LOG CABIN CHRONICLES

The best newspaper prize of all

AYLMER, QUEBEC | This past weekend was the busiest of the year here in West Quebec.

Aylmer was bursting with energy -- from the Fleurs de Macadam (one day only?), the launch of Gatineau Week, Builder for a Day, Grande Riviere's rugby tournament, a fishing derby at the marina, the Portuguese community's "Fado" festival, Richelieu Club's lobster dinner, the Leucan head-shaving-for-cancer research, the season's opening of the Symmes Inn Museum, Go-Go Grannies' yard sale for AIDs caregivers, the AHA plant sale, Amir Khadir's visit, the United Church's High Tea. Whew!

Anyone say nothing happens around here?

For us at the Bulletin, a bigger weekend was the one before -- Quebec's community newspaper convention and awards gala.

Always a big deal for newspaper people, the convention gets us out with our peers from Quebec City, Gaspé, the Far North, south to the eastern Townships, and all the cities -- English, French, Mohawk, Cree, Inuit, Greek, and Italian. What a pleasure to touch base with others who do the same sort of work as do we, week after week.

This year's awards gala was particularly rewarding, although much goes on besides awards. It is reassuring to win certificates and prize money, but more rewarding is the knowledge that we are producing a newspaper that exceeds most professional standards and which serves our community as does no other media of any type. That's a serious responsibility, as well as a pat on the back.

This year our former sales manager, Manon Fleury, was awarded the top honour in her field for the whole province, the Durnin Award. Although Ms. Fleury is moving away, this award signifies that she has given Aylmer businesses the best service of anywhere in Quebec.

Likewise, the prize for the Best Column in the French Language was won -- first place! -- by Aylmer's Carolle Bertrand. Carolle was thrilled, and so were all of us. It is especially gratifying to see that a bilingual paper can win honours in written French.

So often we hear linguistic purists complain that bilingualism somehow dilutes French-language purity. An award like this puts the lie to such small-mindedness, and the Bulletin has managed similar awards in the past with the excellent work of Antoine L. Normand, now retired.

It is gratifying to see that good journalism, photos, and design are not the property of wealthy media corporations. While the Bulletin placed in the top three, for both editorial categories, many corporate papers don't provide editorials at all.

Quality-wise, corporates don't do very well, compared to independent papers, like the Bulletin and the West Quebec Post<./i>. They make more money, but that's often where their ambitions end. Too bad for their readers and advertisersÉ

There is another reward for us as we cover summer's events -- when we hear, "Hey, the Bulletin's here!" That's a prize given by the toughest judges who expect only the best from their local paper.

FRED RYAN
Posted 06.14.11

AYLMER, QUEBEC | This past weekend was the busiest of the year here in West Quebec.

Aylmer was bursting with energy -- from the Fleurs de Macadam (one day only?), the launch of Gatineau Week, Builder for a Day, Grande Riviere's rugby tournament, a fishing derby at the marina, the Portuguese community's "Fado" festival, Richelieu Club's lobster dinner, the Leucan head-shaving-for-cancer research, the season's opening of the Symmes Inn Museum, Go-Go Grannies' yard sale for AIDs caregivers, the AHA plant sale, Amir Khadir's visit, the United Church's High Tea. Whew!

Anyone say nothing happens around here?

For us at the Bulletin, a bigger weekend was the one before -- Quebec's community newspaper convention and awards gala.

Always a big deal for newspaper people, the convention gets us out with our peers from Quebec City, Gaspé, the Far North, south to the eastern Townships, and all the cities -- English, French, Mohawk, Cree, Inuit, Greek, and Italian. What a pleasure to touch base with others who do the same sort of work as do we, week after week.

This year's awards gala was particularly rewarding, although much goes on besides awards. It is reassuring to win certificates and prize money, but more rewarding is the knowledge that we are producing a newspaper that exceeds most professional standards and which serves our community as does no other media of any type. That's a serious responsibility, as well as a pat on the back.

This year our former sales manager, Manon Fleury, was awarded the top honour in her field for the whole province, the Durnin Award. Although Ms. Fleury is moving away, this award signifies that she has given Aylmer businesses the best service of anywhere in Quebec.

Likewise, the prize for the Best Column in the French Language was won -- first place! -- by Aylmer's Carolle Bertrand. Carolle was thrilled, and so were all of us. It is especially gratifying to see that a bilingual paper can win honours in written French.

So often we hear linguistic purists complain that bilingualism somehow dilutes French-language purity. An award like this puts the lie to such small-mindedness, and the Bulletin has managed similar awards in the past with the excellent work of Antoine L. Normand, now retired.

It is gratifying to see that good journalism, photos, and design are not the property of wealthy media corporations. While the Bulletin placed in the top three, for both editorial categories, many corporate papers don't provide editorials at all.

Quality-wise, corporates don't do very well, compared to independent papers, like the Bulletin and the West Quebec Post<./i>. They make more money, but that's often where their ambitions end. Too bad for their readers and advertisersÉ

There is another reward for us as we cover summer's events -- when we hear, "Hey, the Bulletin's here!" That's a prize given by the toughest judges who expect only the best from their local paper.




Copyright © 2011 Fred Ryan/Log Cabin Chronicles/06.11