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Hey Tyee Builders, Congratulations for Supporting Award-Winning Journalism

In a bleak week for Canadian news media, The Tyee showed the potential of reader-supported reporting.

Jeanette Ageson and Robyn Smith 28 May

Jeanette Ageson is publisher of The Tyee.

Robyn Smith is editor of The Tyee.

We don’t much care about awards at The Tyee. Really.

But it was a pretty fun afternoon Wednesday.

Culture editor Dorothy Woodend and outreach manager Emma Cooper were part way through our new Three Things online conversation when we got the first news from the Digital Publishing Awards, presented on Twitter this year.

Woodend had won a silver medal for best column. Cooper gave her — and viewers — the good news.

Then editorial assistant Olamide Olaniyan tied for gold for best newsletter, along with designer Erika Rathje. He was recognized for The Run, our federal election newsletter that featured diverse voices and a focus on important issues overlooked in media coverage.

We celebrated the two wins on Slack. What could be better than this?

And then The Tyee won an award for general excellence in the small publications category.

The awards come in a tough week for journalism in Canada. Torstar — the parent company of the centre-left Toronto Star, six other dailies and some 70 community newspapers — was sold to a private investment fund headed by two Conservative supporters. Postmedia announced yet more layoffs, including in the Sun and Province newsrooms.

We’re hoping for the best for journalists caught up in the corporate media meltdown. And we’re happy to be in a much different place, supported by people who recognize the importance of independent public interest journalism.

These awards really belong to Tyee Builders. Their monthly contributions let us focus on one goal — doing journalism that matters. We’re not worried about falling ad revenue, plunging share prices or a takeover by private investors. And we’re fortunate to have the support of patrons and stewards Eric Peterson and Christina Munck.

It’s nice to win awards. But our goal is to produce work that matters and brings change, or at least a more informed public discussion. We want to make a difference.

But right now, we’re celebrating. We hope Tyee Builders are celebrating with us. And we hope others might decide this is a good time to support independent, award-winning journalism.  [Tyee]

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