Here at The Reminder, it's time for us to tip our hats. The Reminder earned eight podium finishes, including two first-place awards, at today's Saskatchewan Weekly Newspapers Association (SWNA) Better Newspapers Competition.
Reporter Eric Westhaver finished first in the Best Saskatchewan Recreational Story category for the story "Flin Flon Pride weekend returns for third year, celebrating success," detailing preparations for the 2019 edition of Flin Flon Pride and the story of activist Andy Richard, who became involved with Flin Flon Pride at a young age. Former Reminder reporter Cassidy Dankochik received a first-place finish in the Best Habitat Conservation Writing category for his story, "Ex-Hapnot student now battling invasive tropical species" about former Flin Flonner Chris Willey's work at protecting underwater species in the Caribbean.
The Reminder finished second overall in the Best Overall Paper category in its circulation class, losing to the Biggar Independent. Westhaver also finished second in the Best Feature Story category with "Photographer Whitbread's retirement hobby becomes obsession" about the work and life of area photographer Randy Whitbread. Westhaver also finished second in the Columnist of the Year and Editorial Writing Excellence categories for several editions of his weekly column, "In Our Words". 2019 was Westhaver's first year writing opinion pieces.
The Reminder staff - Dankochik, sales representative Sharon Kirkup, office adminstrator Shannon Thompson and Westhaver - also finished third jointly in the Best Headline Writing category, for coming up with the headline "What the cluck? Zoo egg auctions continue after posts removed," about the Joe Brain Petting Zoo's Egg Wars fundraisers and difficulties with having the fundraisers removed from social media. Each member of The Reminder's staff contributed in adding puns and wordplay relating to eggs and chickens in the piece, including "Eggs-tra, eggs-tra, read all about it," and " Facebook’s deletion policy may sometimes say ‘enough is un oeuf'".
Dankochik received third place in the Best First Nations Coverage category with his story, "Missing, murdered Indigenous women are ‘forgotten people’: Elder", a story combining the final release of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) inquiry with thoughts from local elder Margaret Head-Steppan on the steps society must take following the inquiry's release.
In the 2019 edition of the awards, The Reminder received four podium finishes, including three first places.
The Reminder would like thank SWNA and the voters in this year's competition for their consideration and each one of our readers, subscribers, advertisers and other backers for their continued support.