Webster Awards 2021 Finalists – Editor

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EXCELLENCE IN TECHNOLOGY REPORTING
First Name
Michelle
Last Name
Siu
Entry Title
How the technology that powers crypto is being used for more than money
Synopsis for all entries
Blockchain technology is becoming more well known, mostly as being the technology that powers cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and digital assets like non-fungible tokens (NFTs). It also has many people hoping to get rich by investing in digital assets like GIFs and artworks — some of which sell for millions.

But it's not just investors and celebrities investing in blockchain-powered technology or the cryptocurrencies that it enables.
Our story looks at how B.C. Indigenous artists are leveraging blockchain to secure and verify their art, while researchers are studying how the technology can better protect personal health information.
Synopsis in-language
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EXCELLENCE IN TECHNOLOGY REPORTING
First Name
David
Last Name
Beers
Entry Title
FOI Reveals a Problem-Plagued BC $8.9-Million Tech Project
Synopsis for all entries
One of the NDP government’s first major technology projects was an initiative to upgrade the BC Bid system used to buy some $7 billion worth of goods and services every year.
The government maintained the project was on time and on budget. But Tyee legislative bureau chief Andrew MacLeod was hearing a very different story from sources. After failing to get information from government he filed Freedom of Information requests to dig deeper.
It took a year to get answers. They showed the project was behind schedule, well over budget and was unlikely to deliver the promised results.
MacLeod’s persistent reporting and follow-up stories were cited by opposition MLAs in questioning the government’s honesty about the project.s in the legislature about the government’s honesty about the project and calls for the minister responsible to resign.
These stories served an important public interest, and demonstrated persistence, skilled use of FOIs and an ability to make complex technology decisions understandable.
And they showed that MacLeod has earned the trust of sources who are willing to offer insights that allow him to dig into important stories on behalf of the public.
Synopsis in-language
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EXCELLENCE IN MULTIMEDIA JOURNALISM
First Name
Nancy
Last Name
Macdonald
Entry Title
Highway 8
Synopsis for all entries
Please see the attached letter
Synopsis in-language
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EXCELLENCE IN MULTIMEDIA JOURNALISM
First Name
Laura
Last Name
Baziuk
Entry Title
From babies to bridge crossings, a data dive into how COVID-19 changed B.C.
Synopsis for all entries
COVID-19 has changed so much in all of our lives. At times, it has seemed the magnitude of this disruption has been impossible to quantify. But through the use of multimedia tools like videos, animations, graphs and charts, Global BC took the first real attempt to measure the most significant impacts from the 12 months of the pandemic. The analysis included lengthy digging through government data, working with organizations to obtain and understand data, and searching through publicly available data to evaluate social behaviour patterns. The work included charts allowing the public to visually understand the shifts. There is also a use of bar charts displaying the changing numbers over time and videos related in shorter form to allow the reader to consume both the context and the information at the same time. Getting access to some of the data was very difficult, requiring constant pressure on sources to get access to the raw numbers. Over a two-month period, Global BC reporters gathered, processed, and, with our visual journalist, visualized the numbers to tell the stories of how we were affected one year after the pandemic took hold. Global News is the only news organization to compile B.C.-specific data and, in effect, put into words (or numbers) the impact that COVID has had. In short, the piece was designed to help the public as we try to process and understand the immense and unprecedented changes of a global health crisis.
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EXCELLENCE IN MULTIMEDIA JOURNALISM
First Name
Jimmy
Last Name
Thomson
Entry Title
The frontline of conservation: how Indigenous guardians are reinforcing sovereignty and science on their lands
Synopsis for all entries
Indigenous guardians are part of one of the most important conservation stories in Canada right now: patrolling their own traditional territories, they're reinforcing their communities' own power while providing an essential service for visitors, scientists and the government of Canada alike.
Given my history reporting on guardians across Canada, I wanted to focus in on one region and get a sense of the spatial extent of their patrols. Over a two-year project, I worked with three First Nations to access their patrol data, meet their guardians, understand what they were doing on the water, and gather multimedia elements for this story. The story contains video interviews, photos, atmospheric visuals, a timelapse Google Earth video, two original, interactive data-driven maps, and drone footage of Wuikinuxv territory.
This story was supported by a grant from the Pulitzer Centre for Crisis Reporting and Humber College. It was translated into French and Italian via its subsequent republication in two European publications with worldwide reach.
Synopsis in-language
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EXCELLENCE IN LEGAL REPORTING
First Name
Jane
Last Name
Skrypnek
Entry Title
Sexual assault survivor finds no justice with Saanich police
Synopsis for all entries
This article recounts a Greater Victoria woman’s fight for justice after police misclassified her sexual assault report and her assailant’s employer ignored her requests for action. I spent months working on the story, keeping in regular contact with the sexual assault survivor, Chelsea, throughout the process. I researched sexual assault statistics and the history of the “unfounded” label, gathered police statistics, and spoke with legal and sexual assault experts, police, and all the implicated parties. As a result of my reporting, the accused man was let go from his public-facing job and the police department and mayor issued a public apology to the survivor. Since then, I’ve had people reach out to share their stories because of how I handled Chelsea’s experience.
Synopsis in-language
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EXCELLENCE IN LEGAL REPORTING
First Name
Kim
Last Name
Bolan
Entry Title
Do police treat organized crime murders differently?
Synopsis for all entries
Dear Webster judges,

Here is the login info that will allow you to bypass our paywall

Username: [email protected]
Password: Awards2020

I investigated the murder of Hells Angels prospect Mike Widner because his distraught mom alleged that police do not adequately investigate slayings of those involved in organized crime.

I got some information from the mom, but also pored over court documents and previous court rulings involving Widner and other Hells Angels murder victims. I also collected data on earlier Hells Angels murders and disappearances. I think the resulting story is insightful in that very few of these biker murders have been solved in B.C. And I was able to report source information about what likely led to Widner's death - an internal dispute within the Hells Angels.

I know Widner's mom appreciated the story, noting that so few cases involving gang-involved people get media attention since we tend to focus on more sympathetic victims. And I gave police the opportunity to respond about why targeted hits are more challenging to investigate.
Synopsis in-language
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EXCELLENCE IN LEGAL REPORTING
First Name
David
Last Name
Beers
Entry Title
The Hidden, Deadly Epidemic in Partner Violence
Synopsis for all entries
In 2019, Canada passed a law that elevated strangulation from a crime of simple assault to that of a serious assault charge.

