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North Shore News picks up pair of gold-medal wins at Ma Murray Awards

The News scored six top-three finishes at the the annual awards recognizing the best community journalism in British Columbia and Yukon

It was another successful year for the North Shore News at the annual, esteemed Ma Murray Awards, with the paper bringing home two trophies and six top-three finishes.

In total the News picked up two golds, three silvers and a bronze at the event, which recognizes the best community journalism in British Columbia and Yukon. The winners were announced at a gala at The Polygon Gallery in North Vancouver Saturday.

Reporter Brent Richter scored both a gold and a silver, the first place prize for a story published in November entitled Researchers Raise Alarm After Salmon Killed By Chemicals. The piece, which uncovered the reason why dozens of poisoned coho salmon had washed up on the banks of Brothers Creek in West Vancouver, took home a win in the Environmental Writing Award category.

Richter also scored a silver John Collison Memorial Award for Investigative Journalism, for Evicted For Airbnb, North Shore Tenant Says System Is Failing, a piece on the hundreds of illegal short-term rentals operating on the North Shore.

Reporter Jane Seyd also took home both a gold and a silver this year, bagging the top prize in the Outdoor Recreation Writing Award category, and a silver in the Feature Article Award category.

The first was for Medical Team Brings Lifesaving Skills To The Backcountry, a story about how a volunteer North Shore Rescue team is bringing ICU care to the mountains, while the latter was for a piece that offered a behind-the-scenes look at the evidence analysis process of a specialized RCMP unit – North Van Special Unit Uses Science To Solve Crimes.

Photographer Paul McGrath nabbed a bronze award for his profile photo of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) Elder Sam George. The photo was shot for Squamish Elder Sam George Releases Memoir On Surviving St. Paul’s Residential School, a story on George’s recently released book, The Fire Still Burns.

The paper itself received a pat on the back too, in the form of a silver award win for Newspaper Excellence. The award recognizes the overall quality of the paper’s print edition.

One of the issues the paper put forward for Newspaper Excellence judging was the Feb. 15, 2023 edition that had more than a few notable stories within, spanning hard, local news (Former Councillor Bob Fearnley Remembered As Doting Family Man And Pillar Of Community) witty columns, (Greeting From Earth, and Sorry For Shooting You Down) and investigative pieces (North Van Walk-In Clinics Have Longest Wait Times To See A Doctor In Canada).