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The Narwhal, editor-in-chief Emma Gilchrist honoured at National Newspaper Awards

Gilchrist took home the award for best long feature, while The Narwhal was honoured with four citations of merit for work published in 2022

The Narwhal was honoured with four citations of merit, while editor-in-chief Emma Gilchrist won for best long feature, at a National Newspaper Awards event last Friday in Toronto.

The Narwhal was a finalist in four categories for the awards, honouring the best journalism in print and online newspapers across Canada every year.

Gilchrist, who co-founded The Narwhal, won an award in the long feature category for her first-person piece, published in the Globe and Mail: The harrowing, heartbreaking reality of terminating a pregnancy for medical reasons.

“It’s an incredible honour to be recognized alongside journalists I admire so much,” Gilchrist said. “I’d like to thank the Banff Centre’s literary journalism program for helping to usher this article into being, and my colleagues at The Narwhal for supporting me throughout the journey of bringing this to light.”

Emma Gilchrist stands while holding an award at the National Newspaper Awards
Emma Gilchrist with her award at the National Newspaper Awards gala. Photo: Fatima Syed / The Narwhal

Ontario reporter Emma McIntosh and Toronto Star reporters Noor Javed, Brendan Kennedy and Jesse McLean were finalists in the investigations category for their groundbreaking work about the Ford government’s decision to open up areas of the Greenbelt for housing construction. The Globe and Mail’s Kelly Grant won this award for her investigation into a tuberculosis outbreak in Pangnirtung, Nunavut.

In the presentation and design category, a Narwhal team of Carol Linnitt, Arik Ligeti, Ashley Tam, Shawn Parkinson and Jimmy Thomson received a citation of merit for an interactive multimedia feature about how Indigenous guardians are reestablishing sovereignty and stewardship of traditional territories. Christopher Manza from The Globe and Mail won the award in this category for a portfolio of multimedia stories. 

Room Up Front — a volunteer group that promotes training and guidance for photojournalists who are Black, Indigenous or people of colour — also won a special recognition citation during the awards. The Narwhal partners with Room up Front to offer paid fellowships for BIPOC photojournalists.

In another category recognizing reporting on Indigenous issues and climate change, The Narwhal received two citations of merit. One was for Julia-Simone Rutgers for her reporting for The Narwhal and the Winnipeg Free Press on the everyday impact of climate change on people in Manitoba. The second was for The Narwhal’s integrated coverage of Indigenous issues and the climate crisis, including the rise of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas.

A team from the Vancouver Sun and the Vancouver Province — Gordon Hoekstra, Glenda Luymes and Nathan Griffiths — won in this category for a data-driven investigation examining how prepared B.C. communities are for an anticipated increase in fires and floods.

This was the first year The Narwhal was eligible to enter the National Newspaper Awards. Gilchrist said she was grateful for members who have made The Narwhal’s work possibly through their generous donations.

“In a world of bad news for the media industry, the future of The Narwhal is looking very bright, thanks to our members,” Gilchrist said.

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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