And yet, as Fowles uncovered in her reporting, it remains incredibly difficult to successfully convict a perpetrator of this crime. First, because strangulation occurs in secret, by the hands of one's intimate partner (who a victim may love and want to be with), and, second, because it may leave no visible evidence behind. Complex methods of medical assessment and proper documentation by trained professionals is crucial. Police officers, emergency room doctors and nurses must know how to assess for this injury and document it, which often they do not due to lack of awareness or training.

Forensic technology is often needed in order to prove injury and is often, if not always, lacking in small towns. Hence the crime often falls through the cracks of both the medical and justice systems. There is also complexity in how the crime is handled from region to region across Canada. It is also nearly impossible to find out any meaningful statistics in terms of how many "choking" charges laid by police are ever carried through to conviction, Fowles discovered.

This is why, Fowles says, the testimony of victims, the majority of whom are women, is currently the best indicator of what is really taking place on the ground. Her story focuses on one woman's experience as a victim and survivor of repeated strangulation at the hands of her husband, a man she loved. This narrative is intertwined with Fowles’s investigation – a first of its kind in B.C. – into how effective this new law has been at addressing a highly complex and potentially deadly crime.
Synopsis in-language
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EXCELLENCE IN HEALTH REPORTING
First Name
Michelle
Last Name
Siu
Entry Title
A Crisis in Care: The Family Doctor Shortage in Greater Victoria
Synopsis for all entries
This week-long radio and web series put a spotlight on the family doctor shortage in one island community, however it brought attention to this issue across the province and country. In this series, burnt-out family doctors, frightened patients, wary medical students and overwhelmed ER physicians shared their frustration with the current shortage and their concerns over the life-threatening consequences. One of the most heart-breaking stories was of a cancer patient who believed her prognosis was affected by the lack of a family doctor. The Minister of Health, Adrian Dix, responded to concerns as part of the series which also included an hour-long live radio forum with health experts. The main web story was #1 overall on CBC.ca/bc for the weekend and #7 overall for cbc.ca/news for the entire weekend. The impact of the series was seen in the legislature the following week when Premier John Horgan swore during question period in response to questions about the shortage. CBC Victoria also received hundreds of emails and dozens of calls from people struggling with the shortage. This series pushed the family doctor crisis into the headlines and to the top of the political agenda, where it has remained almost three months later.
Synopsis in-language
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EXCELLENCE IN HEALTH REPORTING
First Name
Laura
Last Name
Baziuk
Entry Title
BC Ambulance Crisis
Synopsis for all entries
The fragility of British Columbia’s ambulance system was laid bare by the deadly 2021 heat dome, but the event only exposed cracks that were already there. A month before the record-breaking temperatures, Global BC coverage reported on the delays between 911 and ambulance dispatchers and followed the into the fall as it persisted, along with concerns about later changes allowing E-Comm operators to hang up on callers. During the heat dome, we reported on paramedics who shared behind-the-scenes details of long delays and tragic outcomes. Global BC secured an interview with BC Emergency Health Services COO Darlene Mackinnon, who apologized, yet maintained the ambulance service had done “a really good job,” and followed with reaction from paramedics who called for her ouster. Coverage continued through a reorganization of the BC Ambulance Service and Mackinnon’s exit from the agency. Global BC also spoke with paramedics who highlighted problems within the system unrelated to the heat dome, including backups admitting patients at hospital, short staffing in general, and low morale. Throughout coverage, our team highlighted the stories of real people, some left waiting for hours in pain, to show the human impact beyond official statements and abstract numbers.
Synopsis in-language
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EXCELLENCE IN HEALTH REPORTING
First Name
CINDY EILEEN
Last Name
HARNETT
Entry Title
PANDEMIC: BEHIND THE CURTAIN
Synopsis for all entries
In the fall of 2021, B.C. was headed towards its second winter of the pandemic. Vaccines were readily available but health care workers were seeing more serious illness and deaths in middle-aged unvaccinated adults infected with the Delta variant.

On the health beat for every development of COVID-19, from the first case reported in January 2020, reporter Cindy E Harnett earned the trust of health care professionals, particularly Dr. Omar Ahmad, department head of emergency and critical care medicine for Island Health. With his co-operation, and regional and provincial approvals, she and photographer Darren Stone gained access to the ICU of Royal Jubilee Hospital.

It was there on the ward she reported on a wife - pressed up against the glass wall of her husband's ICU room - bearing witness to her four young boys being individually suited up in protective wear and sent in, one by one, to give their motionless father what could be a final embrace.

The stories bring readers into the rooms of patients on ventilators, the understaffed nursing stations, the offices of social workers trying to navigate families through shock, the specialists losing ground to an ever-changing virus, and health care workers left to facilitate final goodbyes.

The story and exclusive photos were published in print, online, and on social media platforms.

With respect and dignity for all patients involved and a with a treatment that lifts the individuals from the statistics, these powerful stories illustrate the unique torment for health care professionals and families faced with a death that might have been prevented.

