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DeSmog Canada Chosen As Finalist for Two Canadian Online Publishing Awards

Judges for the Canadian Online Publishing Awards have announced the 2017 finalists and DeSmog Canada has made the cut in two categories.

In the category of “Best Continuing Coverage of a News Story” DeSmog Canada was selected as a finalist for its reporting on the Site C dam, alongside Maclean’s, VICE News, The Tyee/Discourse Media and the National Observer.

With so much happening on the Site C dam file in the last year, it was hard to select just five stories to submit, so we highlighted a variety of multimedia storytelling, as well as in-depth investigative work.

The submission included award-winning aerial photographer Garth Lenz’ photo essay of the B.C. government’s push to get Site C past the “point of no return.” That photo essay was funded by DeSmog Canada readers who gave more than $5,000 to support the project.

“DeSmog Canada is making critical on-the-ground journalism possible at a time that other news outlets are slashing budgets,” Lenz said. “The fact that readers made this project possible makes this recognition even sweeter.”

Another part of the submission was an article by Sarah Cox that used a Freedom of Information request to reveal how closely the premier’s office and BC Hydro worked together to try to discredit DeSmog Canada’s critical coverage of the Site C dam.

Readers played a key role in another part of the submission, which highlighted independent public opinion research that was funded by reader donations. The polling told a starkly different story than polling conducted by BC Hydro and indicated 73 per cent of British Columbians supported sending the Site C dam for a review by the B.C. Utilities Commission — a review that is now underway.

Rounding out the submission was a story by Judith Lavoie about BC Hydro being let off the hook for breaking the conditions of its environmental assessment certificate …. again. And another story by Sarah Cox on BC Hydro’s plans to expropriate the home of Peace Valley farmers Ken and Arlene Boon before last Christmas.

Best Video Content

In the “Best Video Content” category DeSmog Canada was selected as a finalist alongside the Global Reporting Centre, Maclean’s, VICE News and Indie88, for three explainer videos.

Our one-on-one interview with Harry Swain, chair of the Joint Review Panel for Site C, cuts through the confusion surrounding the need for the mega dam and has now been viewed more than 1.6 million times.

Another video interrogates the question of whether the Site C dam makes economic sense, with an interview with UBC’s Karen Bakker. That video has been viewed nearly 400,000 times.

We also performed some quirky, back-of-the-napkin math to debunk government talking points about Site C jobs and their benefit to British Columbians, in a video we're told was equal parts informative and hilarious.

The award winners will be announced at a ceremony on November 13 in Toronto.

Like a kid in a candy store
When those boxes of heavily redacted documents start to pile in, reporters at The Narwhal waste no time in looking for kernels of news that matter the most. Just ask our Prairies reporter Drew Anderson, who gleefully scanned through freedom of information files like a kid in a candy store, leading to pretty damning revelations in Alberta. Long story short: the government wasn’t being forthright when it claimed its pause on new renewable energy projects wasn’t political. Just like that, our small team was again leading the charge on a pretty big story

In an oil-rich province like Alberta, that kind of reporting is crucial. But look at our investigative work on TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline to the west, or our Greenbelt reporting out in Ontario. They all highlight one thing: those with power over our shared natural world don’t want you to know how — or why — they call the shots. And we try to disrupt that.

Our journalism is powered by people just like you. We never take corporate ad dollars, or put this public-interest information behind a paywall. Will you join the pod of Narwhals that make a difference by helping us uncover some of the most important stories of our time?
Like a kid in a candy store
When those boxes of heavily redacted documents start to pile in, reporters at The Narwhal waste no time in looking for kernels of news that matter the most. Just ask our Prairies reporter Drew Anderson, who gleefully scanned through freedom of information files like a kid in a candy store, leading to pretty damning revelations in Alberta. Long story short: the government wasn’t being forthright when it claimed its pause on new renewable energy projects wasn’t political. Just like that, our small team was again leading the charge on a pretty big story

In an oil-rich province like Alberta, that kind of reporting is crucial. But look at our investigative work on TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline to the west, or our Greenbelt reporting out in Ontario. They all highlight one thing: those with power over our shared natural world don’t want you to know how — or why — they call the shots. And we try to disrupt that.

Our journalism is powered by people just like you. We never take corporate ad dollars, or put this public-interest information behind a paywall. Will you join the pod of Narwhals that make a difference by helping us uncover some of the most important stories of our time?

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