CBC Newfoundland and Labrador had a stellar sweep Saturday night at the RTDNA Atlantic awards ceremony marking the best in regional broadcast journalism.
CBC journalists and programs won nine awards, including prizes for spot news, investigative journalism, enterprise reporting and digital media.
The awards were presented Saturday night at the Nova Scotia Community College in Dartmouth, N.S. RTDNA Canada promotes excellence in radio, television and digital news.
"This sweep of awards tells us we're doing something meaningful," said executive producer Peter Gullage.
"In this racket, you hope that the time and energy that goes into producing a story or a program will leave the audience with a revelation or something to talk about. What's so satisfying about the RTDNA's recognition is that these stories, projects and programs all set out to mean something to people in our communities."
Here & Now won the Bert Cannings award for best TV newscast for a medium market.
As well, On Point with David Cochrane won the Trina McQueen Award for best weekly TV information program.
A series of reports on the tragic death of Burton Winters — the Makkovik teenager who froze to death on the ice, triggering a debate about search and rescue services — won the Ron Laidlaw Award for continuing coverage in television. The award goes to journalists Peter Cowan, Zach Goudie and Rod Etheridge and videographer Paul Pickett.
Investigative journalism recognized
Cowan won the Dan McArthur award for investigative journalism in radio for his reports on the finances of Peter Penashue's 2011 election campaign. Penashue resigned his seat in Labrador last month amid an Elections Canada investigation into that campaign, and is running in a May byelection.
CBC also won the Dan McArthur award for investigative journalism in television, through Amy Stoodley's reporting on thermography, a diagnostic test for breast cancer that medical experts say is useless. The report led to an immediate cease-and-desist letter from government, as well as a Health Canada advisory.
Cochrane won the Dave Rogers award for a long-form TV feature, with his report on Operation Roadrunner, one of the largest drug investigations in Newfoundland and Labrador history.
Cowan won the short-form version of the Dave Rogers award for a report called Return to Nutak, about the journey last August of former residents to an abandoned Inuit village in northern Labrador.
The Labrador Morning team was recognized for the Charlie Edwards award for spot news coverage on last June's evacuation of North West River and Sheshatshiu as a forest fire roared nearby. Host Tony Dawson anchored the program, which was produced by Chris Harbord with reports by Colleen Connors and Cowan. An excerpt can be heard here.
CBC also won the prize for digital media for its Newburbia project, which examined the growth of new development in the northeast Avalon Peninsula. The online package included interactive maps, timelines, charts, essays and other web-exclusive material that complemented a week of broadcasts for the St. John's Morning Show. The online project was led by journalists Kathryn King, Heather Barrett and Jen White and developer Peter Gosse.
"These awards certainly demonstrate the depth and range of the work CBC Newfoundland & Labrador delivers to our viewers and listeners," Denise Wilson, managing director of CBC in the province.
"We are very proud of our staff and so pleased they have received this recognition. "
All of the winners now advance to RTDNA's national awards, which will be presented in June.