"Thirty-40 and 50-year olds shouldn't be dying at this level," reads the front-page story leading into the Islander Feature entitled "Behind the Curtain: COVID patients in B.C. ICUs are younger and sicker and many won't make it."
Synopsis in-language
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EXCELLENCE IN FEATURE/ENTERPRISE REPORTING – TV/VIDEO
First Name
Phil
Last Name
Sedlacek
Entry Title
COVID-19 data: Fight for Vancouver hospital outbreak information
Synopsis for all entries
A CTV News investigation into COVID-19 infections in Lower Mainland hospitals turned into a year long freedom of information battle with BC’s largest health authorities. Hundreds of British Columbians died from COVID, which they likely caught in hospital. Reporter Penny Daflos spent months in a tug-of-war over FOI requests about why outbreaks in acute care were happening and what was being done. Instead, health officials tried to keep that information secret. Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health actively fought disclosure. VCH claimed no such reports existed and Fraser Health gave CTV mostly blacked out pages. A year after CTV first asked VCH for the documents, the health authority finally provided COVID-19 outbreak reports, stored by another agency. Critics pointed out the culture has become very secretive, with a lack of transparency and accountability.
Synopsis in-language
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EXCELLENCE IN FEATURE/ENTERPRISE REPORTING – TV/VIDEO
First Name
Michelle
Last Name
Siu
Entry Title
RCH’s COVID ICU
Synopsis for all entries
From the outset of the pandemic, CBC Vancouver has highlighted the challenges of patients and health care providers to inform the public about the realities of COVID-19. For more than a year, the scope of these stories was limited due to health and safety protocols, with no ability to gather stories inside intensive care units. In June 2021, emboldened by vaccines and a better understanding of COVID transmission, CBC BC sought to profile the COVID fight inside Royal Columbian Hospital. Weeks of discussion and negotiation lead hospital administrators to embed our team with RCH staff on the front lines of the pandemic. The rare coverage offers an intimate look into the lives of health care professionals and their patients. The interviews and footage provide a snapshot of B.C.'s COVID-19 response at a time when ICUs were teeming with new, potentially fatal, cases every day. Among them, 44-year-old father of two Jeremy Johnson. His wife Rika, a nurse herself, hadn't been allowed to visit in-person until only days before the CBC team met Jeremy. In August, Jeremy died in the ICU. Staff share raw, emotional stories about the stress and strain of caring for the sickest people in a global pandemic.
Synopsis in-language
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EXCELLENCE IN FEATURE/ENTERPRISE REPORTING – TV/VIDEO
First Name
Philip
Last Name
Sedlacek
Entry Title
A British Columbia welcome: Housing Ukrainian newcomers fleeing the war
Synopsis for all entries
In early April, as the horrors of the Russian invasion were coming to light, Ukrainians fleeing the war began arriving at YVR. In a series of stories shot, written and edited by CTV multi-skilled journalist Shannon Paterson, CTV News introduced viewers to the newcomers and those who opened their homes. The hosts included a restaurant owner who fought to bring her sister and nephew to B.C., a West Vancouver couple who welcomed a traumatized mother and her two daughters, the CEO of Helijet who offered his cabin to a couple with a baby, and a Port Moody developer who allowed a family to live in a brand new condominium for free. In emotional interviews, Shannon explored why the hosts chose to open their doors and how the newcomers felt about leaving their homeland and settling in B.C. Shannon was at YVR as Helijet’s CEO met the couple he was hosting, and recorded the moment the family saw their new Port Moody condo for the first time. Shannon is a veteran CTV reporter, who has recently transitioned to shooting and editing her own stories. This series is an example of one journalist’s solo effort to bring these important stories to viewers.
Synopsis in-language
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EXCELLENCE IN FEATURE/ENTERPRISE REPORTING – RADIO/PODCAST
First Name
Laura
Last Name
Palmer
Entry Title
Missing Michael: Island Crime Season 3
Synopsis for all entries
The disappearance of Victoria's 4 year old Michael Dunahee is one of Canada's greatest unsolved mysteries. Michael's story has been featured on Oprah! America's Most Wanted, and Geraldo. And yet, until 'Missing Michael', few details of the presumed abduction and investigation have been told. 'Missing Michael' takes listeners on an intimate and heart breaking journey from the moment Michael vanishes, to the present day search for answers. The series is packed with interviews from family , friends, witnesses, investigators and experts. Despite three decades of coverage, most of these people have never been interviewed before. Those closest to the case say 'Missing Michael' marks the most comprehensive investigation of Michael Dunahee's story.

I've submitted 'Vanished' Episode 1 of 'Missing Michael' for your consideration as it makes most sense to begin at the start, but I'm proud of the work on the whole series and invite those who have time to carry on listening to rest of the series.
Synopsis in-language
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EXCELLENCE IN FEATURE/ENTERPRISE REPORTING – RADIO/PODCAST
First Name
Joan
Last Name
Webber
Entry Title
Of Towns and Tigers
Synopsis for all entries
Of Towns and Tigers is about a man who has repeatedly tried to establish a home for the animals he loves. Trouble is, critics point out, many of them are predators. Lions and tigers. If this sounds oddly like the plot of the show, The Tiger King, you’re right. Because unbeknownst to many, there are exotic animals in backyards across Canada. The reason? The laws across the country are wildly uneven.
In 2009, British Columbia introduced some of the most stringent regulations in the country around the ownership of wild animals.
Private citizens were banned from keeping pets like lions and tigers. The change in the law came following the death of a woman mauled by her boyfriend’s tiger.
The restrictions are seen by many, as an example of what should happen across the Country.
Exotic animal owners are now drawn to Ontario where there are no Provincial restrictions, instead it’s up to the municipalities to regulate.
Activists are frustrated that Canada hasn’t stepped in to stop would-be Joe Exotics’ from setting up shop.
This documentary is about one such man and the communities trying to stop him.

