CBC Montreal, Quebec win 10 RTDNA journalism awards

The RTDNA awards recognize journalistic excellence in individual reporting, as well as for programs and stations across radio, television and digital platforms.

Honours for Mic Drop podcast, coverage of Concordia sexual misconduct allegations, 60s Scoop sisters' story

Mic Drop creator Shari Okeke chats with Tristan for the Comfort Zone episode of Mic Drop. Her eight-part podcast won the RTDNA award for best podcast of 2018. (Carrie Haber/CBC)

CBC journalists in Montreal and Quebec City have won 10 RTDNA awards for the Central Canada region for their work in 2018.

The RTDNA awards recognize journalistic excellence in individual reporting, as well as for programs and stations across radio, television and digital platforms.

CBC Montreal's web team has won a half dozen awards for its digital coverage, including, for the fifth consecutive year, the Digital Media award for best large-market website.

Here's a sampling of our work:

Data journalist Roberto Rocha has also won for a second consecutive year in the category of data storytelling, for his research, with additional reporting by Sudha Krishnan, that resulted in the Montreal Crime Tracker.

Concordia professors' scandal

In radio, CBC Montreal took home three prizes: the Sam Ross award for opinion and commentary went to writer Heather O'Neill, who shared her reflections with Daybreak on allegations of sexual misconduct against creative writing professors in Concordia University's English department.

Award-winning author Heather O'Neill shared her reflections with CBC Montreal's Daybreak about how she was sexually harassed by a Concordia creative writing professor in the 1990s. (CBC News)

Our continuing coverage of that scandal, led by reporters Kate McKenna and Steve Rukavina over many months, also won the Ron Laidlaw award.

CBC Radio News also won the Byron MacGregor award for Best Newscast.

Taking it to the people

CBC's 2018 provincial election coverage, deeply rooted in our belief in the power of social media in promoting democracy and opening doors to our audience in new ways, resulted in our award for Excellence in social media.

The Ballot Brief newsletter became a daily conversation with readers, who in turn informed our coverage. Take the case of Abdul Waheed, a skilled immigrant with two master's degrees in chemistry, struggling to find a suitable job in Quebec.

We bought followers behind the scenes on Instagram, talked with them live on Facebook about the issues as the campaign unfolded, and held the candidates to account by fact-checking their claims.

First, he was an Expo

Right fielder Vladimir Guerrero of the Montreal Expos sits in the dugout during a game against the San Diego Padres at QualComm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Expos won the game 9-3. (Todd Warshaw/Allsport)

For a second straight year, Kamila Hinkson has won the award for best Sports Feature, for her profile on former Montreal Expo Vladimir Guerrero, inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown last summer.

Mosque shooting, one year later

In television, Catou MacKinnon's report on the families of two of the six men killed in the 2017 mosque attack won the Adrienne Clarkson diversity award.

Families of mosque victims share their grief

3 years ago
Duration 4:35
A year after six men were shot to death as they finished their prayer in a Quebec City mosque, reporter Catou MacKinnon met two of the women left widowed in the shooting.

Found and Lost

CBC Montreal won the multiplatform award for original/enterprise reporting, for Found and Lost.

Nakuset, the executive director of Montreal's Native Women's shelter, was separated from her sisters as a child but reunited with them as an adult — only to lose her sister Sonya to suicide.

With reporting by Ainslie MacLellan for radio and television, and digital video production by Melinda Dalton, the Cree sisters' story anchored our series examining the Sixties Scoop and its echoes in the youth protection system today.

MacLellan's investigation into allegations that child welfare workers instructed Inuit and Atikamekw children in care not to speak their own languages, and in some cases punished them, led to a human rights investigation.

Mic Drop

Mic Drop creator Shari Okeke went looking for teens like these to have their say. From left to right, they are Montrealers Jane Babiak-Abray, Carla Gomes, Maxine Engelberg and Maeve Walsh. (Shari Okeke/CBC)

Also for a second straight year, CBC Montreal won the award in the category of Best Podcast — in 2018, for creator Shari Okeke's eight-episode series, Mic Drop.

Okeke passed teens the microphone, empowering them to share their experiences with each other.

"It's amazing what you will hear when you listen. I mean, really listen," said Okeke.

Ben, 16, opens up about living two hours away from his mom while she's undergoing cancer treatment, then decides the struggle he really wants to discuss is peer pressure.

"I've been offered anything from alcohol to drugs ... marijuana, Xanax," he said.

Melissa, 13, describes being repeatedly kicked out of the bathroom at school — by older girls who assume she's a boy.

Eve, 14, says there's drama with friends at school, and her marks are sliding, but the most exhausting thing in her life is shuffling between mom's home and dad's home.

"I feel like I'm being split apart, in half," she said.

Teens have a lot to say about this complicated world, and Okeke demonstrated she knows how to listen, really listen.

You can listen to Mic Drop here, download here or subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.


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