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Two Webster nods for Tyee reporting

Tyee coverage of the 2009 B.C. provincial election, funded and guided in part by Tyee readers, has been nominated for a Jack Webster Award for Excellence in Online Journalism.

Tyee investigative editor Monte Paulsen also garnered a Webster nod for his series seeking ways to create more affordable housing in B.C.

The Tyee’s extensive coverage of the provincial election was made possible by nearly $25,000 in donations from Tyee readers, which flowed in over a ten-day period in the average amount of $50.

In seeking financial support from readers, Tyee editor David Beers invited each to declare the issue they wanted their money to go towards covering, and pledged to do so. At various points during and just after the election, The Tyee published charts showing which issues mattered most to readers, and what coverage the money had gone to support.

At a moment when traditional business models for journalism were crumbling, The Tyee’s initiative, and the generous response from its readers, became a news story in its own right, gaining national and international coverage.

By election’s end, The Tyee produced 60 news features and more than 200 reported items on its political news blog The Hook. Along the way, Tyee journalists broke numerous stories related to climate change, privatization, BC Rail sale proceeds, the government’s jobs claims, and other issues readers had highlighted as top concerns.

The Webster award nomination goes to the entire team that produced reporting and analysis during the election.

That roster includes: Rob Annandale; Blake Anderson; Tom Barrett; David Beers; Charles Campbell; Geoff Dembicki; Joe Fries; Ashley Gaboury; Sean Holman; Colleen Kimmett; Crawford Kilian; Irwin Loy; Andrew MacLeod; Rafe Mair; Michael M’Gonigle; Morgan Modjeski; Will McMartin; Adrian Nieoczym; Monte Paulsen; Chris Pollon; Bill Tieleman; Jackie Wong and Garrett Zehr.

Nominated for a Webster in the same online category are CBC News Vancouver for “BC Votes 2009” and Chad Skelton of the The Vancouver Sun for “Parking Tickets.”

Paulsen’s Tyee series “A Home for All”, nominated in the community reporting category, investigated financial, zoning and building design approaches that are working elsewhere to bring down the cost of housing, and tapped B.C. politicians and experts to lay out their analysis of what needs to be done to make one of North America’s most expensive housing markets a place where average earners can buy a home.

The series was made possible in part through the support of Tides Canada Foundation, the Catherine Donnelly Foundation, and the Van Tel/Safeway Credit Union Legacy Fund, held and managed by Vancity Community Foundation.

Also nominated for a Webster in the community reporting category are Tim Petruk of Kamloops This Week for “Targeting Teens within Seconds” and Hannah Sutherland of Peace Arch News for “A Stolen Past”.

Winners will be announced at the 23rd annual Jack Webster Awards dinner on October 20th at the Westin Bayshore.

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