The Estevan Mercury's team of graphic artists, sales consultants, public receptionists, copy proofreaders and editorial staff latched on to a few team and a few individual awards last weekend during the Saskatchewan Weekly Newspapers Association's annual convention in Regina.
One of the highlights for the paper's representatives at the awards banquet Saturday night was the presentation of the Best Overall Newspaper Award to The Mercury in the Class C circulation category. The local newspaper also gained recognition for having the Best Front Page in that same category and was second in judging for Best Editorial Page.
“I'm extremely proud of the team we have here at The Mercury,” said general manager Brant Kersey.
“I firmly believe in teamwork and our staff exemplifies it. We have 18 people in this office who work toward a common goal. Being recognized as the best overall newspaper in our circulation bracket means they all played an integral part in achieving these awards.”
The paper's production and advertising sales staff also came through with top spot in a premier (individual) category that includes all 75 weekly newspapers in the province . They produced what was judged to be a best series of ads for a single client while reporter Jordan Baker provided a winning entry in the Best Cultural Story category for a report on burgeoning artists in southeast Saskatchewan.
Co-editors Chad Saxon and Norm Park collected a trio of second-place certificates and acknowledgments with Saxon's editorial decrying the lack of progress on a local truck route project garnering the attention of the judges while Park's efforts focused on educational coverage and business writing regarding a unique ECS educational program and the groundbreaking clean coal project at Boundary Dam.
Another second place finish was achieved by The Mercury in the category of Service to the Community with this paper's Reader's Choice promotion that emphasized the best businesses and services available in and around the Energy City. “It was an excellent idea that featured a lot of good ads,” said the judges.
To wrap up the recognition night, The Mercury claimed a third place position in the Best Special Section category in the premier division with a special edition that featured the Bruins coupled with the opening of the new Spectra Place. That entry was steered through the process by Mercury sports reporter Josh Lewis and the paper's sales and production staff.
Since The Mercury has moved into a free distribution/circulation mode this month, it is believed that it will now be qualifying in a larger circulation division for next year's competition.
The Awards Night banquet and social was presided over by SWNA's incoming president Allison Squires of Wadena.