A series amplifying the perspectives of small-town and rural Canadians and an innovative project on the Trans Mountain pipeline plan have netted HuffPost Canada two RTDNA awards.
The Radio Television Digital News Association recognized the best in Canada's broadcast and digital media for 2018 at a gala on Saturday in Toronto.
This collaboration between three newsrooms gathered the pro or con stance of every Indigenous community (more than 130 of them) along the route of the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. With digital tools and crowd-sourced newsgathering, the teams created a searchable database that all Canadians could use and contribute to.
With that data in one place, untold stories began to emerge around one of the year's most contentious Indigenous rights and environment stories. It highlighted the B.C. chiefs who felt they had no other option but to sign support agreements, and the rifts between First Nations that did and did not support the project.
The project included video explainers, including why the difference between reserves and traditional territory is important:
HuffPost Canada's Hometown blog series received the digital Sam Ross Award for Opinion and Commentary, which recognizes unique exploration of a topic or theme through outstanding editorial comment.
It featured first-person accounts to broaden our understanding of what it means to live in a small community, reflect the diversity of experience and celebrate places that thrive well beyond big-city limits.
Some of those pieces included:
- Olympic gold medallist Eric Radford on growing up as a bullied gay teen
- Judy O'Leary's harrowing account of living through B.C. wildfires
- Emma McDonald on the tricky Tinder dating dance when you know everyone in your town.
HuffPost Canada had two other nominations going into Saturday's ceremony:
- No Strings Attached, a multimedia project that followed people through their experience with Ontario's basic income pilot project, was nominated for the Ron Laidlaw Award for Continuing Coverage - Digital.
- The "Born & Raised: Food" podcast, which shares the experiences of second-generation Canadians, was in the running for the Adrienne Clarkson Award for Diversity - Digital.
"We're proud that these recognitions run across all parts of our operation, from news to lifestyle to multimedia," said HuffPost Canada editor-in-chief Andree Lau about the nominations. "It underscores our commitment to diverse issues that impact our readers in natively digital formats."