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The Narwhal picks up three 2023 Webster Awards nominations

From invasive species to tensions between communities and extractive industries, our B.C. bureau’s dogged reporting is up for the province’s coveted journalism awards

The Narwhal has picked up three nominations this year from the Webster Awards, which celebrate public-interest journalism across British Columbia.

“It’s such an honour to see this range of stories, from invasive species, to court case coverage, to community-industry tensions, up for awards,” B.C. bureau lead Lindsay Sample said.

“And I love that this kind of reporting is made possible by our members and donors who keep The Narwhal’s journalism ad- and paywall-free for everyone to read.”

Here are the three nominated pieces — make sure to check them out! The winners will be announced at a gala event in Vancouver in November.

Excellence in environment reporting

B.C. biodiversity reporter Ainslie Cruickshank’s feature on invasive-but-tasty green crabs takes a look at the efforts being made by non-profits, governments and First Nations to fight the destruction the crabs have caused and prevent further spread in the province’s waters. She learned that many of the green critters rot in a landfill — even though they’re edible — which is why some of the people she interviewed wonder if we should just eat the crabs, especially when inflation is driving up the cost of groceries.

European green crabs
European green crabs are invading the B.C. coast. Photo: Melissa Renwick / The Narwhal

Ainslie’s piece is in the running along with a series that looks at lessons on bracing for disasters in The Tyee (reporting led by our very own Francesca Fionda!) and a Nelson Star feature on the Kokanee Glacier.

Excellence in legal journalism

Speaking of Francesca: for 14 days, The Narwhal’s mining reporter was often the only journalist present in the B.C. Supreme Court as the Gitxaała Nation and Ehattesaht First Nation brought forward a case that could change the future of mining in the province. 

Her coverage in The Narwhal included four in-depth articles explaining the significance of the case and raising concerns of Indigenous leaders, the exploration industry, mining reform advocates, community groups and environmental advocates.

Francesca’s reporting is nominated along with The Tyee’s look into police violence that resulted in the death of a 27-year-old woman and The Globe and Mail’s examination of B.C.’s broken bail system.

People walking into the B.C. Supreme Court for a case that could change the future of mining
Ehattesaht First Nation and Gitxaała Nation are in the B.C. Supreme Court asking the province to stop automatically giving away mineral rights to their land.  Photo: Jimmy Jeong / The Narwhal

Excellence in multimedia journalism

Breaking down the truth about pipelines crossing Wet’suwet’en territory — and charting their proposed paths — is no easy task. After many months of work (and with the help of our art director Shawn Parkinson) northwest B.C. reporter Matt Simmons explained the conflict surrounding the Coastal GasLink pipeline, visually.

With a comprehensive rundown of Wet’suwet’en governance structure, Matt’s piece challenges a talking point used by both the pipeline’s parent company, TC Energy, and the B.C. government — that all 20 First Nations are on board with the project. It also looks at how Coastal GasLink might be the first in a series of pipelines that will export fracked gas to the rest of the world, setting the stage for Wet’suwet’en territory to become an energy corridor.

Matt’s explainer is up for the award with The Tyee’s detailed overview of global disaster land grabs and The Globe and Mail’s profile of Canada’s surf prodigy.

We’ve got big plans for 2024
Seeking out climate solutions, big and small. Investigating the influence of oil and gas lobbyists. Holding leaders accountable for protecting the natural world.

The Narwhal’s reporting team is busy unearthing important environmental stories you won’t read about anywhere else in Canada. And we’ll publish it all without corporate backers, ads or a paywall.

How? Because of the support of a tiny fraction of readers like you who make our independent, investigative journalism free for all to read.

Will you join more than 6,000 members helping us pull off critical reporting this year?
We’ve got big plans for 2024
Seeking out climate solutions, big and small. Investigating the influence of oil and gas lobbyists. Holding leaders accountable for protecting the natural world.

The Narwhal’s reporting team is busy unearthing important environmental stories you won’t read about anywhere else in Canada. And we’ll publish it all without corporate backers, ads or a paywall.

How? Because of the support of a tiny fraction of readers like you who make our independent, investigative journalism free for all to read.

Will you join more than 6,000 members helping us pull off critical reporting this year?

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