CBC Alberta reporters scoop up 5 national awards for outstanding journalism

CBC reporters from Alberta claimed five national awards for outstanding journalism at the Radio Television Digital News Association awards gala on Saturday evening.

Reporters honoured for health care, sports reporting — and a story about a 54-year-old skater chick

This photo shows the Noskiye siblings gathering for the first time to share memories of their mother, Elaine Noskiye, who died in a plane crash in 1984. CBC Edmonton received an RTDNA award for its coverage of the story. (Sam Martin/CBC)

CBC reporters from Alberta claimed five national awards for outstanding journalism at the Radio Television Digital News Association awards gala in Toronto Saturday evening.

The RTDNA awards are prestigious broadcast awards for journalists in Canada. 

"We are so pleased at CBC Calgary and Edmonton to be honoured by our peers and the RTDNA for our original and enterprise journalism and our ongoing commitment to public broadcasting," said CBC Edmonton's managing editor Gary Cunliffe.

Investigative reporters Charles Rusnell and Jennie Russell won the Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting in the large market radio category for their ongoing investigation entitled Private Health, Public Risk? The investigation exposed serious irregularities involving provincial government grants to Pure North, a private alternative-health foundation.

CBC Edmonton reporter Roberta Bell was honoured in the long radio feature category for her story about the plane crash that killed Alberta MLA Grant Notley and five others in 1984.

Notley's death received a significant amount of media attention, but decades later, Bell found the family of Elaine Noskiye — one of the five other people killed in the crash.

Noskiye was a mother of fourteen. Her children, now adults, shared how they've dealt with the tragedy over the decades.

Elaine Noskiye holds onto her young daughter, Rebecca Lamouche (nee Noskiye). (Supplied by the Noskiye family)

Edmonton sports writer Rick McConnell was recognized as the winner of the digital sports reporting category for a series of in-depth and colourful stories on the Edmonton Oilers' disappointing season. 

CBC Edmonton received the digital sports reporting award for its coverage of the Oilers. (Amber Bracken/The Associated Press)

From CBC Calgary, Robson Fletcher captured the digital award for opinion and commentary for his analysis of Alberta's deficit situation.

And in the radio feature reporting category, Tracy Fuller and Falice Chin were recognized for their story on Calgary's all-girls skate club.

Marlene Hielema, left, says she's combined her love of photography with skateboarding because women are not represented in the same way in the sport. (Submitted by Marlene Hielema)