Archive for April, 2012

Nanaimo News Bulletin recognized at annual journalism awards

By Staff Writer – Nanaimo News Bulletin
Published: April 16, 2012 10:00 AM

News Bulletin employees won the jackpot in Richmond Saturday at the annual Ma Murray Awards.

Reporter Toby Gorman and advertising manager Sean McCue took home the gold in their categories at the awards hosted by the B.C. and Yukon Community Newspapers Association and held at the River Rock Casino.

Gorman won the business writing award for his story, Beekeepers anxiously await winter results, about local beekeepers hoping to rebound from decimating losses to their stocks the year prior.

“The goal is always to tell the best and most accurate stories which reflect Nanaimo, its residents and businesses,” Gorman said. “To be recognized for doing that is a great feeling.”

McCue won for best ad design award – collaborative, for circulation over 25,000, for the four-page Report to Community from the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation.

Advertising representative Chantal Richard took home the silver ad campaign award, with a front-page banner for Nanaimo Health Shop.

Donna Blais also won the silver classifieds award for the News Bulletin’s overall classified section.

Former Nanaimo city councillor Merv Unger, a former News Bulletin editor who ended his long career in newspapers as publisher of the Business Examiner, earned the Eric Dunning Integrity Award.

News Bulletin publisher Maurice Donn ended his year-long role as president of the community newspapers association at the gala event, which saw hundreds of representatives from across the province gather to celebrate the best in community journalism.

Web advertising jumps by 22 percent in 2011

LOS ANGELES — Internet advertising reached a record $31 billion last year, a gain of 22 percent from 2010 spending, according to a report released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau on Wednesday.

Advertising tied to Internet searches continues to dominate the category, accounting for 46 cents of every dollar spent online.

Revenue from search advertising reached $14.8 billion in 2011, an increase of 27 percent from a year earlier, according to the advertising bureau.

Mobile advertising showed the fastest growth — amid the popularity of smartphones — and the ability of marketers to deliver timely, relevant ads in a way that previously wasn’t possible.

The advertising bureau reported that revenue from mobile advertising grew to $1.6 billion in 2011, up 149 percent from 2010.

Retail advertisers continue to be the biggest buyers of Internet ads, accounting for 22 percent of spending in 2011, the bureau said.

Journalist recognized for devotion to craft

By Chris Hamlyn – Nanaimo News Bulletin
Published: April 18, 2012 4:00 PM

Throughout a 50-year career in journalism, Merv Unger remained true to his craft and community.

In recognition of his work, Unger, a former News Bulletin editor and former Nanaimo city councillor, received the Eric Dunning Integrity Award at the B.C. and Yukon Community Newspapers Association’s Ma Murray Awards Saturday at the River Rock Casino in Richmond.

“After a lifetime in the industry, to be recognized for integrity is the highest recognition anyone could ever hope for,” he said.

Unger, 71, started in journalism as a 12-year-old columnist for the Carillion News in Steinbach, Man., reporting on who got married, who died or who was visiting the big city.

His career included everything from a copy boy with the Winnipeg Free Press to reporter, photographer and columnist for the Winnipeg Tribune.

A move to Nanaimo in the early 1980s led to work at the Nanaimo Daily Free Press and then as the first editor of the News Bulletin in 1988. He retired from Black Press in 2006 after serving as publisher of the Business Examiner.

“No opportunities ever came by that I found more appealing that I wanted to change gears,” he said. “I took three years to work for the Saskatchewan government in tourism development branch and did  a couple years of radio, but again, it’s all media.”

Unger is the third Bulletin employee to receive the Dunning award, joining founding publisher Roy Linder (2007) and former editor Rollie Rose (2011).

“It’s all to do with principles and beliefs,” said Unger. “I think we’re all cut from the same cloth.”

Linder said Unger’s columns in the Bulletin developed a readership as the paper started as a shopping guide in its early days.

“We all saw Merv’s professionalism,” he said. “He is an interesting guy with a lot of interesting things to say, and he created a spark in the community.

Unger’s community service includes six years on city council, as well as involvement with St. John Ambulance, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 256, the B.C. Cancer Foundation and more.

“Nanaimo has been very good to me, so it’s easy to want to give back,” he said. “I’ve got my health and still able to do a lot of stuff even though I’ve stepped down from paying work. It’s a good feeling.

He has seen a number of changes in journalism over the years, some not always for the best.

“I’ve seen changes from very strict rules in journalism where news reporting and commentary were separated stringently. If you were a reporter, you had no opinion,” he said. “That has evolved all the way to today where I think one of the biggest dangers is advocacy journalism, where people take on causes and do not present an unbiased picture.”

Unger is a fan of technology and the Internet, but sees a definite lack of integrity in a lot of the work being published.

“There are very few people on the Internet who are journalists, because journalism is work, not trashing out anything without having to back it up,” he said. “If I had a credo, I would rather do what’s right than what’s popular, because it’s easy to be popular for a short period of time.”