Expositor takes home hardware from annual newspaper awards

Brent Cooper, left, who was born and raised in Little Current, received the Canadian Community Newspapers Association’s ‘Silver Quill’ award at last weekend’s Newspapers Canada conference in Toronto. Mr. Cooper, shown here being congratulated by Manitoulin Expositor publisher Rick McCutcheon, began his quarter-century long career at The Expositor Office as a Manitoulin Secondary School co-op student where he was encouraged by Expositor staff to consider the newspaper business as a career. He did, graduating from Canadore College’s journalism program, and worked two summers for The Expositor before beginning his first full-time job 25 years ago at the Elliot Lake Standard. For more than a decade he has been a reporter at the Huntsville Forester where he is also actively involved with community volunteer activities. This was not Mr. Cooper’s only accolade last weekend: he won the Ontario Community Newspapers Association’s award for best news story and co-won, with colleagues, the award for best special section. Mr. Cooper is the son of Don Cooper of the Green Bush.

TORONTO— Expositor staffers are fresh from the annual Ontario Community Newspapers Association (OCNA) annual convention and awards held last week in Toronto, this year in conjunction with the Canadian Community Newspapers Association (CCNA) and Newspapers Canada, representing Canada’s daily newspapers.

Once again The Manitoulin Expositor, the North’s oldest newspaper (which turned 136 on Sunday), brought home some hardware from the awards gala Friday night, taking third place out of 24 entries in the Best Editorial category for its front page editorial “What is ‘fair’ about proposed Fair Election Act” and for Best Website for The Expositor’s manitoulin.ca flagship site, last year’s national first place winner.

“It’s a difficult thing to distill what’s wrong with a new and complex government bill, but this editorial did it well,” the judge wrote about the editorial.

“Nice layout of stories on category pages and good use of art,” the judge for websites wrote of manitoulin.ca.

The Expositor now has a representative on the OCNA board of directors as editor Alicia McCutcheon was elected to the board during the organization’s annual general meeting on Thursday afternoon. Ms. McCutcheon is looking forward to representing the interests of community papers from across the province, while bringing to the table a view from an independent, Northern and rural newspaper lens.

The annual convention gives the Expositor a chance to reconnect with old friends and colleagues while making new connections too. This year Brent Cooper, son of Little Current’s Don Cooper, received his Silver Quill, marking 25 years in the newspaper industry. Mr. Cooper is a reporter with the Bracebridge Examiner, who also took home the prestigious Best News Story award at the conference as well as a share in the Best Special Section award. The reporter was eager to have his photo taken with Expositor publisher Rick McCutcheon following the presentation of his Silver Quill, crediting Mr. McCutcheon with helping him to get his start in the business. Mr. Cooper began his reporting career with an MSS Expositor cooperative job placement and two years of summer jobs at the paper before he began his career at the Elliot Lake Standard a quarter century ago.