Centennial Journalism students win top OCNA award for TorontoObserver.ca

Centennial College's Toronto Observer was one of the country’s first student newspapers to embrace the Internet more than two decades ago. Today, it’s recognized as the very best in Ontario.

The Toronto Observer’s website, TorontoObserver.ca, took home top prize in the Best College/University Newspaper Website category at the Ontario Community Newspapers Association 2014 Better Newspaper Competition (BNC) Awards Gala on May 22.

“This award shows not only the hard work and dedication of each student in our four journalism programs, but also how well they work together as a team,” said Malcolm Kelly, coordinator of Centennial’s Sports Journalism program. “As each group contributes work of ever-increasing quality, it pushes the rest to up their games as well.”

The Toronto Observer — a multiplatform news organization staffed by students in the Journalism, Journalism (Fast-Track), UTSC/Centennial College Joint Journalism and Sports Journalism programs at the college's Story Arts Centre — was up against seven other entries in the category, including Ryerson University’s ryersonian.ca, which placed second, and Humber College’s humberetc.com, which took third.

Manitoulin Expositor production manager and category judge Dave Patterson called TorontoObserver.ca “one of my favourites”.

“TorontoObserver.ca is nicely laid out with all the information presented in an easy to navigate manner,” Patterson wrote in the 2014 BNC Awards results booklet. “Surfing from a mobile or a desktop does not diminish the site functionality and both are equally good.

“Very well done.”

This wasn’t the first time the Toronto Observer was recognized in the Best College/University Newspaper Website category. TorontoObserver.ca has taken home awards in three of the past four years, placing second in 2013 and third in 2011.