Announcing the Winners of the 2019 Digital Publishing Awards

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 4th annual Digital Publishing Awards, which were revealed at this evening’s Soiree. The DPA soiree saw Gold and Silver winners presented in 23 various categories, with Gold winners in individual categories each receiving a $500 cheque. Host Eternity Martis opened the soiree by reminding the attendees that the night was about celebrating every story nominated, as big as Mount Everest and as small as SugarBearHair vitamins, and all of the creators who made those stories possible.

GENERAL EXCELLENCE IN DIGITAL PUBLISHING AWARDS

The General Excellence awards were presented in three divisions: small, medium, and large.

In the small division, The Sprawl took Gold. Judges referred to this publication as refreshing and embracing the spirit of digital to convey an unwavering focus. They also cited the satisfying mobile experience and smart audio.

Maclean’s was the Gold winner in the medium division,  judges noting that its video offerings and off-platform social media initiatives helped it stand out among the other contenders.

The large division Gold-winner was CBC News, which—according to the judging panel—displayed exemplary design and innovation in its special projects and multimedia offerings to engage its digital audience. Its digital content shows a deliberate process that complements its journalism.

LEADERSHIP AWARD & EMERGING EXCELLENCE AWARD

This year, women dominated both the Leadership Award and the Emerging Excellence category: Kathy Vey (TVO, Executive Producer of Digital) is the first woman to receive the award, and all three of the Emerging Excellence nominees were women.

Craig Silverman of Buzzfeed introduced Kathy Vey, describing her, and her work, as “the quiet force behind some of the most remarkable and ambitious data journalism and local journalism initiates in Canada over the past decade.”

Sofia Misenheimer of Art/iculation was the recipient of the prestigious Emerging Excellence award. When discussing the merits of the applicants, the jury had this to say of Sofia: “She is a driven individual who is only going to continue to make a positive impact through her work in the digital media landscape.”

WINNERS HIGHLIGHTS

This year, a number of first-time nominated publications won their first Gold and Silver awards, including Art/iculation in Emerging Excellence (Sofia Misenheimer), Magazine web 100 degrĂ©s (Marianne Boire, François Grenier, and Françoise Ruby) who won Gold for “RĂ©imaginer nos amĂ©nagements,” and SooToday (David Helwig) who won Silver for “Bankruptcy protection for Sault’s main employer sparks fight over port.” The latter two  wins took place in the Best News Coverage (Small Newsroom) category.

Air Canada enRoute’s “Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2018” is a four-time Best Digital Editorial Package nominee, this year winning Silver.

“In rural New Brunswick, a transgender woman charts a new path” won Gold in two categories: Best Online Video: Feature and Best Feature Article: Short. Congratulations to all of the creators who worked on the piece.

Digital storytellers from Hakai Magazine took home Gold in Best Science and Technology Storytelling (for “The Noose Beneath the Waves” by Sasha Chapman) and Silver in Best Arts & Culture Storytelling (for “The Oracle of Oyster River” by Brian Payton).

VICE swept the Best Online Video: Mini-Doc category: VICE QuĂ©bec won Gold for “Souldia : Ă  double tranchant” while VICE Canada took home Silver for “Fear and Loading: Meet the NRA’s Most Wanted Customer.”

Here’s the full list of publications that won Gold or Silver at the 2019 DPAs:


2019 Digital Publishing Awards Results

Best News Coverage

GOLD
Hustle in the oil patch: Inside a looming financial and environmental crisis
Jeff Lewis, Jeffrey Jones, Chen Wang, Renata D’Aliesio, Christopher Manza, Matthew French, John Sopinski, Murat YĂĽkselir, Melissa Tait, Todd Korol, Brennan Higginbotham, Theresa Suzuki
The Globe and Mail

SILVER
Fentanyl: Making a killing
Sam Cooper, Andrew Russell, Stewart Bell, Brent Rose, Carolyn Jarvis, Ben Jonah,  James Armstrong, Online Video team, Network News Desk, Global News Graphics Department, Global News Copy Desk, Global News Social Desk
Global News

