Star/Journal general excellence finalist

There is a 66 per cent chance that the winner for being best small community newspaper in British Columbia and Yukon will come from the North Thompson Valley this year.

Barriere’s North Thompson Star/Journal and Clearwater’s North Thompson Times are two of the three finalists in B.C. and Yukon Community Newspaper Association’s (BCYCNA) 2011 general excellence competition, category A (under 3,000 circulation).

Al Kirkwood, publisher for both the Star/Journal and The Times,  commented that it takes outstanding staff to mold all facets of a newspaper into an award winning publication.

“It shows that our newspapers are for the community and involved in the community,” said Kirkwood “To be judged by our peers to be in the top three is the ultimate.”

The third top-three finalist is the Bowen Island Undercurrent.

The Star/Journal was a Canadian Community Newspapers Association blue ribbon winner in 2008, and a BCYCNA finalist in 2009 for photography.

The Times won the BCYCNA general excellence in its circulation category in 2010 and in 2006.

Contestants in the general excellence competition submit copies of one issue from each of two months from the previous year selected by BCYCNA. Judging is based on a total of 100 points.

Of these, 60 points go for editorial content (20 points for the front page, 15 for community news, 10 for the editorial page, five for local features, five for sports, and five for arts and entertainment).

Photography and production get 10 points each for a total of 20.

Another 20 points are divided equally between advertising content and design, and the classified pages.

Although BCYCNA’s category A (under 3,000 circulation) has the smallest circulation, with 21 newspapers it has the largest number of competitors of any of the general excellence competition’s seven circulation categories.

Winners of the general excellence competition and the other contests in the BCYCNA’s Ma Murray Community Newspaper Awards will be announced during a gala event at the River Rock Casino in Richmond on April 30.