Western News reporter Mark Brett was named a finalist in the Spot News Photo category (over 25,000 circulation) for his front page photo in the July 26, 2019 edition of the Western News of a homeless camp on city-owned green space on Main Street.
The photo shows municipal bylaw officers moving in to take down the camp.
Brett won two awards, a gold and bronze, for sports and portrait/personality awards at the 2019 Ma Murray awards as well as a silver for sports in the Canadian Community Newspaper Association Awards last year.
Editor Phil McLachlan, who joined the Western News last December, is nominated in the Portrait/Personality Photo category for his image that appeared on the front page of the Aug. 1, 2019 edition of the Fernie Free Press where he was working at the time.
The photo is of a queer Anglican minister inside the local church and went along with his story about the minister’s reflection on same-gender marriage.
As well, the Western’s Black Press sister papers are also up for Ma Murray awards, including the Keremeos Review which is a finalist for the Newspaper Excellence Award (Category A).
Former Review staff member Tara Bowie is also nominated for the Feature Article Award (under 25,000 circulation) for a story about a Keremeos man who chose death with dignity at a party that included music, whiskey and cigars.
Summerland Review editor John Arendt is a finalist for the Columnist Award.
The 2020 Ma Murray Awards gala is April 25 at the River Rock Casino in Richmond at which time the winners will be announced.