CBC Montreal, Quebec win 10 RTDNA journalism awards

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CBC Montreal, Quebec win 10 RTDNA journalism awards

CBC journalists in Montreal and Quebec City have won 10 awards for the Central Canada region for their work in 2016 from RTDNA Canada, the Association of Electronic Journalists.

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 won five awards for its digital coverage, including — for the third straight year — the Digital Media Award for best large-market website.


The web team won the Adrienne Clarkson Diversity award for its contribution to a month-long stationwide project called Real Talk on Race.

Quebec City's morning radio show, Quebec AM, also won the Adrienne Clarkson Diversity award, for Facing Justice, a series of interviews examining Canada's treatment of Indigenous offenders.


"We want our CBC local programs on all media platforms to be places for discussion on topics that matter to all English-speaking Quebecers," said Meredith Dellandrea, managing director for CBC in Quebec.

"Real Talk on Race and Facing Justice did just that."

"These awards recognize the range and depth of the journalism being done by the teams in Quebec City and Montreal," said Dellandrea.

"Their passion and creativity come through in their reporting and programming, whether it's online, on video or on radio."

Read on to find out more about our award-winning programming and coverage, with links to the original stories.

Real Talk on Race

CBC Montreal's multiplatform project Real Talk on Race — produced by Nantali Indongo — explored experiences around race in myriad ways, from point-of-view commentary and public outreach to in-depth reporting and data journalism.

Our made-for-social videos began a revealing online conversation.

We took a closer look at the Sixties Scoop and the incredible toll it took on Montrealers like Nina Segalowitz, taken from her birth parents in Fort Smith, NWT, when they brought her to the hospital for treatment as an infant.

Day's Lee, one of ten Montrealers we invited to share their personal stories about race, talked about her first identity crisis as an 11-year-old Habs fan. Asked by her parents who was winning, "We are!" she exclaimed. "That's not us," her parents told her. "We're Chinese."

Ainslie MacLellan's report Life outside of blackness explored how skin colour is experienced differently from grandmother to mother to daughter in the Eyob family. They are of Ethiopian-Jewish origin.


Reporters Sarah Leavitt and Benjamin Shingler, with the help of researchers Anna Sosnowski and Melissa Fundira, uncovered new data about dismal minority hiring at police forces across the province. 

- INTERACTIVE: Quebec's police forces still overwhelmingly white

Digital Media Award

Investigative stories such as our look at Quebec's police hiring practices showcased CBC Montreal's commitment to interactive, mobile-first reporting — as did data journalist Roberto Rocha's look at how car-sharing vehicles are causing parking headaches in Montreal.

When the story broke about police spying on high-profile Quebec reporters, video journalist Jaela Bernstien and social media editors Molly Kohli and Marilla Steuter-Martin produced an explainer on how to protect yourself and your phone from surveillance.

And it was all hands on deck for our comprehensive coverage of a fire that burned for 12 hours in Chinatown, destroying the historic building famed for Canada's first film screening in 1896. 

Sam Ross award for editorial or commentary

CBC Montreal's website has earned a reputation as the go-to source for Montrealers seeking the latest news.

We are committed to value-added journalism and providing our digital audience with intelligent analysis of news events, context and insight. Reporter Jonathan Montpetit's writing was recognized for his thoughtful and provocative perspective on these key political, social and sports events in 2016:

Dave Rogers awards for pair of long features

In honour of Remembrance Day, CBC Montreal's Daybreak asked 31-year-old Afghanistan veteran Sgt. Yves Leduc Butterworth to interview 95-year-old Second World War veteran Okill Stuart and discuss their experiences.

They served 60 years apart, but it turns out, they have much in common — including having committed to memory an ode to the Grenadier Guards. 

The resulting radio feature — Two veterans, decades apart — won the Dave Rogers long feature award for large markets. It is must-listen audio. 

When psychiatric nurse Alexandre Boisvert arrives at Tina-Maria Sirois's home, Sirois is waiting eagerly. Face to face at the large kitchen table, Boisvert checks in with the 41-year-old mother of three.

How is she sleeping? Is she feeling sad? Has she been having delusions or hallucinations?

CBC Quebec's travelling writer-broadcaster Marika Wheeler's radio feature about the only program in Quebec to provide intensive home care to mentally ill patients won the Dave Rogers long feature award for small and medium markets.

Sports feature reporting

CBC Montreal won not one, but two awards, for sports feature reporting. 

The CBC Montreal web team's resident baseball nut, Kamila Hinkson, won the digital award for her feature story on John Elias, a fellow baseball fan who's had a front-row seat to Montreal's storied baseball history.

His collection of baseball memorabilia fills his unassuming Côte Saint-Luc home — and while he can't single out his most treasured item, his long friendship with Gary "The Kid" Carter may be among his most precious memories.

Sports broadcaster Andie Bennett won the radio award for her profile of Fiona Robinson — a Labrador native who is, in her own words, "a terrible hockey player" but who ended up the captain of the women's ice hockey team when she studied at Cambridge. 

Robinson became the passionate volunteer manager for the much-lauded but chronically underfunded Montreal women's team, Les Canadiennes. She's now the director of community outreach for the team, raising $70,000 for breast cancer research in the past six years. 

Peter Gzowski award for best information program

When six Quebecers were killed in a terrorist attack while on a humanitarian mission in Burkina Faso in January 2016, Quebec City's morning show, Quebec AM, devoted much of its coverage to what happened.

CBC's news coverage, compelling interviews by Rachelle Solomon and by show host Susan Campbell, as well as Marika Wheeler's report on a vigil in Lac-Beauport, where Gladys Chamberland, Yves Carrier and their children had lived, all made for riveting radio — and garnered the award for best information program in a small or medium market.

Ron Laidlaw award for continuing coverage

After Christiane Vadnais was mauled by a vicious dog in June 2016, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre moved swiftly to tighten the city's animal control bylaws, to the dismay of many owners of pitbull-type dogs.

​CBC Montreal Television News, with host Debra Arbec, won the Ron Laidlaw award for continuing coverage for our comprehensive reporting of the controversy.