Best News Coverage (Small Newsroom)

GOLD
Réimaginer nos aménagements
Marianne Boire, François Grenier, Françoise Ruby
Magazine web 100 degrés

SILVER
Bankruptcy protection for Sault’s main employer sparks fight over port
David Helwig
SooToday

Best Personal Essay

GOLD
I wanted an abortion in Nova Scotia, but all around, barriers still remained
Jessica Leeder, Winnie T. Frick, Bryan Gee, Lisan Jutras
The Globe and Mail

SILVER
The Waiting Room
Christian Allaire
Hazlitt

Best Column

GOLD
Queeries
Peter Knegt
CBC Arts

SILVER
Dorothy Woodend, culture columnist
Dorothy Woodend
The Tyee

Best Feature Article: Short

GOLD
In rural New Brunswick, a transgender woman charts a new path
Lindsay Jones, Matt Brown, Timothy Moore, Scott Munn
The Globe and Mail

SILVER
The Water Carriers
Alannah Campbell, Karen Levine, Pauline Holdsworth, Ruby Buiza, Andre Mayer, Lakshine Sathiyanathan
CBC Radio – The Sunday Edition

Best Digital Editorial Package

GOLD
Sex Ed: Beyond the Classroom
Lauren McKeon, Natalie Vineberg, Judy Ziyi Gu, Viviane Fairbank, Samia Madwar, Angela Misri, Dmitry Beniaminov, Sharon Nadeem, Jackson Weaver, Tajja Isen, Danielle Kinahan, Sebastian Leck, Amy van den Berg, Daina Goldfinger, Allison Baker, Sydney Hamilton, Seila Rizvic, Daniel Viola, Erin Sylvester, Anna Fitzpatrick, Lauren Vogel, Erica Lenti, Yasir Khan, Lindsay Nixon, Sue Carter, Eliza Robertson, Anubha Momin, Kate Sloan
The Walrus

SILVER
Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2018
Gabrielle Simpson, Stephanie Mercier-Voyer, Yvonne Miou, Stefanie Sosiak, Danielle Groen, Sarah Musgrave, Nancy Matsumoto
Air Canada enRoute

Best Feature Article: Long

GOLD
Murder on the Prairies
Jana Pruden, Laura Blenkinsop, Danielle Webb, Chris Manza, Victor Dwyer
The Globe and Mail

SILVER
The Road
Stephanie Nolen, Aaron Vincent Elkaim, Laura Blenkinsop, Christopher Manza, Angela Murphy, Rachel Wine
The Globe and Mail

Fiction

GOLD
The Shadows
Kaitlin Prest, CBC Podcasts, Phoebe Wang, Sharon Mashihi, Shani Aviram, Yasmine Mathurin, Olivia Pasquarelli, Adriana Komura, Marina Lee Koslock
CBC Podcasts

Best Service Feature

GOLD
Hidden Canada
Maryam Siddiqi, Christopher Manza, Rachel Wine, Benjamin MacDonald, Alanna Cavanagh
The Globe and Mail

SILVER
Back to the land
Andre Mayer, Dave Pizer, Evan Mitsui
CBC News

Best Science and Technology Storytelling

GOLD
The Noose Beneath the Waves
Sasha Chapman, Shanna Baker
Hakai Magazine

SILVER
The million-dollar drug
Kelly Crowe, Dave Pizer, Craig Chivers
CBC News

Best Online Video: Short

GOLD
The truth about SugarBearHair vitamins
Roxanna Woloshyn, Anne MacRae, Charlsie Agro, Stephanie Dudley, Dave MacIntosh
CBC News

SILVER
Mums who scrum
Melissa Tait
The Globe and Mail

Best Arts & Culture Storytelling

GOLD
Alex Janvier’s colourful life  
Marty Klinkenberg, Amber Bracken
The Globe and Mail

