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2007 Automotive Journalism Awards

24th Annual Automotive Journalism Awards presented at TestFest

2007 Journalist of the Year winners lLeft to right): 3rd Place Petrina Gentile Zucco, Winner Mark Troljagic and 2nd Place Michel Deslauriers. Awards were presented by Jaguar Canada Inc. Photo courtesy AJAC/Arne Glassbourg.Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON -- At its annual TestFest event to select the Canadian Car of the Year for 2008, the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) held its 24th Automotive Journalism Awards during a gala dinner on Nov. 1, 2007.

Awards were presented for writing, photography and design in several categories. All entries were submitted anonymously.

The Jaguar Canada-sponsored Automotive Journalist of the Year Award was presented to journalist Mark Toljagic.

This coveted award was inaugurated in 1984 by past Jaguar Canada president, John Mackie, to "reward excellence in automotive journalism." A variety of submissions are considered for this award, including feature story, car review and general editorial opinion, with personal style and mastery of the subject taken into account for all applications of media -- print, television and radio and Internet.

Toljagic is a first-time winner of the award. The panel of three judges, who have extensive journalism and literary backgrounds, was impressed with the way in which Toljagic's body of work was written with the readers' and car consumers' interests in mind.

"The judges have picked this year's winning journalist from a broad field of worthy entries," said John Burke, former journalist, current communications consultant and one of the judges on the panel. "His plain, no-nonsense style included a balance of both critical and complimentary, while always maintaining objectivity."

First runner-up in the Journalist of the Year competition, Michel Deslauriers, was said by the judges to have a "use of language that illustrated to the judges a higher comprehension of language and communication skills." The judging panel added, "Deslauriers' breezy style and strong grasp of the subject matter made his entries a pleasure to read."

Second runner-up was awarded to Petrina Gentile Zucco for providing "wonderfully diverse pieces ranging from poignant to hilarious." Gentile Zucco managed to capture childhood curiosity, humour, while still being informative in her broad spectrum of article subject matter.

Writing awards

Created 10 years ago by Castrol Canada and continued by Wakefield Canada, the Wakefield Castrol Awards recognize writing excellence in automotive journalism. The awards are presented to AJAC members each year to honour shorter automotive content articles -- the everyday material auto writers publish to bring their insight to readers.

Marsha McLaughlin(L), Communications Manager, Wakefield Canada Inc. with Sarah Balch, associate present the 2007 Wakefield Castrol Award for Automotive Writing in Technical Topics to Nadine Filion.For 2007, the Wakefield Castrol Award was presented to AJAC members in two categories: Technical Topics and Vehicle Testing.

In the Technical Topics section, the winner was Nadine Filion for her article 'Chevrolet Volt: l'hybride à l'envers.' In this category, the runners-up were Graeme Fletcher and Jeremy Cato.

In the Vehicle Testing category, the winner was Kathy Renwald, who took a technical and drivers-eye look at the Audi RS-4. Runners-up in this category are Rob Beintema, writing on the Ford Super Duty, and Brian Harper, writing on the GMC Sierra Denali.

Judges for the award were Dennis DesRosiers, of Richmond Hill, president of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants and Paul Seitz of Montreal, a long-time communications consultant in the automotive field.

Car safety journalism

Car Care Canada named Jeremy Cato as the winner of the 2007 Award for Car Safety Journalism. His article, 'Recalls', was published on Nov. 16, 2006.

Katherine Power (L), Manager of Public Relations, Car Care Canada and Rachel LePage (R), Public Affairs Coordinator, Automotive Industries Association of Canada, present Jeremy Cato with the Car Care Canada Award for Safety Journalism. Photo courtesy AJAC/Arne Glassbourg.Katherine Power of Car Care Canada presented the award during an AJAC awards gala. “Jeremy's article was very informative. Vehicle recalls strike an automatic chord with the general public and this article clearly explained why they happened and how consumers can empower themselves with information. Resource links were also generously provided.”

"A panel of three judges read the submissions and were impressed with Jeremy's writing style and thorough explanation of the recall process and why they seem to be on the rise," she said.

