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The Narwhal celebrates six 2024 Digital Publishing Awards

From in-depth photojournalism to dogged news coverage, our journalism from across the country was lauded at the awards ceremony

Our Slack channels were going off on Friday with congratulations all around: our pod is celebrating a whopping six 2024 Digital Publishing Awards!

The awards ceremony took place Friday evening, recognizing some of Canada’s best journalistic work from last year.

“The Narwhal is excited to see the work of our small-but-mighty team recognized again on a national stage as we continue to punch above our weight,” managing editor Mike De Souza said. “We couldn’t do any of this without the support of over 6,000 members across the country and want to thank them for powering investigative journalism and beautiful storytelling about the natural world.”

The Narwhal’s work was recognized with as many Digital Publishing Awards as the CBC, trailing only The Globe and Mail’s 10 awards among news organizations across the country. In all, our team picked up 12 nominations. Read about The Narwhal’s award-winning journalism below.

Best digital editorial package (small publication)

Nourish, our series on Indigenous food sovereignty across British Columbia, won gold for the best editorial package. Reporter Steph Kwetásel’wet Wood travelled across the province last summer as wildfire smoke choked parts of the province to report on how First Nations communities are building resilience and taking back food sovereignty into their own hands while combatting the effects of climate change. The series included images from photojournalist Jesse Winter and illustrations from Karlene Harvey, along with contributions from several other photographers, writers and editors.

The Local’s Finch West issue won silver in the same category.

Investigating problems. Exploring solutions
The Narwhal’s reporters are telling environment stories you won’t read about anywhere else. Stay in the loop by signing up for a weekly dose of independent journalism.
Investigating problems. Exploring solutions
The Narwhal’s reporters are telling environment stories you won’t read about anywhere else. Stay in the loop by signing up for a weekly dose of independent journalism.

Best news coverage

Reporter Emma McIntosh’s reporting on Ontario’s Greenbelt, in collaboration with the Toronto Star, took home gold for best news coverage. The Starwhal team — as we lovingly call it — played a huge role in uncovering the Greenbelt scandal, which led to a reversal in the Doug Ford government’s decision to open it up to development. 

Radio-Canada Information took silver for La filière batterie. The Narwhal’s coverage on the Coastal GasLink pipeline was also in the running for the award.

Best editorial newsletter

Director of audience Arik Ligeti and audience engagement editor Karan Saxena won gold for their work on The Narwhal This Week, our flagship weekly newsletter. “The Narwhal This Week delivers on engaging subscribers in the process of independent journalism with a behind-the-scenes approach to stories about the people and places that matter,” the jury said. “The newsletter’s responsive design and artful execution speaks to a clear understanding of its growing audience’s needs, interests and expectations of award-winning online content.”

CBC Health’s Second Opinion took home silver for its insightful health newsletter.

A sunset scene over an oil sands development, where smoke billows from a multitude of smokestacks
Amber Bracken’s photos documenting the aftermath of an Imperial Oil tailings pond leak earned gold for best photo storytelling at the 2024 Digital Publishing Awards.

Best photo storytelling

Photojournalist Amber Bracken’s work on ‘When is enough enough?’ Downstream from the Kearl oilsands spill, residents grapple with what comes next won the gold for best photo storytelling, for which Amber and Prairies reporter Drew Anderson travelled to Fort Chipewyan, Alta.

Jesse Winter’s photo essay for The Narwhal, On the frontlines of B.C.’s wildfires, won silver — along with another silver snagged by Amber for a Globe and Mail feature: In Gjoa Haven, a greenhouse creates new possibilities.

Best service feature

Emma McIntosh’s explainer on Ontario’s highways — and why researchers say more of them won’t solve the province’s traffic woes — won gold for best service feature. Zoë Yunker’s piece in The Tyee, The People’s Filter, won silver.

A special shoutout to senior editor Michelle Cyca, who took home silver as columnist extraordinaire at The Walrus. “[Her] deep and compelling columns on Indigenous themes contribute both facts and perspective to our continued exploration of truth, reconciliation and decolonization in Canada,” the jury wrote of her work. “Bravo to The Walrus for pursuing these stories and giving them a national platform.” The same evening, Michelle also won gold for her columns at the 2024 National Magazine Awards.

Updated on Jun 10, 6:40 PST: This post was updated to reflect Jesse Winter and Amber Bracken both won silver, for two different stories, in the best photo storytelling category of the 2024 Digital Publishing Awards. Go Jesse and Amber!

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 this spring. 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 the 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. Here’s the thing: we need 300 new members to join this month to meet our budget. Will you join the pod of Narwhals that make a difference by helping us uncover some of the most important stories of our time?
We’ve got big plans for 2024
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 this spring. 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 the 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. Here’s the thing: we need 300 new members to join this month to meet our budget. 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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