SILVER
The Oracle of Oyster River
Brian Payton
Hakai Magazine

Best Online Video: Feature

GOLD
In rural New Brunswick, a transgender woman charts a new path
Scott Munn, Lindsay Jones, Matt Brown, Michael Belyea, Timothy Moore
The Globe and Mail

SILVER
We the North Grandma
Donnovan Bennett, Graham Runciman, Maggie Naylor, Scott Simpson
Sportsnet

Best Online Video: Mini-Doc

GOLD
Souldia : Ă  double tranchant
Simon Coutu, Jean-Pierre Bastien, Zacharie Fay, David Valiquette, William Gignac, Maude M. Ouellet
VICE (Québec)

SILVER
Fear and Loading: Meet the NRA’s Most Wanted Customer
Sofi Langis, Manisha Krishnan, Spencer Chumbley, Danny Patterson, Taylor Rivers, Heidi Besner
VICE Canada

Best Podcast

GOLD

Missing and Murdered: Finding Cleo
Connie Walker, Marnie Luke, Jennifer Fowler, Mieke Anderson, Heather Evans
CBC News

SILVER
Love Me
Mira Burt-Wintonick, Cristal Duhaime, Sarah Geis
CBC Podcasts

Best Digital Design

GOLD
On a redessiné le Québec
Marc Lajoie, Melanie Julien, MĂ©lanie Meloche-Holubowski, Santiago Salcido, Martine Roy

Radio-Canada

Best Photo Storytelling

GOLD
Living in limbo
Renaud Philippe, Jeremy Agius, Matt French, Theresa Suzuki, Patrick Dell, Michelle Zilio, Carol Toller, Carine Abouseif, Tu Thanh Ha
The Globe and Mail

SILVER
Proms from coast to coast
Ming Wong, Jeremy Agius, Theresa Suzuki, Melissa Tait, Jackie Dives, Darren Calabrese, Todd Korol, Caroline Alphonso
The Globe and Mail

Best Social Storytelling

GOLD
As It Happens 50th anniversary animations
Ben Shannon, Kate Swoger, Sheena Goodyear
CBC Radio – As It Happens

SILVER
Weed did it.
Sasha Kalra, Daman Lamba, Jill Krajewski, Laura Lloyd, Kate McKerroll, Tyler Hughes, Victoria Pandeirada
VICE Canada

Best Editorial Newsletter

GOLD
What on Earth?
Emily Chung, Andre Mayer, Nicole Mortillaro
CBC News

SILVER
Le courrier Ă©lectoral
Geneviève Tremblay, Stéphane Baillargeon, Cédric Gagnon, Jean-Philippe Corbeil, Simon Poirier
Le Devoir

Innovation in Digital Storytelling

GOLD

Olympics interactive graphics
Timothy Moore, Christopher Manza, Trish McAlaster
The Globe and Mail

SILVER
Forever Changed
William Wolfe-Wylie, Dwight Friesen, Richard Grasley, Sannah Choi, Kate Cornick, Farrah Merali, Andre Mayer, Paul Borkwood, David Donnelly, Albert Leung, Martin Trainor
CBC News

Emerging Excellence

GOLD
Sofia Misenheimer
Art/iculation

General Excellence in Digital Publishing

GOLD
The Sprawl (Small Publication) 
Maclean’s (Medium Publication)
CBC News (Large Publication)


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The National Media Awards Foundation is incredibly grateful for the support of: the Government of Canada, the Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Creates, Reader’s Digest Foundation, and KCK Global. We are also thankful for the support of Cision, Magazines Canada, PUSH Media, Very Good Studios and Vividata.

Our sincerest thanks to this year’s judges, who graciously volunteered their time and expertise, evaluating the hundreds of entries submitted to this year’s competition.

