CBC Alberta journalists pick up 12 RTDNA awards
RTDNA Canada awards honour journalistic achievements in radio, digital and video
CBC Calgary and CBC Edmonton have racked up 12 Radio Television Digital News Association of Canada awards for the Prairie region.
The winning stories ranged from the devastation left by the deaths of several men by suicide in Medicine Hat, to making sense of the COVID pandemic through graphs and charts, to a forum on systemic racism, the quest for accountability after a child died in care, the secret lives of ghost towns and much more.
The RTDNA Canada Awards honour the best journalists, programs, stations and newsgathering organizations working in video, audio and digital.
"In a year where public broadcasting and great journalism matters most, I'm so proud that our amazing team was recognized for their contributions in radio, video and online," said Helen Henderson, senior director of journalism and programming for CBC Calgary.
"We're grateful to Calgarians for sharing their stories, not just of COVID, but of important social, political and environmental issues."
These CBC submissions received RTDNA Prairie Region Awards:
- Audio-Visual Storytelling (Large Market): CBC Calgary for the video Recent string of suicides leaves devastating mark on small Alberta city. (Video producer Monty Kruger, in conjunction with visual storytelling producer Rachel Maclean and reporters Robson Fletcher and Colleen Underwood.) Synopsis: Several men have died by suicide in Medicine Hat over a few months, and all of them knew each other. Find out the lasting impact that's left on their family and friends. (If you want to find out more, also see the accompanying web story: Life, death and being a man in Medicine Hat.)
- Excellence in editing (Large market): CBC Calgary for the video A mother's long walk to remember. (Video producer Monty Kruger, visual storytelling producer Rachel Maclean.) Synopsis: A First Nation mother who lost two daughters has walked roughly 200 kilometres for the last three years from her southern Alberta home to Calgary to participate in a vigil and raise awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
- Excellence in Video: CBC Edmonton for the video Serenity's tragic journey into government care. (Paige Parsons and Sam Martin.) Synopsis: New details reveal Serenity's journey through Alberta's child welfare system and the investigations surrounding her death. (If you want to find out more, see the accompanying web story: Serenity: A life cut short).
- News: Live Special Events: CBC Edmonton for a forum on system racism, We Need to Talk, carried live on CBC.ca, Facebook, CBC Gem and CBC Television. (Hosted by Sandra Batson and Tanara McLean, produced by Falice Chin with support from teams in Edmonton and Calgary.) Synopsis: CBC hosts Sandra Batson and Tanara McLean held a free, public forum discussion on June 25, 2020, to shine a light on systemic racism in Alberta, through the stories of people who have experienced it firsthand.
- Opinion: CBC Edmonton for 'I Have a Dream.' (Produced by Travis McEwan.) Synopsis: Andrew Parker delivers his speech I Have A Dream 2020, which he gave at an anti-racism rally in Edmonton on June 5, 2020.
- TV Newscast (Large Market): CBC Edmonton for From My Home to Yours: CBC Edmonton News at 6. (Host/producer Nancy Carlson, supported by operations, newsroom and control room teams.)
- Continuing Coverage: Alberta@Noon. (Host Judy Aldous, producer Heather Moriarty and associate producer technicians Dave Waddell and Mackenzie Meyer.)
- Continuing Coverage: CBC Calgary for Bringing Coal Back: Alberta's New Bet on an Old Fuel. (By Robson Fletcher, Drew Anderson and Jordan Omstead.) Synopsis: In a desperate economic moment, Alberta is abruptly reshaping a decades-old balance in the Rockies and Foothills, chasing opportunity in the volatile market of coal exports, at the risk of the very land that defines the province and its people.
- Enterprise: CBC Edmonton for Serenity: A Life Cut Short. (Writer Paige Parsons, editor Rick McConnell, design Juris Graney.) Synopsis: It's been almost six years since four-year-old Serenity died in care. While her case drew a firestorm of criticism in the ensuing years, the window for a criminal charge to be reactivated is set to close this summer, and Serenity's mother worries no person or organization will ever be held accountable in her death. Reporter Paige Parsons gained access to extensive court documents and interviews to seek to understand Serenity's life, and what went so terribly wrong.
- Excellence in Data Storytelling: CBC Calgary for Here are the latest COVID-19 statistics for Alberta and what they mean, first published on March 30, 2020, and updated daily since that time. (Produced by Robson Fletcher.) Synopsis: As the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Alberta, there are so many numbers flying around, it's hard to keep track. Here, we'll do our best to keep track for you in a series of constantly updated charts. You'll also find brief descriptions of how the data is measured, what it shows — and what it doesn't show. This context is important to make sense of the numbers.
- Feature News (Large Market): Radio-Canada Alberta for The hidden lives of ghost towns: La vie cachée des villes fantômes. (By Vincent Bonnay. Translated from French by Robson Fletcher.) Synopsis: Some ghost towns in Alberta teeter on the brink of oblivion. Others cling to life. But there's much more to these places than the ruins of old buildings. There are stories. And people trying to keep them alive, while they still can.
- Graphics (Large Market): CBC Calgary for How a melting glacier could redefine the Alberta-B.C. border. (Writing and editing: Bryan Labby, Rachel Maclean, Mike Symington, James Young, Andre Mayer. Photos and video: Mike Symington, Rachel Maclean. Design and development: William Wolfe-Wylie, Richard Grasley, Meghan Sardesai, CBC News Labs).
"Over the past year, our teams of journalists tackled the challenges of reporting on critical issues in our province during the pandemic, and it's a tremendous honour to be recognized for this important work," said Stephanie Coombs, director of journalism and programming for CBC Edmonton.
"These awards reflect an incredible amount of teamwork and creativity, and most importantly, a commitment to telling stories that matter to Albertans."
The winners of the Prairie awards will go on to the national RTDNAs, competing against the winners in the West, Central and East regions. These awards will be announced in a virtual event on June 3.