TORONTO — HuffPost Canada and HuffPost Québec collected nine Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPA) at a virtual ceremony on Thursday.
2020 was an unprecedented year for the news cycle and for Canadians’ daily lives, and both the COPA’s awards online presentation format and the work acknowledged reflected the pandemic reality that permeated so many outlets’ coverage, including HuffPost’s.
The COPA recognize outstanding achievement in Canada’s digital media landscape. Nominees this year included large media players like the CBC, Postmedia and Global News, as well as smaller, more focused outlets, such as The Discourse, Fête Chinoise, and Hakai Magazine.
Among HuffPost’s awards were nods to coverage on the federal election; to HuffPost’s continuing focus the long-term care home crisis; a feature on the lack of trained mental-health first-responders on police teams, an explainer of the casual racism easily wrought by a Canadian celebrity, and a podcast about love that crosses oceans and spans generations.
HuffPost went into the night with 15 nominations, with wins for:
Best News Coverage (media) : Gold - Federal Election Coverage
HuffPost Canada’s extensive daily coverage of the election campaign was complemented with a series of long-form written stories and field-produced videos on important ridings. The coverage also included the daily audio briefing for Alexa and Google Home assistant.
Election-night coverage was punctuated by live video updates from the leaders’ HQs and streamed on Twitter. Post-election included a special edition of the Follow-Up podcast, hosted by bureau chief Althia Raj, and Raj’s epic long-form feature on the Liberals’ minority victory. HuffPost Canada’s Politics team of Raj, Ryan Maloney, Zi-Ann Lum, Emma Paling and Mel Woods, as well as editor Andrew Yates contributed.
Best Continuing Coverage Of A News Story (media) : Gold - Ontario’s COVID-19 Long-Term Care Home Crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic uncovered a sleeper crisis in Ontario’s long-term care homes. For-profit companies had been maximizing profits for shareholders and the expense of the health and quality of life of their aging clients. HuffPost Canada reporters investigated the companies at fault, the politically connected lobbyists who run interference for them, and the people with solutions for positive change. Reporters Emma Paling, Samantha Beattie, Zi-Ann Lum and Sherina Harris contributed to the ongoing coverage along with editor Andrew Yates.
Best Investigative Article Or Series (media): Gold - Police Crisis Teams In Short Supply As Mental Health Calls Multiply In Canada
Reporter Samantha Beattie published this long-form data investigation on the police’s role during wellness checks and how mental illness is responded to as a crime, because of the lack of specialized training and teams to treat these incidents more appropriately. She reached out to regional forces across the country as well as the RCMP to piece together and harmonize the data, and found a heartbreaking picture. Editor Eva Lum contributed.
Best Blog Column (media): Gold - Trudeau’s Best Costume So Far Has Been ‘Woke White Bro’
HuffPost Canada’s Perspectives pieces spoke to the frequent racism that surfaced in 2019-2020, from Prime Minister Trudeau’s blackface scandal prior to the federal election, to the firing of Don Cherry from Hockey Night In Canada, to the call to defund the police due to anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, to the celebration of the Pride dancefloor as revolution, to the plea of NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh to call out racism. Writers Sadiya Ansari, Darren Andrade, Sandy Hudson, Syrus Marcus Ware, Chad Haggerty and Sajmun Sachdev contributed to the winning submission, as did editors Nicholas Mizera, Connor Garel and Lisa Yeung.
For HuffPost Quebec: Best Video Content (media): Silver - En Beauce, Maxime Bernier fait maintenant face à son plus grand défi
In this HuffPost Reports edition, Ottawa Bureau Chief Althia Raj travelled with videographer Étienne Brière to Beauce, a riding in Quebec that, prior to the election, had been held by Maxime Bernier since 2006. The HuffPost team took the pulse of the riding, exploring the tension created by a labour shortage, as well as the contentious reputation of Bernier’s newly formed People’s Party of Canada. Producers Sasha Nagy, Andree Lau, Christian Duperron and Amanda De Souza also contributed.
Best Service Article Or Series (consumer): Gold - Why Blaming COVID-19 On ‘Bat Eating’ And Wet Markets Is Racist And Inaccurate
At a time when misinformation about the coronavirus was enmeshed with anti-Asian racism, Canadian rock star Bryan Adams was the surprising promoter of dangerous myths around the origins of the coronavirus and its spread. Within the piece, reporter Maija Kappler addresses the common, racist falsehoods spread by Adams and myriad other people online. Editor Lisa Yeung contributed.
Best Podcast (consumer): Silver - Born And Raised: Love
The second season of “Born And Raised” explores love’s many facets through the eyes of second-generation Canadians. Each episode digs into a theme, such as how children of immigrants navigate sex in their families’ shadows, or how love between parents and children endures in the face of distance or loss. This is a podcast produced by and for second-generation Canadians: Al Donato, Alisha Sawhney, TK Matunda, Stephanie Werner, Lisa Yeung, Katie Jensen and Andree Lau contributed.
Best Website Design - Gold
Best of Canada Division - Digital Content of the Year: Gold, For Trudeau’s Best Costume So Far Has Been ‘Woke White Bro’
Writer Sadiya Ansari’s critical analysis examines the contradiction of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s frequent racist missteps throughout his career, culminating in the revelation during the 2019 federal election campaign of at least black and brownface incidents from his past, with his carefully constructed, but often misguided, positioning as a progressive, inclusive, feminist leader.
Other nominations included:
HuffPost Canada’s Ridings to Watch episode on reconciliation In Manitoba’s Churchill-Keewatinook Aski for Best Video Content (media)
The Follow-Up politics podcast for Best Podcast (media)
HuffPost Canada LIFE team for Best COVID-19 coverage (consumer)
How I Made My Family series for Best Lifestyle Article Or Series (consumer)
These Newlyweds Thrive Living With Their Immigrant Parents for Best Video Content (consumer)
Hockey Culture Wants ‘Good Canadian Boys,’ Just None That Look Like Me for Best Blog Column (consumer)
University Of Guelph’s Toxic Running Culture Made Me Think It Was All Normal for Best Blog Column (consumer)
Watch: HuffPost Quebec’s award-winning video on Maxime Bernier’s former riding, Beauce.