Jennifer Smith’s story and video on the Vernon Girls Trumpet Band alumni earned her one of two nominations in the annual B.C. Yukon Community Newspaper Association’s Ma Murray Awards. The Morning Star is a finalist in general excellence for its circulation category. Reporter Brendan Shykora and late managing editor Glenn Mitchell have also been recognized. (File photo)

Vernon newspaper among B.C.’s best

Former editor Glenn Mitchell to be honoured posthumously; two reporters and newspaper up for awards

  • Mar. 23, 2021 12:00 a.m.

The North Okanagan’s community newspaper is a favourite amongst provincial judges.

The Morning Star has been named a top-three finalist for general excellence in its circulation category in the annual B.C. Yukon Community Newspaper Association’s Ma Murray Awards.

Winners will be announced in a virtual celebration April 29.

“This is great news for our staff in Vernon and in the hub in Kelowna,” said Morning Star publisher Chris Mackie. “We have a great team in place and everybody works hard. It’s nice to see our hard work rewarded.”

The Morning Star is a finalist in Category F – the second-largest circulation category – along with Surrey’s Peace Arch News and the Langley Advance Times. All three are Black Press publications.

There are 13 Black Press papers as general excellence finalists out of 21 in the seven circulation categories.

General excellence takes into account all aspects of the newspaper, from writing to photo production to advertising content and headline writing.

Two Morning Star reporters and the paper’s longtime editor have also been recognized.

Jennifer Smith is a double finalist. She is up for the Feature Video Award for her story on the Vernon Girls Trumpet Band alumni, and is also up for Best COVID Coverage Editorial for a piece that appeared in the Morning Star’s sister paper, Lake Country Calendar, titled Local scientist a first to snap photo of COVID-19.

Reporter Brendan Shykora is a finalist for Best New Journalist.

Glenn Mitchell, the Morning Star’s managing editor for more than two decades, has been recognized posthumously as the winner of the Eric Dunning Integrity Award.

The award is presented for dedication and service to the community news media industry.

Mitchell, who began his career with the Hope Standard, was an original Morning Star employee when the paper opened in 1988. He left for a short spell to be the editor of the Salmon Arm Observer, then returned to the Morning Star as managing editor until his retirement in 2018.

Mitchell died Dec. 17, 2020.

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