Princeton’s community newspaper, The Similkameen Spotlight, took home two prizes from the B.C. and Yukon newspaper awards Thursday, June 10.
Publisher and editor Andrea DeMeer won first place in the John Collison Memorial Award for Investigate Journalism category, for two stories published in September 2020 about a child sex offender living on parole – but off-radar – near John Allison Elementary School. Days following publication, the offender was removed from the community by Correctional Service of Canada.
In remarks the judge stated: “These stories are a pitch-perfect example of how a local reporter who isn’t afraid to dig and ask tough questions can affect real change in their community.”
The British Columbia and Yukon Community Newspapers Association represents 93 titles.
DeMeer also placed third for column writing, for submissions describing her relationship with Titanic, and her love for colleague and friend Tara Bowie, who died near Cawston in a car accident in November 2020.
The judge commented: “(The) writing is great. The first column was clever and made me laugh out loud. The second one was beautiful. I really enjoyed both.”