Thank you for your consideration,
Joan Webber
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EXCELLENCE IN FEATURE/ENTERPRISE REPORTING – RADIO/PODCAST
First Name
Michelle
Last Name
Siu
Entry Title
Floods, fires and the future: A look at three communities after climate disasters
Synopsis for all entries
2021 took a devastating toll on our province.
A heat dome, deadly wildfires and disastrous flooding caused the destruction of entire communities, ripped up essential infrastructure and moved major waterways.
Now that it's 2022, Sarah Penton visits three communities to check in on how people are feeling.
And while some are struggling to rebuild, others are armed with a new sense of resiliency and are ready for future events. We went to Logan Lake, Spius Creek near Merritt, and the Nicomen Indian Band near Lytton.
This series tells the real stories of people affected by climate disasters and how recovery looks from each unique lens.
Synopsis in-language
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EXCELLENCE IN FEATURE/ENTERPRISE REPORTING – PRINT/ONLINE
First Name
Nancy
Last Name
Macdonald
Entry Title
Traevon's Legacy
Synopsis for all entries
The attached letter includes links to the stories with this submission. For your convenience, PDFs of those stories are also attached.
Synopsis in-language
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EXCELLENCE IN FEATURE/ENTERPRISE REPORTING – PRINT/ONLINE
First Name
Tyler
Last Name
Olsen
Entry Title
The science, geography, and historical roots of a 21st Century disaster
Synopsis for all entries
As a new publication covering an entire region beset by flooding and landslides, we had to figure out how we would cover last year's disaster. There were a million individual stories, and news agencies from around North American were bringing in reporters to catalogue the flood and the personal toll. Given that (and given that our publication links to and directs our readers to those stories), we chose to focus our effort on two things: providing day-to-day information that could inform our readers about the present situation and that expected. And providing them with the historical and scientific depth and context to understand what was happening to them.
They didn't need to be sold the seriousness of the events and the personal stakes: they could look out their windows and talk to their neighbours for that. But they needed to know what was going on both to understand how to protect themselves, and to understand this transformative event in their region.
We've submitted the breaking news and investigative stories in other categories. Here we are submitting stories that attempted to answer, in depth and understandable language, the complex history and science behind last November's disaster. The disaster, especially that in Sumas Prairie, wasn't just a story about Sumas Lake and colonialization or just a story about climate change or just a story about science or just a story about how we prepare for disasters. It was all of those and more, and we tried to help readers understand that complexity and how it shaped the disaster they lived through.
Synopsis in-language
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EXCELLENCE IN FEATURE/ENTERPRISE REPORTING – PRINT/ONLINE
First Name
David
Last Name
Beers
Entry Title
SRO Tenants Have Lived with Broken Windows for Years
Synopsis for all entries
The Tyee assigned Jen St. Denis to cover the Downtown Eastside because the neighbourhood, with its complex, serious problems and vulnerable population, needed a beat reporter who could build relationships.

We were right. As St. Denis built trust, residents and workers started to come to her with concerns about SROs, many citing problems in Atira Property Management Inc. buildings.

The result was a series of stories about alarming working and living conditions and a major failure of a key government homelessness strategy.

The reporting was complex and challenging. Sources were often vulnerable and concerned about repercussions. It required verifying claims — through interviews, FOIs and document checks — and ensuring Atira had every chance to respond.
And St. Denis faced considerable pressures — including public personal attacks from Atira and being banned from its buildings.

It is some of the highest stakes, most complex work The Tyee has done this year.

But the stories have also shone a light on an ignored danger. They prompted then-housing minister David Eby to say the SRO experiment might actually be increasing homelessness. And were cited as Vancouver council delayed a grant to an Atira-run project until the concerns St. Denis raised were addressed. We invite the judges to read all the stories submitted as a connected body of work exhibiting great enterprise.
Synopsis in-language
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EXCELLENCE IN ENVIRONMENT REPORTING
First Name
David
Last Name
Garrison
Entry Title
The Hatchery Crutch: How We Got Here
Synopsis for all entries
“The Hatchery Crutch: How We Got Here” is the first story in Hakai Magazine’s 2022 editorial package, which takes an in-depth look at salmon hatcheries in the Pacific Northwest. Editor-in-chief Jude Isabella provides the foundation for the package, which was wholly well received. She takes readers through the history of the region’s salmon hatcheries and explains how the facilities have gone from a cure to a band-aid to a crutch.

Almost a century ago, it became clear that salmon hatcheries were failed experiments born of delusional thinking. Yet today, more than 240 hatcheries from Alaska to California pump salmon into the Pacific. Instead of restoring and protecting wild salmon habitat, we’ve developed a reliance on hatchery-raised fish. Jude explains that this dependence began with politics and blind faith in technology, but is now a result of politics, law, and desperation.

Deftly covering decades of history, Indigenous rights, and science, Jude ties the piece together with snippets of Roderick Haig-Brown’s 1941 book, Return to the River, which details the wonderous, perilous journey of a wild salmon. Roderick believed that salmon runs could be preserved and restored to their full glory. But Jude wonders if we’ll let that happen.
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EXCELLENCE IN ENVIRONMENT REPORTING
First Name
Russ
Last Name
Francis
Entry Title
Electric vehicles: Will they really drive us to a better planet?
Synopsis for all entries
Electric vehicles (EVs) are a hot item these days. Thanks in part to generous government subsidies and helped by climate-anxious drivers, they are flying out of showrooms despite their much higher costs.

But largely missing from the public discourse has been a fact-based cost-benefit analysis of buying an EV. Do they really reduce Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) over their lifetimes, in comparison with gas-powered vehicles? Is there enough electricity to power them? And what is the break-even point?

Relying on models and data from BC Hydro, StatsCan, the B.C. environment and energy ministries, Natural Resources Canada, the Argonne National laboratory, an EV charger company, several investment advisers and others, the analysis reaches some surprising conclusions. For instance, even with the subsidies, it takes more than 20 years for the average B.C. driver to break even with the costs of gas-powered vehicles.

The article concludes with a discussion of the 157-year-old Jevons Paradox—which suggests that British Columbians may drive significantly more as EV prices drop to those of their gas-powered counterparts, a price drop projected by Vancouver’s Navius Research. It may even be the case that our total spending on driving remains unchanged, despite the lower per-kilometre cost for EVs.
Synopsis in-language
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EXCELLENCE IN ENVIRONMENT REPORTING
First Name
Nathan
Last Name
Griffiths
Entry Title
Metro's low-income households feel heat waves more than their wealthier neighbours
Synopsis for all entries
Following the deadly heatwave that killed over 600 people in 2021, Postmedia analysed satellite imagery and census data to determine which parts of Metro Vancouver faced the highest temperatures and see how that related to income. The results were clear: Across the region, temperatures were significantly higher in lower-income neighbourhoods that wealthy one.

Land surface temperature data was collected from NASA’s Landsat 8 satellite from one of the hottest days of the heatwave. LST has a strong correlation to air temperature but is typically several degrees warmer.

Combining these measurements with administrative data from Statistics Canada, the median temperature was calculated for each census tract in Metro Vancouver and temperature values were plotted against median income for each census tract

The story made extensive use of graphics, maps and satellite imagery to tell a complex environmental story in a compelling and engaging manner.

Following publication, staff from several Metro municipalities, including Vancouver and Delta, requested data and other graphical elements from the story for reference and internal planning. Stories using similar data analysis techniques were published this year, nearly a year after this story was published.