The Award was created to encourage the coverage of vehicle safety as an important component of overall vehicle maintenance. Articles related to all aspects of vehicle safety, from new technologies to vehicle maintenance were considered.

Environmental journalism

Chad Heard (L), Public Relations Manager and Erin Farquharson (R),  Account Coordinator for Volvo Canada, present Runner Up Paul Williams with the 2007 Volvo Environmental Award. Photo courtesy AJAC/Arne Glassbourg.Jeremy Cato also won the Volvo Award for Environmental Journalism for 2007. Cato won the tenth annual Volvo award for his Feb. 15, 2007, story with the title 'Clean diesels are coming to do battle with hybrids'.

Paul Williams was runner-up for the Volvo award for his story entitled 'What consumers want: History and future directions for Honda's Green technology'.

“I would like to congratulate both Jeremy and Paul for their efforts in reporting on environmental issues affecting the automotive industry,” said Steve Blyth, president and CEO for Volvo Canada. “Environmental preservation is an issue that requires attention. The work submitted by Jeremy, Paul and, indeed, everyone who entered the competition, shows that work is being done to help readers make more informed environmental choices.”

Design and layout

At the awards ceremony, Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada Inc. presented Hank Van de Vondervoort, automotive editor of the Globe & Mail's Auto section, with the 2007 Mitsubishi Design and Layout Award.

Susan Elliott (L), Manager of Corporate & Product Communications, Mitsibushi Motor Sales of Canada Inc., Jacqui Adams (R), Sophie Des Marais (far right), both of Corporate & Product Communications Mitsibushi Motor Sales of Canada Inc., present Jeremy Cato, accepting for Hank Van de Vondervoort, with the 2007 Mitsubishi Design & Layout Award. Photo courtesy AJAC/Arne Glassbourg.The award was inaugurated in 2003 to recognize the talents of reporters and their teams to apply creative design and layout techniques to enhance the visual appeal of their work and capture the reader's attention.

Judges for the award included Suzanne Dimma, Design Director of Wish magazine, Canadian Family magazine, Gardening Life magazine and host of HGTV's newest production, The Style Dept.; Sylvie Berkowicz, Chief Editor for Créativité Montréal; and Matt Warburton, award winning designer and founder of Emdoubleyu Design in Vancouver.

Each print publication was judged on skill and creativity and the thought that went in to gathering the design elements, including illustration and photography. The judges, through the evaluation process, maintained an effort to equalize entries based on the various printing techniques of  both newspaper and magazines.

“The Globe Auto section is a perfect example of how good typography, well layered information and nicely cropped photography can entice the reader by not only giving a good impression, but by making the information accessible,” said Warburton. "They have fun with the layouts and typography on the front page, while the rest of the section is consistently structured and laid out.”

A second-place award was given to the Winnipeg Free Press for its Automotive Showcase section produced by Kelly Taylor. Dimma praised the newspaper for its playful use of almost full-page caricatures of automotive personalities like Stirling Moss and an adventuresome approach with a great mix of stories, features and reporting.


The Pirelli Photography Awards are presented to AJAC members each year honouring the best in published and unpublished automobile photographs. This year a record number of photographs were submitted for the awards.

Anthony Paulozza (L), Marketing Manager of Pirelli, presents 1st Runner Up Amee Reehal with the Pirelli Photography Award, Published. Photo courtesy AJAC/Arne Glassbourg. The judges for the award were Derek Shapton of Toronto and Alana Riley of Montréal, both national and international award-winning photographers.

The 2007 Award for Best Unpublished Photograph went to Michael Clark. Both runners-up and second runner up in this category went to Amee Reehal. It's worth noting that the judging is done with the photographer's name hidden, which accounts for Reehal's dual win.

In the Published Photography category, the winner was Russell Purcell, with Amee Reehal and Jim Robinson as runners up.

Anthony Paulozza, marketing manager for Pirelli in Canada, presented each of the first place winners with a set of Pirelli tires and a collector copy of the Pirelli calendar.

Posted Nov. 4, 2007 (c) 2007


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