The Vernon Morning Star is once again shining.
The community newspaper took home second place for its photography from the 2017 Ma Murray Awards in Richmond last weekend.
Lisa VanderVelde, who has been the newspaper’s photographer for 15 years, earned the Spot News Photo Award. The award-winning photo is of a convict being escorted from the Vernon Courthouse following his trial.
“This is another example of a photograph made under less than ideal circumstances,” reads the judges comments. “There’s no do-over with such an event and there undoubtedly
was just a split second to make only a frame or two – what sharp reflexes to catch a moment coming eye to eye with this convict.”
For VanderVelde, who shoots everything sports to crime and community events, time and place are everything when it comes to these types of photos.
”News photography is all about timing and being in the right place the precise moment and it all come together with this photo,” said the 34-year-old wife and mother of two young children.
The Morning Star’s award is just one of 60 that Black Press newspapers earned at the Ma Murray Gala.
Vernon’s star news team also captured a prestigious nod from the Canadian Community Newspaper Association Awards.
The Morning Star earned third place for Best Multimedia Feature for its class on a news story, photo and video of the low-income Blair Apartments.
The story, A place to call home, is about the former Journey Inn Motel (Travelodge), which the provincial government purchased to transform into a safe and stable environment for those transitioning out of homeless shelters.
Senior news reporter Richard Rolke and reporter/photographer Jennifer Smith are responsible for the award-winning coverage, which includes a well-written article, photographs and a video.
“This award recognizes excellence in the combination or enhancement of print with online journalism on a single subject,” reads the CCNA entry guidebook. “This may include, but is not limited to, print, audio and visual elements in the form of photography, sound clips, video or animation. Emphasis is on innovative ways of story telling.”
The Canadian Community Newspaper Awards celebrate the very best in community publishing from across the country. Newspapers compete against other newspapers in similar circulation classes and are judged by an esteemed panel of industry experts.
Rolke, a 27-year veteran, covers news across the North Okanagan for The Morning Star. Rolke serves on the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation board and lives in Coldstream with his wife and two grown daughters.
Smith, a wife and mother of one, has worked at the newspaper for 12 years, covering a variety of news and community topics both in print, photography and online.