NOTE: The following login info can be used to access the full story, including interactive graphics which do not appear in the PDF version, at the VancouverSun.com:
Username: [email protected]
Password: Awards2020
Synopsis in-language
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EXCELLENCE IN DIVERSITY + INCLUSION REPORTING
First Name
Wendy
Last Name
Cox
Entry Title
Prosecuting Hate
Synopsis for all entries
Please see the attached letter with the story links embedded. PDFs are also attached.
Synopsis in-language
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EXCELLENCE IN DIVERSITY + INCLUSION REPORTING
First Name
Laura
Last Name
Baziuk
Entry Title
Chinatown unmasked
Synopsis for all entries
The vandalism and violence in Vancouver's Chinatown neighbourhood were present before COVID-19, and the pandemic's hit to the economy, paired with the rise of anti-Asian hate, only made the crisis worse. Reporter Kristen Robinson took the audience into the neighbourhood in her ‘Chinatown Unmasked’ series. She went beyond the statistics and store closures to show you the people who live and work there, especially seniors, who were feeling unsafe in their own community. Kristen earned their trust to do that. With clarity and compassion, she looked where other reporters weren't and told stories that forced people and politicians to take notice.
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EXCELLENCE IN DIVERSITY + INCLUSION REPORTING
First Name
Douglas
Last Name
Todd
Entry Title
Can B.C.’s First Nations and churches find peace on earth?
Synopsis for all entries
Jack Webster Foundation Awards, 2022


Category: Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion


As a concept, truth and reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous people is making the news now more than ever. While much coverage lacks specificity and context, Vancouver Sun journalist Douglas Todd regularly takes on the subject with rigor.

His main submission is a unique piece about the legacy of residential schools, which delves into a morally complex attempt at reconciliation between members of the Squamish Nation and a large downtown Vancouver church. The creation and impact of Todd’s article, headlined “Can B.C.’s First Nations and churches find peace on earth?” has helped cement lasting connections between First Nations people and Metro Vancouver residents who have been part of the painful residential school story.

Todd’s main piece is supported by a sample of four often surprising articles and analyses about Indigenous issues and people. They are headlined, “What do Indigenous voices say about immigration?” “First Nations leaders ‘deeply disturbed’ by teachers’ union campaign,” “How are B.C. Indigenous students climbing the higher education ladder” and “First Nations fighter believes closure could come on residential schools.”

The last piece touches on Todd’s involvement as a journalist, decades ago, in the long and arduous process now referred to as truth and reconciliation. Always raising up the voices of First Nations while looking at the concrete realities of social and cultural advancement, Todd’s sensitive and fact-filled writing raises novel perspectives, which go beyond conventional coverage, to help further genuine understanding.

Harold Munro
Editor-in-Chief, Vancouver Sun
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EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY REPORTING
First Name
Mike
Last Name
Howell
Entry Title
Investigation: Is Vancouver's Chinatown dying?
Synopsis for all entries
The author spent the better part of a month examining how the pandemic, racism and drug-fueled street disorder has hit Vancouver's Chinatown hard. Interviews were conducted with community leaders, shop owners, business people who left Chinatown, City of Vancouver planners, police and politicians. The author did walkabouts with some of the people he interviewed and went to great lengths to give the reader a variety of voices in the piece. The piece was posted to Vancouver Is Awesome's website and shared with other Glacier Media websites; Glacier owns Vancouver Is Awesome and several publications in B.C. At more than 5,000 words, the story was comprehensive and received positive attention from readers for the storytelling and in-depth look at a community that continues to be under siege. Most importantly, the story created a conversation and continues to generate web traffic more than a year later.
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EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY REPORTING
First Name
Katie
Last Name
Engqvist
Entry Title
Truth and Reconciliation
Synopsis for all entries
We embarked on this project to provide our readers with local faces and context to a story that was quickly gaining national attention.
We dedicated seven ad-free pages to a series that shared the experiences of survivors while also discussing some of the reasons why truth and reconciliation is needed. Online, this series also included videos with survivors telling their stories.
Along with the series, all six of our Greater Victoria papers featured a wrap on the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This publisher-driven initiative saw Carey Newman grant permission to use his art for the cover. In exchange, he asked that we make a donation to charity. The sales team was able to raise more than $10,000 with the proceeds going to support residential school survivors.
On the inside of the wrap we chose to showcase two individuals who created the Victoria Orange Shirt chapter. Part of this partnership allowed us to sell orange shirts from our community offices, resulting in more than $40,000 in sales. There was an organic social media campaign that sprang up with a huge number of individuals and other businesses sharing stories and reels promoting/tagging our office as a location for the community to learn more.
The response from our readership was incredible. I have never seen such a positive reaction from readers. Many had no idea about what went on at residential schools, some had a little bit of knowledge and wanted to learn more, and others simply thanked us for helping spread the word. Often we hear of horrific events happening, but being able to put a living, breathing person in front our readers, who was able to say ‘this is what happened to me, this is why I’m now sharing my story,’ not only helped readers understand but it
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EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY REPORTING
First Name
Chelsea
Last Name
Powrie
Entry Title
Princeton recovers from devastating floods
Synopsis for all entries
Sudden floods devastated the small town of Princeton in November. The community felt forgotten in their struggle to rebuild and obtain provincial and federal funding after the news was no longer breaking.

For months after the floods, we spoke to citizens who were directly affected and working to rebuild, and local politicians doing their best to get help, sometimes in vain.

The flood brought to light longer-standing issues in the community like lack of housing and need for improved highway infrastructure.

The community began to fundraise for itself in order to house people whose homes were unliveable due to flood damage. Citizens joined together to call for changes to a key highway intersection in the town that saw overwhelming traffic due to washed out Coquihalla roads.

Castanet's coverage of Princeton throughout the months after the flood included many more articles than can be included in this submission.