Next year’s call for entries will open in January. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

Early-Bird Deadline for the Digital Publishing Awards

Early-birds, you’re almost out of time—our discount comes to an end this Friday! If you want to save $25 per entry, be sure to make your submission(s) by midnight (ET) on January 25th. After that, entry fees will be $125 each.

All Canadian digital publications and digital creators are welcome to enter the awards. Many of the categories have a $500 cash prize for the gold winner, while our national publicity efforts promote all finalists and winners. Placing in the Digital Publishing Awards means getting your work read and recognized.

What’s more, the submission process is simple: review the categories, then click here to access the online submissions portal, and follow the steps provided. (Freelancers, remember that we also offer the freelancer support fund.)

Any and all questions can be sent to info@digital publishingawards.ca.

Work from 2018 that falls into the business-to-business category can be entered in the inaugural National Magazine Awards: B2B. The final deadline for the NMA: B2B program is February 1, 2019.

Interview Series: Matthew Halliday of The Deep

Matthew_Halliday_quote

At last year’s Digital Publishing Awards, The Deep took home the award for General Excellence in Digital Publishing, in the Small Publications category. Founded in Halifax in 2017, The Deep Magazine grew out of co-founders’ Matthew Halliday and Chelsea Murray’s desire to create a home for impactful long form journalism in Atlantic Canada. The publication has quickly carved out a niche of carefully researched and reported pieces that bring to light “stories that don’t otherwise get told,” as executive editor Halliday puts it. 

We called Halliday in Halifax to learn more about the story behind The Deep, the challenges and rewards of running a publication that focuses on one region, and what it was like to take home a DPA. 

Could you tell us a bit about how The Deep was founded?

I am the co-founder, along with my partner Chelsea. Chelsea and I met in Toronto as magazine stream students in the Ryerson Master of Journalism program. We were mutual fans of deep dive, narrative long-form. Then we became personal partners there. I’m from Alberta, and she’s from New Brunswick, and she wanted to move out east. So about five years ago we did that. We worked in communications jobs and did freelance work—I’m now a full-time freelance journalist, as well as executive editor of The Deep.

We came out here and realized, Toronto and southern Ontario are pretty well served, comparatively, by magazines, but there isn’t a robust magazine culture across Canada in different regions, necessarily. So we wanted to bring that deep dive narrative writing to the East Coast; to provide a place where writers who had the chops and the experience and the desire to do it, could do it and get paid decently to [write] here, about this region.

You know The Atavist Magazine—that was kind of the model to begin with, one big story a month. We started it up in partnership with The Coast magazine, which is the alt weekly here in Halifax—like the NOW Magazine of Halifax—they provided some in-kind support, some resources, mentorship, that kind of thing. It’s a partnership with them, but editorially independent. And rather than just covering the city here, we cover all four provinces. We launched with a Kickstarter in October 2016, and then spent the winter of 2016-2017 working away at our first crop of stories, and then launched last August.

The Deep Magazine cofounders Matthew Halliday, Executive Editor, and Chelsea Murray, Editor
The Deep Magazine co-founders, Matthew Halliday and Chelsea Murray

What do you feel are the specific challenges of operating this kind of publication with a regional focus, or specifically with a regional focus on Atlantic Canada? What makes it different from a publication that caters to the whole country?

It is a drawback and a strength, in a way, that we have a narrower audience. It’s a much smaller audience than a national publication would have— there are 2.5 million people in the Atlantic region.

This is a region that’s sort of off the editorial map of Canada. The Globe went several years without even having anyone here in the Atlantic bureau. It’s a place that doesn’t get covered a lot, and when it does get covered it’s often from a stereotypical kind of perspective. A lot of parachute journalism; a lot of reporting that plays off stereotypes of the place that are maybe outdated, or don’t reflect the way people live here.

We get to tell the stories that don’t get told otherwise. And readers here have really responded. So I think focusing on a region that’s off the map a bit actually is a strength, because people here are really hungry for that kind of thing.

