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Indiegraf wins new CJF-Facebook Journalism Project Digital News Innovation Award

·4 min read

Honourable mentions go to The Canadian Press and Glacier Media Group

TORONTO, April 12, 2021 /CNW/ - Indiegraf, a startup that helps fill the gap left by the loss of local news by empowering small digital news publishers to serve diverse and underserved communities, is the recipient of the new Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF)-Facebook Journalism Project Digital News Innovation Award. The Canadian Press and Glacier Media Group received honourable mentions.

The Canadian Journalism Foundation logo (CNW Group/Canadian Journalism Foundation)
The Canadian Journalism Foundation logo (CNW Group/Canadian Journalism Foundation)

This award celebrates initiatives that power journalism's future by recognizing news organizations that advance the quality of digital journalism.

"Even in a strong field of contenders, sometimes there's one application that stands out from the rest," says jury chair Susan Harada, associate professor of journalism at Carleton University's School of Journalism and Communication. "For the jury, it was Indiegraf. Its work—powered by a public-spirited desire to provide meaningful local journalism to Canadians—is underpinned by the foundational belief that journalism exists for the greater good."

Indiegraf, based in Vancouver, was established in 2020 to support the delivery of local journalism by The Discourse, a digital news organization also located in Vancouver. Since then, Indiegraf has helped independent journalist-entrepreneurs and small, community-owned publishers across Canada to share the resources needed to launch, grow and fill local news gaps. Recent deals with US publishers will see the model expanding to news deserts in that country. As the award recipient, Indiegraf receives a $10,000 prize.

Of the honourable mentions, Harada says: "Our two runners-up were similarly motivated. Glacier Media customized a pandemic-related news tool for populations scattered across BC in order to engage them in crucial hyperlocal conversations about developments in their own backyards. For its part, the Canadian Press, true to its national mission, developed an innovative tool to help local journalists tailor COVID-19 data and stories for the communities they serve."

Glacier Media, headquartered in Vancouver and serving Western Canada, helped its legacy community media sites provide accurate and timely COVID-19 information by text for hard-to-reach audiences in rural and remote areas—such as migrant farmworkers and Indigenous communities—via a tool called Subtext. Glacier was the first to use the tool for this purpose in Canada.

The Canadian Press, headquartered in Toronto, addressed the COVID-19 data-reporting challenge presented by confusing COVID-19 statistics arriving at various intervals across the country that needed constant updating by launching a new tool generated by its Digital Data Desk. The tool gathered, automated and presented numbers in a time-efficient, coherent and consistent way in English and French. This freed up time for its reporters to tell the stories behind the numbers and allowed newsrooms across all types of media to provide the information directly to audiences or to use it to drive their own reporting.

This new award promotes the work of Canadian startups, local and national news outlets, as well as supports new initiatives and projects. Innovation can come in a wide range, including new formats for audiences, new storytelling techniques, data-driven storytelling, new digital products produced by the newsroom, community involvement in story development, or partnerships and team approaches to reporting and producing stories.

The award will be recognized at the CJF Awards virtual ceremony on June 9 at 7 p.m. ET. Sign up to watch the free online event and view the sponsorship opportunities.

The jury members are:
- Susan Harada (chair), associate professor of journalism at Carleton University's School of Journalism and Communication;
- Jason Chiu, head of UX + design, Export Development Canada and former deputy head of visuals at The Globe and Mail;
- Derek Flack, manager, content strategy, Ryerson University;
- Anita Li, media consultant and journalism instructor;
- Marissa Nelson, senior consultant, Magid and former CBC news executive; and
- Ryan Tuck, partner, Blue Engine Collaborative.

Cision is the exclusive distribution partner of the CJF.

About The Canadian Journalism Foundation
Established in 1990, The Canadian Journalism Foundation promotes, celebrates and facilitates excellence in journalism. The foundation runs a prestigious annual awards and fellowships program featuring an industry gala where news leaders, journalists and corporate Canada gather to celebrate outstanding journalistic achievement and the value of professional journalism. Through monthly J-Talks, a public speakers' series, the CJF facilitates dialogue among journalists, business people, academics and students about the role of the media in Canadian society and the ongoing challenges for media in the digital era. The foundation also fosters opportunities for journalism education, training and research.

About the Facebook Journalism Project
The Facebook Journalism Project works with publishers around the world to strengthen the connection between journalists and the communities they serve. It also helps address the news industry's core business challenges. Our trainings, programs, and partnerships work in three ways: build community through news, train newsrooms globally, quality through partnerships.

SOURCE Canadian Journalism Foundation

Cision
Cision

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