Our video and written stories kept the spotlight on the Princeton community and the surrounding Similkameen Valley as they navigated an unprecedented natural disaster.
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EXCELLENCE IN BUSINESS/INDUSTRY/LABOUR/ECONOMICS REPORTING
First Name
Brent
Last Name
Jang
Entry Title
LNG's Fading Promise
Synopsis for all entries
Please see the attached letter with embedded links to the stories. PDFS are provided below. Thank you
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EXCELLENCE IN BUSINESS/INDUSTRY/LABOUR/ECONOMICS REPORTING
First Name
Aleksandra
Last Name
Sagan
Entry Title
As AbCellera plans massive expansion 'for decades to come,' Vancouver braces for impact
Synopsis for all entries
The B.C. tech industry’s rallying cry is the province’s need for more homegrown anchor firms—its own Amazons or Googles—and the supports to nurture them.

AbCellera, which grew out of a University of British Columbia lab, promises to be that. It announced it would build a nearly 450,000 square feet global headquarters, as well as a 130,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility in the city.

But Vancouver, like other tech hubs, also struggles with firms expanding their presence. As they add square footage, concerns around talent shortages, affordability and density bubble up in an already competitive and expensive market.

Aleksandra Sagan explores the nuanced relationship of the city’s desire for homegrown tech unicorns that must be balanced against maintaining livability for its current residents.

With AbCellera’s applications to build taller buildings with more density than allowed in front of the city for consideration at the time of publication, the story also served to inform the community of the probable benefits and drawbacks.

She discovered that while the company promised jobs would come from its growth, it planned to hire for many roles from abroad, looking to add a relocation specialist to its staff to act as a concierge service for international hires.
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EXCELLENCE IN BUSINESS/INDUSTRY/LABOUR/ECONOMICS REPORTING
First Name
David
Last Name
Beers
Entry Title
The Coming Indigenous Power Play
Synopsis for all entries
What does the business of Reconciliation look like in a province enriched by hydro-power? Zoë Yunker’s 10,000-word two-parter first revisits Indigenous homelands sacrificed to W.A.C Bennett’s dam building. It then profiles Hupacasath member Cole Sayers, who leads a movement to create First Nations-owned utilities tapping benefits of the province’s next generation energy infrastructure. Yunker also shows how First Nations recently were cut loose from a promised new era of empowering grid deals offered by a previous government.

The series was shared throughout B.C. ministries and within Cabinet, and was a topic of conversation when Sayers met staff of the Privy Council Office Climate Secretariat in Ottawa. Yunker’s two-parter also was widely circulated throughout Indigenous and clean energy communities and orgs.

Yunker’s reporting “moved the dial,” according to Sayers; discussions among government and FN members on a shared energy future have become evolved to include grid access for First Nations and potential utility structures.

A note about the first part of the series that documents the flooding of traditional lands to make the vast Williston Reservoir. The Kwadacha elders council was unanimously supportive of the article, including it their quarterly newsletter. The article was written through extensive conversations with Kwadacha community members, and the author sought ongoing guidance from elders on how to carry out the reporting process in a way that was trauma-informed and empowering. Once written, the article went through an extensive fact-checking process to ensure that elders felt comfortable with the depiction of events.

For the sweep and depth of its explanatory reporting and for pinpointing a fascinating intersection of Reconciliation, UNDRIP, climate crisis and the history and priorities of a crown corporation with $39 billion in assets, we believe Yunker’s work is deserving in this category.
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COMMENTATOR OF THE YEAR – CITY MIKE AWARD
First Name
Dave
Last Name
Barry
Entry Title
Two and Out - James Peters - CFJC News
Synopsis for all entries
Every week, CFJC Assistant News Director James Peters lends his perspective to the most important local, national and international news stories in a brief televised segment entitled 'Two and Out.' Transcripts of each segment are published on CFJCToday.com. Some of Peters' standout columns from the past 12 months are included in this entry.

In the midst of its grief, Tk'emlups community exemplifies compassion (July 9, 2021 - https://cfjctoday.com/2021/07/09/peters-in-the-midst-of-its-grief-tkemlups-community-exemplifies-compassion/): Just a few weeks after the heart-wrenching confirmation of unmarked graves near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, Peters highlights the hospitality shown to wildfire evacuees by the Tk'emlups te Secwepemc community.

To the staff at Royal Inland Hospital — thank you (Dec. 17, 2021 - https://cfjctoday.com/2021/12/17/peters-to-the-staff-at-royal-inland-hospital-thank-you/): In November, Peters got a first-hand look at the staffing crisis at Royal Inland Hospital when he suffered a medical emergency resulting in a 12-day hospitalization. In this piece, he relates his own experience of the hospital staff's diligence and compassion in the midst of extreme pressure.

Now we see the true face of tyranny (Feb. 25, 2022 - https://cfjctoday.com/2022/02/25/peters-now-we-see-the-true-face-of-tyranny/): As Russia's Vladimir Putin begins a brutal invasion of Ukraine, Peters highlights the contrast between the oppression identified by opponents of COVID-19 measures with atrocities suffered by the Ukrainian people.

Katherine McParland's cause of death does nothing to tarnish her sterling legacy (Mar. 25, 2022 - https://cfjctoday.com/2022/03/25/peters-katherine-mcparlands-cause-of-death-does-nothing-to-tarnish-her-sterling-legacy/): Community builder Katherine McParland died of an opioid overdose. After a coroner's report into her death is released, Peters argues it should not taint how she is remembered.

One year after eye-opening Tk'emlups announcement, the truth should no longer be in question (May 27, 2022 - https://cfjctoday.com/2022/05/27/peters-one-year-after-the-eye-opening-tkemlups-announcement-the-truth-should-no-longer-be-in-question/): In the face of a growing chorus of doubts about the legitimacy of the Tk'emlups announcement, Peters speaks in favour of trusting the community.
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COMMENTATOR OF THE YEAR – CITY MIKE AWARD
First Name
Carolyn
Last Name
Soltau
Entry Title
Pete McMartin - columns
Synopsis for all entries
The five pieces submitted with this entry for the Commentator of The Year category were written by Pete McMartin, columnist for The Vancouver Sun.

After writing for The Sun for 40 years, McMartin retired in 2017, but was asked last year by Sun editor-in-chief Harold Munro if he would write the occasional column for the paper. These five columns, among several dozens more that have since run in the paper, are the result of that offer.

NOTE: To access the columns that are behind the paywall please use:
Username: [email protected]
Password: Awards2020

About those five columns:

The most poignant for McMartin dealt with the death of Shelley Fralic, his fellow columnist and close friend. Hearing of her passing just hours after her death, he contacted The Sun and asked to write a column to honour her.

