The Narwhal received two silver medals from the Digital Publishing Awards on Wednesday for excellence in feature writing and photo storytelling.
In the feature-writing category, Judith Lavoie’s on-the-ground feature on the Tsilhqot’in Nation’s 12-year battle against the proposed New Prosperity mine took second place. Taseko’s mine, which threatened a lake of profound cultural and spiritual significance, recently met its legal end when the Supreme Court of Canada shot down an appeal.
‘This is not Canada’: inside the Tsilhqot’in Nation’s battle against Taseko Mines was accompanied by photographs from Louis Bockner.
Winners of the Digital Publishing Awards, now in its fifth year, were chosen by a panel of 75 judges examining work from 150 publications.
The Narwhal received four of six total nominations in the photo storytelling category and won silver for another on-the-ground feature, Canada’s forgotten rainforest.
The piece, photographed by Victoria-based photographer Taylor Roades, details the work of scientists documenting the impacts of logging in Canada’s rare inland temperate rainforest, which is experiencing deforestation at rates faster than the Amazon.
Roades said she is delighted and surprised by the win.
“This was the first assignment I flew a drone on. It was nice to have that perspective to see the effects of logging on such a large scale. It was something I wasn’t able to capture before,” Roades said.
The story idea was generated by a reader tip and features portraits of a scientist studying global forests and a forest ecologist from the group Conservation North.
“Everyone we met cared so much about the forest and had spent their lifetimes working to protect it so it was an honour to share their work,” Roades said.
The Narwhal, one of just a handful of non-profit publications in Canada, was launched two years ago with a mission to provide in-depth coverage of the country’s natural world. Its team of investigative journalists received eight nominations from the Digital Publishing Awards and two award nominations from the Canadian Association of Journalists for the 2020 awards season. The Canadian Association of Journalists will announce winners during a virtual ceremony on Saturday.
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