Illustration of two shadowy figures walking away from a countryside home at night.
Illustration by Aziza Asat for The Deep, from Oscar Baker III’s story “A History of Violence”

Why do you think that might be the case, that this region gets sort of overlooked by other media?

Canadian media is highly concentrated in Toronto, and so there’s sort of a lack of awareness, often. I worked in Toronto media for years, and I know tons of people there, and I love them. I love the city, and I love the media and journalism community there. But nevertheless there is certainly sometimes a myopia that can develop when everybody’s in one place.

Even when people come from across the country, people develop that myopia sometimes. There’s sort of a lack of awareness, and a lack of interest in what’s going on elsewhere. Or the interest in what’s going on in that one part of the country gets conflated with national interests.

And then there’s the pure business case—it’s a smaller region. The GTA is three times the population of the entire Atlantic region, so there’s that as well.

Image of person in black winter clothing walking in snowy mountain landscape.
Photo of Labrador by Jennie Williams for The Deep, from Matthew Halliday’s recent story “Homeland.”

You mentioned that you’re also working freelance; what’s it like balancing that with full-time editorial work?

Very difficult [laughs]. I worked at St Mary’s University, which is one of the universities in the city here, doing a communications role with them, and I left that earlier this year to go full-time freelance, and it’s been a great choice. I’ve had a lot of luck and success and it’s been really good.

Part of the reason I did that was so I could spend more time on The Deep. I didn’t want to be balancing a nine to five office job with The Deep and freelance.

The Deep is basically run out of Chelsea’s and my attic in our house. It’s kind of: work all day and The Deep at night, sort of thing. There is no separation, really. It’s a lot of work. We do love the work though! To work with some of the best writers in the region, to develop these editorial relationships and this back and forth and process of revision that doesn’t really happen a lot… Working on a story for six or eight months—which is not something that I think a lot of writers here get a chance to do, unless they’re writing for an out of region publication—that’s really rewarding and fun.

What are the challenges of working on stories for such a long time? It must present some different challenges from pieces that have a fast turnaround.

Part of it is, you want to make sure you’re doing something that is timely. It’s the same challenge that anyone would have at any major magazine, where there’s six months or a year lead times. But specifically out here, a lot of writers haven’t done that, maybe. It’s new to a lot of writers. You’re going to be working on this for half a year, it’s going to require a whole bunch of revision—that’s not something that a lot of people have done, necessarily. That can be new.

But yeah, just making sure it’s a story that is going to be relevant when it’s finally published. Making sure no one else picks up on it. Then again, that is the benefit of working in a region that doesn’t kind of get the coverage it deserves: you don’t get scooped as much.

GE Small The Deep

You won the DPA for General Excellence in a small publication, and this is the award for a magazine that best fulfills its editorial mandate. I was wondering if you could say a bit about The Deep’s editorial mandate. What are its goals?

To tell those stories that don’t otherwise get told. In bullet form: to tell fascinating, entertaining, compelling, and important stories about this region that don’t otherwise get told. They don’t have to be East Coast-y in any particular way. The only stipulation is that there’s something that happened here, or that there’s some connection.

For example, we had a piece a few months ago—the writer [Oscar Baker III] is part Mi’kmaq, from the Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick, and part African-American, and grew up in Florida. His piece was mostly set in Florida, and talked about growing up in that world; the tension between those two cultures that informed his upbringing. So that was mostly in the southeastern United States, but there was that Atlantic connection.

What was it like, the experience of winning the award? What did that mean for you and everyone that collaborates with you?

It was great. Our readership has been really good, we have strong readership, so we know that people are out there reading the magazine. But we’re in a bit of a bubble. Chelsea and I are just working in our attic most of the time, separated from the world. We see feedback—we see traffic on the site, and we see feedback online, and that’s all great. But it feels sort of depersonalized, kind of distant, out there. So to be recognized by our peers in the industry is fantastic.

