CBC documentary, interactive projects win gold at Digital Publishing Awards

CBC's interactive documentary Dancing Towards the Light is one of three CBC projects to take gold at the Digital Publishing Awards on Tuesday, winning acclaim in the best online mini-documentary category.

Globe and Mail awarded top prize for digital publishing, Unfounded series wins big

In the CBC's Dancing Toward the Light, Kitra Cahana and Ed Ou tell the stories of young people in Arviat, where one teen says dancing has become 'a tool for my emotions.' (Ed Ou/CBC)

CBC's interactive documentary Dancing Towards the Light is one of three CBC projects to take gold at the Digital Publishing Awards on Tuesday, winning acclaim in the best online mini-documentary category.

The documentary by Kitra Cahana and Ed Ou explores how dance helps a group of young people in Arviat, a community in Nunavut struggling with high suicide rates.

The awards, presented by the National Magazine Awards Foundation, were announced Tuesday night in Toronto.

Watch the award-winning documentary Dancing Towards the Light.

A project built on data from the 2016 census by CBC News also won gold, this time for best digital design. The census package, which looks at everything from income figures to household formation, let Canadians input their own information to see how they compare.

A City Destroyed: Experience the Halifax Explosion took top prize in the best digital initiative category. The project uses a 3D virtual environment to take people through the disaster that devastated Halifax 100 years ago.

A digital rendering shows the SS Mont-Blanc ablaze in the lead-up to the Halifax Explosion. (Dwight Friesen/CBC)

The Globe and Mail's Unfounded series won big Tuesday night, taking the gold for both the best news coverage and best digital editorial package. The series, which took 20 months to report, looks at how sexual assault allegations are handled by police forces across the country. Unfounded, led by reporter Robyn Doolittle, prompted external reviews of the handling of sexual assault cases at several police services around the country.

Two members of the CBC News team won awards for excellence on Tuesday. Brodie FenlonCBC's senior director of daily news and bureaus, won the 2018 digital publishing leadership award. 

Accepting the award, Fenlon called on publishers to "double down" on journalism's core values to combat the rise of "tribalism" online.

"There is a bit of a cancer in digital, and I think there a cure here as well," he said. "It's truth, it's accuracy, it's fairness and it's balance." 

Elizabeth Melito, a senior developer, took the emerging excellence award. 

CBC News claimed several other prizes Tuesday night. Coming to Canada: The Immigration and Refugee System snagged silver in the best social storytelling category.

Someone Knows Something: Dee & Moore from CBC's Someone Knows Something also took silver in its category of best podcast and audio storytelling.

The top prize of general excellence in digital publishing is awarded in three categories. This year, the winners were: 

  • The Deep (small publication).
  • Hakai Magazine (medium publication).
  • The Globe and Mail (large publication).

According to the National Magazine Awards Foundation, 79 digital publishers submitted entries this year for awards in 23 categories. The awards are judged by 78 volunteers with an expertise in digital publishing.