The Narwhal has been named a finalist for three 2020 Webster Awards, which recognizes excellence in B.C. journalism, for stories detailing the impacts of workplace abuse out at sea, the consequences of logging in a rare inland rainforest and a decade-long battle against a proposed mine.
Carol Linnitt, co-founder and managing editor at The Narwhal, said it is an honour for the publication to be recognized by the province’s journalism community in the first year it submitted entries.
The Narwhal’s members deserve much of the credit, Linnitt said.
“These nominations are yet another reason to express gratitude to our monthly members who really make the kind of resource-intensive journalism we do possible. We truly wouldn’t be able to do it without the more than 1,800 people who give to support The Narwhal each month.”
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The resources that The Narwhal puts into its stories are evident in the pieces that were nominated.
An investigation by Jimmy Thomson was named a finalist in the “excellence in business, industry, labour and economics reporting” category. Thomson spent months looking into the culture of intimidation and harassment in B.C.’s trawl fishing industry. He spoke with 11 current or former at-sea observers about the abuse they faced trying to keep fisheries accountable.
The Narwhal’s B.C. reporter Sarah Cox was nominated in the “excellence in science, technology, health and environment reporting” category for her longform feature on Canada’s forgotten rainforest. The piece was edited by Editor-in-Chief Emma Gilchrist and accompanied by photos from Taylor Roades, both of whom were also recognized in the nomination.
The feature, which explored the risks facing a rare inland temperate rainforest being logged as fast as the Amazon, was also a finalist at this year’s Digital Publishing Awards, where Roades’ photos Roades garnered a silver medal.
In the “excellence in legal journalism” category, Linnitt, Gilchrist, reporter Judith Lavoie and photographer Louis Bockner were nominated for The Narwhal’s in-depth reporting on the Tsilhqot’in Nation’s 12-year battle against the proposed New Prosperity mine. Our team’s reporting included news articles, a visually rich on-the-ground feature and a descriptive timeline of the protracted legal process that spanned numerous government agencies.
The Supreme Court of Canada recently rejected an appeal from mining company Taseko, putting a likely (but not guaranteed) end to the protracted legal battle over a project that threatened a lake of profound cultural and spiritual significance for the Tsilhqot’in.
Lavoie and Bockner’s feature also received a silver medal in the feature writing category at the 2020 Digital Publishing Awards.
The Websters celebrate achievements in print, radio and podcasts, television and online media in British Columbia. The Narwhal is up against the Vancouver Sun, CTV Vancouver and Hakai Magazine. The winners of the 2020 Webster Awards will be announced on Dec. 8 during an online ceremony.
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As a non-profit, reader-funded news organization, our goal isn’t to sell advertising or to please corporate bigwigs — it’s to bring evidence-based news and analysis to the surface for all Canadians. And at a time when most news organizations have been laying off reporters, we’ve hired eight journalists over the past year.
Not only are we filling a void in environment coverage, but we’re also telling stories differently — by centring Indigenous voices, by building community and by doing it all as a people-powered, non-profit outlet supported by more than 2,500 members.
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