To go back to Toronto and see a lot of the people we worked with at magazines there, and have them saying, “Hey, this is a great thing you’re doing.” To be recognized by the publishing and magazine world is really very gratifying. We’re not in it for the awards, but it definitely gives us a boost to let us know that people are out there paying attention, and we’re doing something worthwhile.


Cover illustration by Aziza Asat for The Deep Magazine, from Chelsea Murray’s story “Joe and the Whale.”

Interview conducted by Jill Blackmore Evans.

Submissions for the 2019 Digital Publishing Awards will open on January 2, 2019. Click here for everything you need to know about submitting an entry, and follow us on Twitter for the most up-to-date news. 

 

 

Call for Judges: 4th Digital Publishing Awards

 

#dpa19 (1)At the National Media Awards Foundation, we’re getting ready to honour the best in journalism, at the 4th annual Digital Publishing Awards and the 42nd National Magazine Awards. We’re currently accepting nominations for individuals to serve on the juries, and join the great tradition of recognizing achievement by the creators of Canadian magazines and digital publications.

Ideal candidates should fulfill one or more of the following criteria:

  • Internationally renowned journalist, editor, designer or other expert with an interest in supporting the NMAF fulfill its mission;
  • Editor, art director, publisher, web editor, developer or other staff member (past or present) of a Canadian digital publication or magazine, whether or not your publication participates in the National Magazine Awards or Digital Publishing Awards;
  • Freelance or staff writer, illustrator, photographer or digital creator, where a significant portion of your work is in Canadian publications (especially if you have been nominated for or won a National Magazine Award or Digital Publishing Award yourself);
  • Journalist (print, broadcast, digital) with expertise in a particular field represented by one or more NMA or DPA categories (such as photojournalism, service, arts & culture, fiction, etc);
  • Academic or industry leader with expertise in a particular field;
  • Professionals and leaders from related cultural sectors, including the visual arts (film and television), the literary arts (book writing & publishing) and the performing arts (theatre, music);
  • Bilingual: Not all of our judges need be bilingual, but all awards juries will have at least one bilingual member.

The NMAF welcomes applications from individuals who bring different industry perspectives – from recognized leaders to celebrated emerging talents. We also aim for the judging panels to reflect our country’s diverse Indigenous, cultural, and regional communities.

Judging will take place during February and March 2019. Contact us at info@digitalpublishingawards.ca for more information or to nominate someone to the jury.


The NMAF is a bilingual, not-for-profit, charitable organization whose mission is to foster, recognize and promote editorial excellence in Canadian publications. Submissions will open in January for awards honouring the best in digital publishing in 2018. The 4th annual Digital Publishing Awards soiree will be held in the spring of 2019.

 

Thank you! From the 2018 Digital Publishing Awards

From all of us at the National Media Awards Foundation, thank you to everyone who helped make the 3rd annual Digital Publishing Awards a great success.

Special thanks to Kenny Yum—last year’s Digital Publishing Leadership Award winner—for starting off the night by congratulating the nominees and thanking the 78 volunteer judges; Adrian Lee for hosting the event and keeping the audience laughing throughout the night; and Irene Thomaidis, for introducing this year’s Digital Publishing Leadership Award winner, Brodie Fenlon.

Thanks also to Mathieu Baril (managing director of DDI Canada) who presented the winner of the Best Podcast or Audio Storytelling category! 

We are enormously grateful for our 78 judges, who are the crux of the award program. You can read more about the 2018 roster of judges here.

Many thanks to those who attended the event (and to those who followed along via the live-stream and on Twitter), and to the participants, nominees, and winners of this year’s awards. We hope you enjoyed celebrating the best of Canada’s digital talent, and we look forward to welcoming you back in 2019 for the 4th annual DPAs!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Visit live.digitalpublishingawards.ca to view all the winners of the 2018 Digital Publishing Awards. The 2019 Call for Entries will open on January 1st, 2019. Follow us on Twitter (@DPAwards) for updates.

Photo credit: Steven Goetz Storytelling