News editor wins Crake-Sawdon

Chris_BalcomChristopher Balcom has been named the recipient of the J.E.A. Crake Foundation’s William B. Sawdon Award for 2014. Balcom was news editor of The Argosy this past year.

In addition to his duties as an editor, Balcom did most of The Argosy’s reporting on this year’s faculty strike, often filing stories well outside business hours to try to break stories ahead of other news media.

It is therefore fitting that some of Balcom’s proudest moments as a student journalist came during the strike and its aftermath.

“There are a few moments that stand out,” he said, “Feedback from people during the strike was really encouraging, particularly after the first article.” Watching the page views roll in on Google Analytics was also a high point, he said.

“Seeing articles do well ‘in real time’ on social media was cool; it made the interest feel more real,” he said, especially after The Argosy published his story on the now-infamous confrontation between faculty and administrators at a meeting of Faculty Council April 3. The story, which was only published online, has been viewed over 4,000 times.

While the graduating international relations student hasn’t settled his plans for the next year, he said it’s likely that he will spend it teaching English in Réunion.

The Crake-Sawdon award is presented annually to a Mount Allison student who has made a substantial contribution to The Argosy. The award is named for William Sawdon, a Mt. A alumnus. Sawdon was made editor of The Argosy in 1939; he then left for Europe to fight in the Second World War. After the war, he returned to Sackville, and bought the Tribune-Post in 1948. After his death in 2001, the Sawdon family and Crake Foundation established the Crake-Sawdon award in his memory.

Balcom is grateful to the Crake-Sawdon Award committee and his colleagues.

Originally published May 8, 2014.

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