Walking away with four high honours from a provincial newsmedia awards night left Langley Advance Times publisher Lisa Farquharson beaming.
“It’s a reflection of the phenomenal work the team does, day in and day out for our community,” said Farquharson, who’s been in the media industry most of her adult life and proud to serve her hometown community alongside what she describes as an outstanding, dedicated, and truly devoted team.
She made the comment after the Langley Advance Times earned three silvers and a bronze award during the recent BC and Yukon Community NewsMedia Association’s MaMurray awards celebration.
The most significant for Farquharson, this time around, was the silver taken in the multimedia breaking new category for the stories her team put together in the moments, hours, and days immediately following a shooting spree in Langley that left three people dead (including the gunman) and two injured.
“The breaking news stories, the immediacy, and just the kind of coverage showing the impact this ordeal was having on our community was so far beyond,” she said. “These reporters (Matthew Claxton, Dan Ferguson, and Heather Colpitts) shared what was happening in the moment, but also dug so much deeper to tell some real amazing stories of the people involved directly and indirectly. It was just outstanding journalism.”
Farquharson also commended the editorial team, under the direction of editor Roxanne Hooper, along with the advertising department, under the leadership of sales manager Shaulene Burkett, for joint efforts putting together an award-winning special section focused around Remembrance Day. The package was selected third best in the province, as judged by industry peers.
“The Remembrance Day section should have won,” said Farquharson.
“This section was so amazing, not only did it pay tribute to fallen soldiers of past, it showed respect for people who have done so much – past and present – to give us the freedoms we have today. This section was about showing our gratitude and heartfelt regard as a community for those who have and do serve and protect us.”
Of course, the section outlined all the different services held in and around Langley on Nov. 11, but it was also chock full of people’s stories, explained the publisher.
“In Langley, I think reflective of the community we serve, the Remembrance Day section is always a very well supported section (advertising wise) because it’s a well read section. Without the phenomenal content, people wouldn’t be interested in it.”
Specifically on the advertising end, long-time multimedia sales representative Cheri Gray also earned one of the top awards for an ad she designed for a local retailer.
Out of hundreds of submissions, the advertisement she created for Wild Birds Unlimited earned second place and accolades for its impact and success in communicating the store’s message.
“Cheri did a great job, as she always does, for her clients – bringing her many years and tons of experience to bear in creating this advertisement. She created something that really stood out for Wild Birds Unlimited, and that’s why the judges picked it,” said Farquharson.
The last win of the night for the Langley Advance Times came in the general excellence category. Competing against fellow Black Press Media outlets (Peace Arch News and Chilliwack Progress), the Advance Times took second place, with White Rock earning first.
In this category, the newspaper must excel in all aspects, including editorial and advertising content, appearance, and even online presence.
“I am so proud of our entire team for our second-place win for community newspaper excellence,” Farquharson said.
“I appreciate all the hard work and contributions made by our journalists and media professionals every day! They play a crucial role in keeping the public informed, holding power accountable, and shaping public discourse. The dedication of our entire Langley Advance Times team has and continues to be essential for a strong and well-informed community.”
Broadcaster and awards host Mo Amir applauded all the newsmedia outlets that earned industry accolades.
“You should be all proud and inspired, and honestly be celebrating the work that you do in the communities you represent. You’re all doing fantastic work,” Amir said. “Thank you for everything you do for your communities.”
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