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For The Tyee, a Record Year for Websters Nominations

With eight separate nominations for BC’s big prizes, we top all news media. Credit our reader supporters!

Tyee Staff 12 Sep 2023The Tyee

The Tyee has nabbed eight nominations this year from the Webster Awards, which celebrate excellence in B.C.-based journalism in the public interest.

That supplants our previous record and it’s also the most nominations that any one outlet received this year at the Websters.

"It's gratifying to receive this recognition from the Jack Webster Foundation,” said Tyee publisher Jeanette Ageson. “I see first-hand that our team works incredibly hard on some very difficult stories. I also know this is a community effort — our independence is made possible by the thousands of Tyee Builders who support us with their contributions. It's remarkable to see what we can do together."

The Tyee finalists are:

Dorothy Woodend for “A Charm Bracelet, a Chandelier and Where Public Art Turns Dark,” which takes aim at public art in the Vancouver area, and particularly the power and the money behind it, in the category of Excellence in Arts and Culture Reporting.

“It's exciting to see a new category for excellence in arts and culture reporting in the Webster Awards this year,” noted Tyee senior editor Jackie Wong. “This reported essay, like much of Dorothy’s work, helps us understand the city and our evolving relationships with it.”

Yuriy Umansky for “Escape from Crimea to Canada,” the story of a Ukrainian fleeing war for a fresh start in B.C., in the category of Excellence in Feature Reporting.

“Yuriy was reading The Tyee while living in Crimea and preparing his exodus,” said Tyee editor-in-chief David Beers. “When he arrived here, it was a privilege to share his story, a mix of harrowing emotions and practical information about what it takes for a Ukrainian to win entry to Canada.”

Jen St. Denis and Moira Wyton for “Psychosis. Then Gunshots from Police. Inside Dani Cooper’s Death,” which seeks insights for how we can better respond to people experiencing psychosis — including re-examining the role of police in these crises — in the category of Excellence in Legal Journalism.

“Jen and Moira navigated the sensitive issues and trauma of this piece with aplomb, honouring Dani Cooper’s memory while seeking accountability for police interactions that end in death for people experiencing mental health crises and psychosis in B.C.,” said senior editor andrea bennett.

Francesca Fionda and others for “Bracing for Disasters,” a series that investigates how to support evacuees and save lives as extreme weather worsens in B.C., in the category of Excellence in Environment Reporting. Lead reporter Fionda teamed with additional reporters Aldyn Chwelos, Gage Smith, Geena Mortfield, Michael Lo, Christina Gervais, Amber Bear, Emilie Wren and Sean Holman; photographers Jen Osborne, Philip McLachlan; web designer Andrew Munroe, data analyst Jens von Bergmann and editor David Beers.

“When Francesca learned her proposal earned the inaugural Lieutenant Governor’s BC Journalism Fellowship, she was determined to hit it out of the park,” said Beers. “Result: a nine-part investigative series, a public information event and 11 more stand-alone ‘as-told-to’ first-person accounts of survivors in collaboration with the Climate Disaster Project at the University of Victoria. Truly one of the most ambitious projects ever published in our pages.”

Christopher Cheung for “Under the White Gaze,” a series that explores why racialized people are missing and misrepresented in Canadian journalism, in the category of Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Reporting.

“This project by Chris originated as a successful ‘pop-up’ e-newsletter, with appreciated support from The Tyee's newsletter editor Jacob Boon,” explained Wong. “Educators have enthusiastically shared the series with their students and the series provoked a lot of rich discussion among readers.”

Amanda Follett Hosgood for “70 Years after the Flood: Cheslatta’s Fight to Reclaim Its Territory,” a series about the devastation a dam wrought in the 1950s — and the work being completed today to undo it — in the category of Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Reporting.

“Amanda combined in-depth reporting and compelling writing in tackling an important example of past government abuse and current reconciliation,” said senior editor Paul Willcocks. The Tyee and its readers are fortunate to have a northern-based reporter who can take on complex topics.”

Amanda Follett Hosgood and others for “Disaster Land Grabs Worldwide and in British Columbia,” which examines powerplays for contested land during emergencies — including the Coastal GasLink project during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lead reporter Follett Hosgood teamed with additional writers Katarina Sabados, Emma Gillies, Mashal Butt and Global Reporting Program fellows; editors Britney Dennison, Andie Crossan and David Beers; and multimedia producer Andrew Munroe, for this collaboration among The Tyee and the University of British Columbia's Global Reporting Centre.

The project, a finalist in the category of Excellence in Multimedia Journalism, “is truly ‘multi’ in all senses,” says Beers. “Amanda’s in-depth B.C. reporting combines with our partners’ global research and interactive digital tools to map a worldwide pattern of conflict and injustice.”

Ben Parfitt for “Big Risks, Long Hours, Low Pay: The Lives of BC Log Truckers,” which examines the effects of shrinking forests on the labour conditions of logging truck drivers, in the category of Excellence in Business, Industry and Labour Reporting.

“The seismic changes in the forest sector are affecting the lives of communities, individuals and the province,” says Willcocks. “Ben Parfitt produced a remarkable piece on the effects on truckers.”

“I’m so proud of the nominees, and our whole team, for their calibre of journalism and their commitment to journalism in the public interest,” said senior editor andrea bennett. “We congratulate as well all the nominees from other outlets, and everyone committed to producing top-notch journalism in these challenging times.”

Here is a list of all the 2023 Webster Award Finalists.  [Tyee]

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