For the second year in a row, The Eastern Door (TED) finished second overall for best newspaper in English Quebec, a top three finish for the 10th time in 11 years.
“We keep pushing to get better and better, supported by the community, with all of the amazing and sometimes harrowing stories we get to tell right here in Kahnawake,” said TED editor/ publisher Steve Bonspiel, of the honour given by a judge in the Quebec Community Newspapers Association awards.
“We are one of the few independent Indigenous-owned media that consistently battle the much larger papers and come out on top over a long period of many years, and for that I take my hat off to my dedicated staff.”
The Eastern Door was bested by The Low Down to Hull and Back, a small paper that always produces big results.
Nunatsiaq News, which serves Inuit communities in the north, came in third.
The Eastern Door also brought home first place in the Best Community Newspaper Promotion category for our massive and overwhelmingly successful fundraiser The Secret Door – which raised over $56,000 for Reviving Kanehsatà:ke Radio, an initiative to get radio back to our sister community.
“Since 2008 when I bought TED from Kenneth Deer, we have raised over $1 million for Kahnawake, and now a significant amount for Kanesatake,” said Bonspiel. “This is what community media can do – help those in need by fundraising, donating time and money, and giving free ads and promotion to the ones who need it most.”
Former assistant editor Daniel J. Rowe also took home first for Best Education Story, for a heartfelt story about a boy gifted with language.
“I can’t think of a story I would rather have had honoured than Rotehrhatá:se’s,” said Rowe. “I tried to work as hard as I could on all stories, but learning from his mother that this eight-year-old was learning two Haudenosaunee languages and three European ones was one I truly loved working on.
“The story is all Rotehrhatá:se and his support system, and developing the story is part of what made me love working in Kahnawake so much. His mother, Kahente, told me he was learning Cayuga when I went to a social at Karonhianónhnha and watched him do the opening.”
TED also picked up third places for Best Ad, Best Photo Essay (Kanesatake flooding, Natalia Fedosieieva), Best News Photo (Rowe) and second place for Best Environmental Story (Lindsay Richardson).
“So happy to see my name in the list of finalists of the QCNA awards!” said Fedosieieva. “This award is a lovely surprise and is a great achievement that I am very proud of. That means the work I am doing is important and very special for my audience. At the same time, I have to admit winning this award would not have been possible without support from my colleagues at TED.”
TED finished in first place in 2017 and 2018 – for the very first time in our history.
“We don’t write for awards, we write for the people and the community,” said Bonspiel, “But getting this recognition from judges who don’t know our community and issues shows me that solid journalism is solid journalism, no matter what. And that’s what we strive for every single day.”
As an essential service that is still open during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Eastern Door is fighting hard to keep news like this flowing, in our print product, though an online subscription at www.eastermdoor.com and here, for free, on our website and Facebook.
But when a large portion of our regular revenue has disappeared due to so many other businesses being closed, our circulation being affected by the same issue, and all of our specials canceled until the end of the year, we are looking for alternative ways to keep operations going, staff paid, and the paper out every Friday for you to enjoy.
Please consider a financial contribution to help us keep doing what we do best; telling the stories of our people in a contemporary medium – a solid, continuing archive that documents our cherished, shared history. Your kind donation will go to a newspaper that stands as the historical record, in-depth, informative and award-winning news; colourful stories, and a big boost to the local economy by employing 95 percent local workers.
Also, please consider subscribing to our e-edition, which comes out Thursday night, at www.easterndoor.com today, or pick up your copy Friday morning in Kahnawake, Kanesatake or Chateauguay. Akwesasne delivery has been suspended due to the pandemic and border issues.
We exercise real freedom of the press every single day. Without our reporters fighting for the truth our community would be missing a whole lot of facts, separated from gossip and rumors.
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