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The Tyee Receives Record Three Webster Award Nominations

Andrew Nikiforuk, Katie Hyslop and our collaboration with Avo Media are finalists for BC’s top journalism awards.

Robyn Smith 12 Nov 2020 | TheTyee.ca

Robyn Smith is editor in chief of The Tyee.

The Tyee is virtually whooping and cheering in that weird 2020 way, celebrating our three Webster Award nominations this year — the most in the publication’s history.

The annual awards recognize excellence in journalism across British Columbia in print, radio, television and online media.

Awards are cool, but for most of us at The Tyee, they’re really a chance to celebrate our field and the great journalism being done by our colleagues here and elsewhere.

For me as editor in chief, it’s also an opportunity to thank our supporters and Tyee Builders who make possible the work we do. We’re blown away by your support, and we’re so buoyed by it: it makes us strive to be better and even more ambitious in our work.

I’m proud to say that long-time Tyee contributing editor Andrew Nikiforuk was nominated for the prestigious “City Mike Award,” also known as commentator of the year, for his expert and timely analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The writer of two books about pandemics, Nikiforuk kicked into high gear as the virus emerged in the province early this year. His analysis was widely shared across the world, breaking several traffic records on The Tyee.

“Andrew poured himself into analyzing the science and social implications of the coronavirus, producing dozens of insightful and clear-eyed pieces from March on,” said Tyee founding editor David Beers.

“They drew big audiences. Europe’s largest news network even came calling for an interview. Andrew truly is the model of the brilliant and committed journalist labouring in the public interest.”

Other 2020 City Mike Award nominees include John Gleeson from Coast Reporter, and Wawmeesh Hamilton and Gordon Loverin for CBC Vancouver’s Urban Nations.

Reporter Katie Hyslop was nominated in the Best Feature/Enterprise category for her special investigation “Undone: A Newcomer’s Story,” the hidden, tragic story of Farid, a gay refugee whose hopes of a new life in Vancouver were crushed over a year of combined setbacks. Farid took his life in 2017.

“Again and again, Katie has shown Tyee readers her special gift for helping us understand the structural realities faced by those on the margins,” said Beers, who served as editor on the project.

“Here she spent months, and wrote about 9,000 words, in service of a person whose story otherwise would never have been known yet is one Canada needs to know.”

Other nominees in the category include Amy Smart of the Canadian Press for “COVID-19 One Case,” and Gordon Hoekstra of the Vancouver Sun for “Anatomy of Money Laundering in BC Real Estate: 12 cases, $1.7 billion, 20 countries and 30 banks.”

Avo Media’s Jesse Lupini, Koby Michaels and Lucas Kavanagh, in collaboration with The Tyee team, received a nomination for the category Excellence in Digital Journalism for a series of COVID-19 multimedia explainers.

“We are honoured to be named a finalist,” said Avo’s Kavanagh. “At Avo Media, our goal was to contribute to the early COVID-19 conversation in B.C. by amplifying the voices of scientists and doctors working so hard to address this pandemic. Thank you to The Tyee for partnering with us.”

Tyee participants in the project include Jeanette Ageson, Christopher Cheung, David Beers, Paul Willcocks, Mashal Butt and me. The other category nominee is the CBC British Columbia web team for Tracking COVID-19 in B.C.

The awards will be announced at a virtual ceremony on Dec. 8. We’ll be toasting each other and you, Tyee readers, for a strong year of journalism — I might even brush my hair. Thanks, again, for your support.  [Tyee]

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