A column on McMartin’s impatience with the anti-vaccination movement — one of the earliest opinion pieces to do so — attracted thousands of emails to the paper for weeks after it ran, and included several threats of violence to McMartin’s personal email account.

The three remaining columns show McMartin’s range: a humour column on his daily routine during the pandemic; a column on the generational stratification caused by runaway housing costs; and a column on individual complicity for climate change.
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COMMENTATOR OF THE YEAR – CITY MIKE AWARD
First Name
David
Last Name
Beers
Entry Title
Commentary by Steve Burgess
Synopsis for all entries
Tyee contributing editor Steve Burgess has been so good at what he does for so long that it’s easy to not take him seriously. He invites this, after all, by commentating on all manner of political subjects with wit and even, gods forbid, jokes. Still, we at The Tyee suggest he deserves serious consideration for this year’s City Mike.

https://thetyee.ca/Bios/Steve_Burgess/

His range of commentary output for The Tyee last year was impressive for its amount, timely relevance, range, insight and skill. Our submissions – five is too few! -- fall into three types:

* Two of 44 Please Advise! columns, in which “Dr. Steve, accredited spin doctor” offers Swiftian advice to ersatz inquiring minds.

* Two of nine political profiles and campaign analyses. With these indispensable yet delicious orienters, Burgess retains a light touch but offers sharp deconstructions in place of one-liners. His knowledge of BC and Canadian politics is strong and goes far back, allowing him to pull out chestnuts to aptly build his case.

* The first half of a masterful two-part study of Vladimir Putin (and please do read the whole two-parter). It’s drawn from in-person interviews he conducted previously and revisits as Putin’s launches war on Ukraine. While the original conversations with Putin’s adversaries were done in 2016 for a filmmaker, for The Tyee Burgess created anew from that retrieved raw material. The widely read result proved seriously chilling.

