The Haldimand Press takes home four awards, one honourable mention at OCNA’s 2021 BNC Awards

The Haldimand Press takes home four awards, one honourable mention at OCNA’s 2021 BNC Awards

By Haldimand Press staff

HALDIMAND—The Haldimand Press took home four awards and netted one honourable mention at this year’s Better Newspaper Competition, hosted by the Ontario Community News Association.  

The annual competition, which sees entries submitted from a large variety of community-based publications throughout Ontario, shines a spotlight on notable local journalistic efforts across a number of categories.

Haldimand Press reporter and assistant editor Mike Renzella placed first out of 64 total entries in the category ‘Diversity Coverage’ for his story ‘Geronimo’s Dream: Mohawk Institute Residential School survivor shares his story, building memorial’, which was published last July. The story recounts the experiences and impacts of life within the Mohawk Institute, one of Canada’s oldest residential schools, on Geronimo Henry, who was just five years old when his mother brought him and his siblings to the school.Judge Sierra D’Souza Butts said of the story, “Amazing photos and great quality of writing. The detailed quotes and framing of the story truly demonstrate Geronimo’s personal experience. Great relevancy to the community as the story embraces the experience of one individual and connects it to a larger issue.”

In the category ‘Sports and Recreation Story’, The Haldimand Press placed second out of 41 entries for the story titled ‘Tennis champ honoured to oversee tennis program named after parents’, also by Renzella. The story, which was published last July, dove into the passion felt by Canadian tennis champion David Brown, who returned to Haldimand County to run a program for local youths that was named after his parents, Louise and Ross Brown. Louise is one of the inaugural members of the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame. Judge Roger Knox said, “Terrific story! Very well written! Nice bits of historical and new information on how the family is still getting juniors into the sport.” 

In the category ‘Best Feature/Unit Pages’, The Haldimand Press placed third out of 13 entries for our 2021 Nurses Week special feature, with Judge Tim Shoults praising the section’s “unique idea to start the editorial on front and turn inside,” adding that the section featured “good ads and editorial on inside pages with clean layout.”

Our website, earned an honourable mention in the ‘Best Community Website/Webportal’ category, with Judge Pat Healey praising it’s “quick, to the point front page.”

Lastly, Renzella placed second out of 17 entrants for the Stephen Shaw award for Reporter of the Year. Renzella submitted three stories in the category. ‘Migrant Workers Alliance calls for changes after newest death in Haldimand Norfolk’ looked at some of the inequalities faced by migrant workers entering Haldimand Norfolk during the pandemic. ‘Affordable housing crisis on the rise in Haldimand and area’ focused on the local impact of the current housing crisis, speaking with residents who have either lost homes, or are living with housing instability. The final submission was the Diversity Coverage winner ‘Geronimo’s Dream.’

We are honoured to be included in this prestigious list of winners, and will continue to strive to deliver the fresh, relevant local news.