Manotick Messenger a finalist for four provincial newspaper awards

TORONTO — The Manotick Messenger is a finalist for four Ontario Community Newspaper Association awards.

The OCNA announced the finalists for its 2018 OCNA Better Newspaper Competition Awards last week, selecting three entries as finalists in each category. The OCNA represents more than 250 community newspapers and publications in Ontario and Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. The winners will be announced at the OCNA Better Newspaper Competition Gala April 5 in Toronto.

The local newspaper is a finalist for Best Arts and Entertainment Story for a feature on Rob Kemp, who gave up high school football to take part in his school’s Cappies play. Kemp, who is also a theatrical make-up expert, won the Best Male Actor Award at the Cappies last year for his portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol.

The Messenger is also a finalist in the Best Sports and Recreation Story for a feature on the growing amount of abuse that youth and high school football officials are subjected to. The story was triggered by an incident in which a 15-year-old player and his father assaulted a 68-year-old official in the parking lot after a National Capital Amateur Football Association Bantam playoff game.

The Messenger’s From the Other Side column, written by Jeff Morris, is up for both of the OCNA’s columnist awards. Morris is up for both the OCNA Columnist of the Year and Humour Columnist of the Year awards, making him the second writer to ever be up for both awards in the same year. Morris was the OCNA Humour Columnist of the Year in 2006 and has been a runner-up three times since then. He was the OCNA Columnist of the Year in 2008. Last year, Morris won the Stephen Shaw Award as the province’s reporter of the year for the second time.

“We are a lot smaller and leaner than most of the other publications in the province, but we have a great team,” Morris said. “Mike Carroccetto is a world class photographer, Charlie Senack is turning into a great young journalist, and Gary Coulombe is the most dedicated person I have ever worked with. It’s great for our team when we all work so hard and we are recognized by our peers from across the province.”

The Messenger’s sister publication, the Winchester Press, is a finalist as one of the top three newspapers in its circulation class in Ontario.

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