On Thursday June 1, the Digital Publishing Awards will be presenting the Emerging Excellence Award, an award honouring an individual whose early work in Canadian digital publishing shows the highest degree of craft and promise. This award may recognize a writer, visual creator, designer, developer, publisher or other young professional who has demonstrated excellence and potential in one or more areas of Canadian digital publishing.

This year’s jury has nominated three standout individuals, with the single winner being announced at the Digital Publishing Award Soirée on Thursday June 1.

Let us introduce you to this year’s three candidates:

Manisha Krishnan

Manisha Krishnan

Manisha Krishnan joined VICE Canada in 2015 after stints at the Toronto Star, Maclean’s, and the Edmonton Journal, where she honed her impressive skills as a writer and digital journalist. As senior writer for VICE, she has established herself as one of the strongest voices of the next generation of Canadian journalists. In the past year, she was VICE’s lead reporter on the Jian Ghomeshi trial, hosted a live VICE event on sexism in the music industry, and wrote several feature stories in addition to filing daily news hits.

“Manisha is the epitome of the modern journalist, able to work on multiple platforms and in multiple styles, whether that is a brilliantly reported news story, a controversial column on a subject of national interest, or a hilarious first-person essay.”

– Chris Bilton, deputy editor, VICE Canada

Explore some of Manisha’s work from 2016:

Armed and Reasonable: How to Buy a Gun In Canada
“We chose Manisha as a host of ‘Armed and Reasonable’ because of her insatiable curiosity and willingness to immerse herself in the world of Canadian firearm culture, even though she admittedly knew nothing about it. Her vulnerability, curiosity and willingness to learn were among the driving forces of the documentary story arc, allowing our audience to discover the world new to them, through her eyes.”

– Ksenia Yurganova, associate producer, VICE Canada

Gay and Exiled: Inside One of Canada’s Most Conservative Religious Sects

An investigative feature about the Hutterites, a reclusive Christian movement characterized by traditional beliefs whose LGBTQ members are struggling to break out of the closet.

How Rape Complainants Are Having Their Social Media Feeds Used Against Them In Court

A report on the ongoing struggle for justice and judicial reform in sexual assault cases in Canada.

Canada has a Race Problem and We Refuse to Talk About It

An essay on the response to the police beating of Abdirahman Abdi.

If Justin Trudeau Is About To Legalize Weed, Why Are We Still Imprisoning People Over It

An essay on the incongruity between cannabis policy and law enforcement.


Tom Cardoso


Tom began his career at The Globe and Mail’s summer program in 2014 and quickly distinguished himself as an innovator of digital tools to enhance editorial work, such as the in-house “Chart Tool,” an open-source app that allows any editor or reporter to create responsive charts for mobile, social and even print. Hired as a graphics editor after the summer program, he has been instrumental in developing digital “middleform” content—medium-sized reporting projects that are predominantly visual and can be turned around in a week or two.

“Tom Cardoso is a rare breed amongst journalists. He’s one-third designer, one-third visual producer, and one-half developer. The math there doesn’t add up because the sheer quantity and quality of Cardoso’s work has consistently exceeded expectations. I think of him as the Swiss Army knife our arsenal of tools.”

– Jason Chiu, deputy head of presentation, The Globe and Mail

Explore some of Tom’s work from 2016:

The Globe and Mail Chart Tool

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 11.02.41.png“The impact of his work has reached audiences across the country, and caught the attention of digital entrepreneurs in newsrooms on both sides of the border. The Wall Street Journal and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch are both using ‘The Chart Tool.’” 

– Jason Chiu, deputy head of presentation, The Globe and Mail

Nine free agents who could help fill the void if the Blue Jays lose Bautista and Encarnacion

“Tom brought an analytical and imaginative approach to his sports projects, allowing us to move away from traditional reporting in order to offer something new. This was a methodical and detailed data story that offered a thorough and alternative assessment of a popular and ongoing debate in the baseball world, especially among Blue Jays fans.”

– Jamie Ross, sports editor, The Globe and Mail

Why does Ontario’s electricity cost so much?

As the data researcher, reporter, and graphics/visualization designer, Tom was a master of all journalism skills on this investigative story.

Why is forecasting Canada’s jobs report so difficult?

Tom developed this interactive game in which readers can challenge the economic forecasts of top economists.

Death on the tracks: How bad is Toronto transit’s suicide problem?

“By building narratives that seamlessly weave text, graphics and visualizations, Tom is able to tell stories in a way that feels native to readers on mobile and social media. His work, collegial attitude, and passion for journalism set an example for other young Canadian journalists.”

– Matt Frehner, head of presentation, The Globe and Mail


Naël Shiab

Nael Shiab

Recruited by CBC/Radio Canada in 2011, Naël Shiab travelled the country as a young journalist for three years before completing a Master’s degree in data journalism at the University of King’s College. Upon returning to Montreal, he worked for Journal Métro before joining the team at L’actualité. Since then, he has worked hard to push the boundaries of Canadian journalism, merging reporting with the most advanced algorithms to bring the reader the most personalized information possible. At 28, he has already been recognized in Quebec for his avant-garde work.  

“In Naël’s mind lives a journalist and a coder, and the coder is the servant of the journalist. Watching him work is a balm for those like me who believe there is still a future for journalism and the search for truth.”

– Carole Beaulieu, editor-in-chief and publisher, L’actualité

Explore some of Naël’s work from 2016

Budget : voici comment Québec dépense vos impôts
This provincial tax calculator allows you to enter your annual salary instantly find out the amount of your provincial income tax, the percentage of your contribution to total government spending, and how much will be spent on a particular service or sector.

Allocations familiales : combien allez-vous recevoir de plus? Faites le test!
This tool that Naël created in just a few hours “proved more useful to Canadians than the one created by the government itself! In a few clicks, users could find out not only how much money they would receive under a new Liberal government, but also the old one!”

– Carole Beaulieu, editor-in-chief and publisher, L’actualité

L’Assemblée nationale est sexiste et en voici la preuve
Using unpublished data with a personalized computer program that he himself coded, Naël analyzed more than 7 million words spoken by the deputies in Quebec to demonstrate the extent of sexism in the National Assembly.

Allez-vous être remplacé par un robot? Demandez-le… à notre robot!

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 11.01.01

“Thanks to Naël, for the first time a robot has written reports on our website. And on a very pertinent subject: the robotization of the jobs of our fellow citizens.”

– Carole Beaulieu, editor-in-chief and publisher, L’actualité

This feature story is also nominated in the Best Digital Initiative category and is among the finalists in the One of a Kind category at the National Magazine Awards.

Ce que le gouvernement ne vous dit pas sur les ventes d’armes

Contrary to what the government claims, Canada exports military goods to countries where human rights are being violated. To give a more accurate picture of the situation, Naël proposed to reclassify Canadian exports according to the Human Freedom Index.

The single recipient of the Emerging Excellence Award will be announced at the Digital Publishing Awards Soirée on Thursday June 1, 2017 in Toronto. Tickets are now on sale for the annual event and can be purchased here.

Congratulations to all of this year’s nominees! Full list of nominees available here.

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