The Independent wins national award for investigative reporting

The Independent Publisher Heather Wright accepts the award in Toronto Thursday night.

The Independent has been given the Canadian Journalism Foundation’s 2018 Award for Excellence in Journalism for its investigative reporting on municipal politics in Petrolia.

The CJF Jackman Award honours a Canadian organization that embodies exemplary journalism with a resulting impact on the community it serves.

Since 1996, the CJF has celebrated news organizations that embrace ideals of journalistic excellence – accuracy, independence, accountability, courage and originality – with this annual award. Winners, since 2007, are selected in two categories: large media and small media for the quality of writing and storytelling, clarity of work and the impact on the community.

The Independent was honoured for its work uncovering the Petrolia CAO’s ownership of two buildings used by the town and his subsequent departure from the job.

The Independent was nominated in the small media category, organizations under 50 people along with:

CBC Nova Scotia, for revealing “Black people three times more likely to be street checked in Halifax, police say,” after its investigation collected 11 years of street check data;

The London Free Press, for its seven-part series “27 Minutes,” which followed one woman’s winter car crash and drowning, but who was brought back to life thanks to a creative medical team—challenging the reader to think about whether scientific advancements or deep faith or both were responsible for Ashlyn Krell’s astonishing recovery

Saskatoon StarPhoenix, for “Scooped: How I lost my mother, found my family and recovered my identity” that shed light on the Sixties Scoop and its connection to the Indian residential school system and its effect on one family; and

Telegraph-Journal, for a series of stories, beginning with “‘Go to hell,’ family says after 39-minute ambulance wait,” exposing a critical shortage of paramedics in New Brunswick’s emergency response system, resulting in ambulances being taken off the road.

The award was presented Thursday night in Toronto. Also honoured at the event was Forest native Robin Doolittle who lead The Globe and Mail’s groundbreaking investigation Unfounded into sexual assault cases across Canada. Doolittle and her team won the Jackman Award of Excellence in the large media category and The Landsburg Award which celebrates exceptional coverage of women’s equality issues.