Given the grim realities media audiences faced this year, we offer the refreshing tone of Steve Burgess’s commentary as a needed tonic to help the harsh medicine go down.
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BEST REPORTING IN A LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH
First Name
Andy
Last Name
Lin
Entry Title
Recall- The first documentary about Chinese revolutionary Sun Yat-sen in Canada
Synopsis for all entries
Trace the footsteps of Sun Yat-Sen’s journeys across British Columbia and discover the local Chinese Freemasons’ pivotal role in China’s 1911 Revolution.
In 1896, rescued from a kidnapping attempt in London, Chinese revolutionary Sun Yat-Sen flees across the Atlantic, passing through Canada in hopes of reaching his home base in Japan. Pursued by Qing government informants, Sun Yat-Sen must find allies in a foreign land. Safe passage aside, the charismatic leader is determined to raise critical financial support for his growing revolution.
We are the first media who made a documentary about this history. Firstly, by calling this Recall. It is because most of the people who know about this story is not exist anymore. We wanted let more people know about it.
Secondly, we are now living in a chaotic world, so the meaning of this film is becoming more significant. We wanted to send them a message of equal. [Every ethnic group has their own contributes to the country, we need unity not separately. Stay together and make this country great. ] Luckily, the film has been recognized by many other films festivals around the world, including some local film festivals. So I think we have achieved it.
Synopsis in-language
We are the first media who made a documentary about this history.
Firstly, by calling this Recall. It is because most of the people who know about this story is not exist anymore. We wanted let more people know about it.
Secondly, we are now living in a chaotic world, so the meaning of this film is becoming more significant. We wanted to send them a message of equal. [Every ethnic group has their own contributes to the country, we need unity not separately. Stay together and make this country great. ] Luckily, the film has been recognized by many other films festivals around the world, including some local film festivals. So I believe we have achieved the purpose of making this film.
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BEST REPORTING IN A LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH
First Name
Sima
Last Name
Ghaffarzadeh
Entry Title
چشم‌انداز تغییر قانون «مرگ به‌دلیل قصور» در بی‌سی پس از بیش از یک سده؛ بیم‌ها و امیدها / The prospect for reform in the Wrongful Death Law in BC after over a century: Fears and hopes
Synopsis for all entries
For more than a century, a group of survivors of victims of “wrongful death” in British Columbia has faced injustice and unbelievable discrimination. These are people whose loved ones were not “breadwinners” of the family or did not have a life partner/spouse or underage child. They were denied the legal right to take those at fault to court and receive compensation.
The Wrongful Death Law is a law that has never been reformed since it was adopted in the 18th century. Due to outdated practices, the law has resulted in the violation of the rights of numerous families.
While most decision-makers in the current and former governments have been aware of this ongoing issue, the efforts of affected families to change this law have been ineffective.
The current BC government has promised to fix this law by the end of its term in October 2024. However, opposition parties and the victims’ families are not optimistic.
In this report, Hamyaari Media reviewed problems with the current law; reasons for lack of reform; hopes and fears regarding the prospect of reforms with stakeholders such as the Attorney General, and MLAs from main parties in BC; lawyers; and above all, the affected families.
Synopsis in-language
برای بیش از یک سده گروهی از بازماندگانِ جانباختگانِ «مرگ به‌دلیل قصور» در بریتیش کلمبیا با بی‌عدالتی‌ و تبعیضی باورنکردنی مواجه بوده‌اند. این گروه کسانی‌اند که عزیزان ازدست‌رفته‌شان «نان‌آور» خانواده نبوده‌اند یا همسر/شریک زندگی یا فرزند نابالغی نداشته‌اند. آن‌ها از حق شکایت قانونی از مسببان مرگ عزیزانشان و دریافت غرامت محروم بوده‌اند.
قانون مرگ به‌دلیل قصور در بریتیش کلمبیا از جمله قوانینی است که از زمان به‌کارگیری آن در قرن هجدهم اصلاح نشده است و همین امر موجب پایمال‌شدن حقوق خانواده‌های بی‌شماری در این استان شده است.
علی‌رغم وقوفِ اغلب تصمیم‌گیران در دولت کنونی و دولت‌های پیشین استان به این معضل دیرینه، تلاش‌های خانواده‌های آسیب‌دیده برای تغییر این قانون در طول سالیان بی‌نتیجه مانده است.
دولت کنونی بریتیش کلمبیا وعده داده که تا پایان دورهٔ دولت در اکتبر ۲۰۲۴، این قانون را اصلاح می‌کند. هرچند احزاب مخالف و خانواده‌های آسیب‌دیده چندان به این ادعا خوشبین نیستند.
رسانهٔ همیاری در این گزارش اشکالات قانون کنونی، دلایل عدم تغییر قانون تاکنون و بیم‌ها و امیدها دربارهٔ چشم‌انداز اصلاحات آتی این قانون را با طرف‌های ذی‌نفع ازجمله دادستان کل و نمایندگان احزاب اصلی بریتیش کلمبیا، وکلا و از همه مهم‌تر خانواده‌های آسیب‌دیده از این قانون به بحث گذاشته است.
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BEST REPORTING IN A LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH
First Name
Ada
Last Name
Luk
Entry Title
Magazine 26 - Indigenous-Chinese: The Past and Present
Synopsis for all entries
Many believe understanding the past can shape the present. While Canada is committed in truth and reconciliation, a Musqueam Indigenous-Chinese family are committed to bringing awareness to the often forgotten and neglected histories of disruption and dislocation of Chinese and Indigenous peoples in Canada. In a unique family trip, the Grant family travels from Vancouver to China in an attempt to rediscover their father's roots and better understand his fractured relationship with their Musqueam mother. Their family story uncovers the hidden and untold histories of the Chinese and Indigenous relations in Canada. Magazine 26 listens to their unforgettable experience of this journey, and how their own family stories brought together Indigenous, Chinese scholars and artists to promote integration and ethnic harmony through the lens of history, culture and art exchange.
Synopsis in-language
自去年卑詩內陸Kamloops寄宿學校遺址發現215具兒童遺骸後,加國致力與原住民進行和解的工作,並且深思本國過去,帶有歧視和黑暗的歷史。如此同時,本地一個帶有華裔背景的原住民家庭,致力希望透過他們自己的家族故事,讓大家更加了解早期原住民和加國華人的深厚淵源,以及同樣經常被歧視和遺忘的歷史。
這個來自Musqueam部族的家庭,更前往中國,進行了一次特別的尋根旅程。試圖重新了解他們父親的根源,以及他與他們原住民母親的關係。「26分鐘見證實錄」透過分享他們在這次尋根之旅中的探索經歷,揭示了早期加拿大華人與原住民這段不為人知的的關係和歷史。他們這次旅程及家庭故事,不但成為本地原住民歷史研究學者的珍貴資料。同時,亦凝聚了一些學者及藝術家,希望透過原住民及華裔歷史研究以及藝術交流,去推動文化融合及族裔和諧的精神。他們都深信,了解過去,可以塑造現在。
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BEST BREAKING NEWS REPORTING
First Name
Philip
Last Name
Sedlacek
Entry Title
BC's Flooding Catastrophe
Synopsis for all entries
When once-in-a-century flooding caused catastrophic damage across BC last November, CTV News Vancouver provided in-depth team coverage of what the atmospheric river left behind. From a deadly mudslide and rescues... to highways shutdown... to thousands forced from their homes, CTV covered every angle of the unfolding disaster with live reports and up-to-the-minute information to keep viewers informed. Stories included an interview with a couple who barely escaped a mudslide... how Chilliwack was cut off from the rest of the province... people rescued in the Sumas Prairie... video of major damage to highways... and how hundreds of travellers were stranded in Hope. Coverage included criticism of the provincial government for its response and the lack of public warning of the potential impact of the storm.
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BEST BREAKING NEWS REPORTING
First Name
Lori
Last Name
Culbert
Entry Title
Deadly Winters Hotel Blaze
Synopsis for all entries
When the Winters Hotel, a 71-room SRO for low-income people in the Downtown Eastside, burned down on April 11, several journalists from the Vancouver Sun and Province newspapers documented online the hour-by-hour efforts to rescue tenants from the inferno and find them temporary places to live. They spoke with terrified residents, alarmed eyewitnesses, and fire and housing officials to pull together the details of this deadly breaking news story, and to also tell readers where and how they could help the displaced tenants. The newspapers documented how residents smelled smoke and realized fire alarms were not sounding, so yelled and banged on doors to alert their neighbours to flee, some running to safety with just their pets.
In the days to come, the reporters wrote about efforts to house, clothe and feed the tenants; support local businesses destroyed or damaged by the flames; and demand answers to many questions – how did the fire start? Why wasn’t the alarm system working?
The Vancouver Sun had an exclusive story two days after the blaze that rooms had been found for all 71 residents in an empty Atira building.
The newspaper also interviewed Downtown Eastside residents who were concerned about some missing tenants, despite the assurances of officials that no one had died in the fire. But two bodies would eventually be found in the rubble.
The newspaper interviewed a friend of Mary Garlow, who was anxious that the woman was still inside the gutted building, long before officials confirmed her identity as one of the victims.
And the paper was the first to identify and humanize the second victim, Dennis Guay, again before officials released his name.
It was comprehensive coverage of important breaking news.

To access the online stories, photos and videos, please use:
Username: [email protected]
Password: Awards2020

Thank you.
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BEST BREAKING NEWS REPORTING
First Name
Carolyn
Last Name
Soltau
Entry Title
B.C. Floods
Synopsis for all entries
In the early evening of Nov. 16, the City of Abbotsford issued an urgent message on social media, warning residents of the Sumas Prairie to evacuate immediately due to the potential for “catastrophic” flooding. This followed an atmospheric river rainfall event that had already triggered deadly mud and rockslides in southern B.C.

Over the next several days, our entire newsroom kept readers up to date with critical information around the clock. One of our reporters who lives in the area provided invaluable on-the-ground information and direction to other journalists.

As the premier declared a state of emergency, pretty much every available reporter in the newsroom worked to develop vital contextual stories: the volunteers who rallied to save the pumphouse; the devastating toll on the agriculture and dairy industry; the uncertain future for the area’s migrant workers; gripping tales of survival; and warnings that went largely unheeded for years.

It was truly a team effort under very challenging circumstances

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Username: [email protected]
Password: Awards2020
Synopsis in-language

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