Algonquin Times wins big at newspaper association’s awards

Algonquin's student-run news website was first published in 1987
Photo: Agrani Tiwari
Julie McCann (left) and Jon Willing (right), the professors in the journalism program, are very happy with winning first place for the Algonquin Times website.

Algonquin College’s news website, the Algonquin Times, won four awards and one honourable mention at the 2023 BNC Awards by the Ontario Community Newspaper Association on Friday, May 24, 2024.

The Algonquin Times won four categories at the OCNA Awards.
The Algonquin Times won four categories at the OCNA Awards. Photo credit: Agrani Tiwari

The Algonquin Times won the Best College/University Newspaper Website award for its new website, which was launched in the Winter 2024 term by the faculty of the journalism program. The website has a whole new design and is geared towards easy access for both readers and student writers.

“The best website [award] one […] feels really good. It always feels good when you win first place,” said Jon Willing, journalism professor. “But the website one is really interesting to us because the program has worked hard over the past year to breathe new life into the website.”

This website took a long time to come to fruition. “It took a year from deciding to renew the website until its launch date,” said Julie McCann, the program coordinator of the journalism program.

Students from the journalism program also won awards for individual work for theTimes.

Alex Lambert, who graduated this year, won first prize in Student Photography for the feature photo of the article “Closure of Rideau Street McDonald’s honoured in farewell march”, while Arty Sarkisian grabbed second place in the same category for his article “‘Fearless’ bartending student left her 30-year career as a pharmacist to seek joy”.

Alex Lambert's photo that won first prize in Student Photography at the BNC Awards.
Alex Lambert's photo that won first prize in Student Photography at the BNC Awards. Photo credit: Alex Lambert

“It feels incredible, honestly, because I didn’t expect us to do as well as we did,” Lambert said. “I remember watching the level fours get their awards and I thought how cool that was to see, so it feels very nice.”

Sarkisian also won second place in Student Feature Writing for that same article about a bartending student.

“It feels surreal to me that I got it,” said Sarkisian. “[I] certainly didn’t expect to, first become a finalist and then get second place in both categories. [I’m] surely very grateful to Jon and Julie for teaching us […] it wouldn’t have been possible without them.”

Kerry Slack got an honourable mention in the Student Feature category for her article Two sports. Countless injuries. And one giant tape ball”.

These awards serve as a commendation for the entire team’s achievements and hard work. “It’s such an energized, enthusiastic community-focused editorial team so that we couldn’t be prouder of them,” said McCann. “They really worked well together. They were enthusiastic about the mission to get good quality news out to the Algonquin College community.”

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