Times was nominated alongside newspapers from Durham College and Niagara College. It was blanked during last year’s competition, but had won the year prior.
Ferguson, who was nominated as both an editor and a writer in the student feature category for her profile on retired neuroscientist Dr. Leo Renaud, said that being an editor and reporter for the Times was a “fun and rewarding experience.
“Obviously, it’s always great to have your work recognized at a higher level and I couldn’t be more proud of us as a group for creating a quality product.”
“Getting to attend the awards gala was great because it was the opportunity to celebrate our hard work,” added Ferguson. “It was also great for the three most recent editors to hang out and bond with the members of the advertising team.”
The Algonquin Times, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in September 2016, is unique in that its production cycle forms the core of practical training for both Algonquin’s journalism and advertising programs. Students from each program work closely alongside one another to produce the bi-weekly publication during the fall and winter semesters.
This is what makes the Times stand out from other student publications, according to former traffic manager, Jesse Warner.
“Working with such an enthusiastic and passionate group of people is what makes the Algonquin Times such an amazing student-run paper,” said Warner. “Both teams work so diligently to make sure that the work we produce is of utmost quality. It really is an honour to be recognized for such hard work and commitment.”
While Warner, McCormick and Ferguson are no longer staff on the Times, their legacy is in good hands with the current team led by first-year journalism student and current editor of the Times, Stuart Kite.
“My first year with the Times has been really eye opening in regards to the history and prestige of the paper,” said Kite. “From the 30-year anniversary party to the OCNA gala, I have seen how much the paper means to students and alumni alike. Our class knows this and it pushes all of us to make the best paper we can.”