The Canadian Online Publishing Awards have recognized The Discourse Cowichan for its innovations in delivering news that matters to the people of the Cowichan Valley.
The Discourse Cowichan is a finalist for Best News Coverage and Best Community News Website, and winners will be announced in January.
Our little news-outlet-that-could is increasingly being recognized as a leader in bringing valuable coverage to smaller communities.
Earlier this year, The Discourse Cowichan took silver at the Digital Publishing Awards for our coverage of the public hearings to consider an expansion of the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit. And Jared Qwustenuxun Williams is a finalist for the Jack Webster Award for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion reporting, to be announced Dec. 8.
It’s cheesy to say it, but these recognitions belong to our community of readers and supporters. We’ve gotten this far by listening to people in the Cowichan region and responding to that feedback. More than 500 community members stepped up this year with financial contributions totalling more than $60,000. Our supporters literally make this possible.
For more on how The Discourse Cowichan has risen to the challenge of a difficult year and is inspiring community publications across the country, check out our annual report: The Best The Discourse Cowichan 2020.
News coverage to get through a pandemic
When COVID-19 hit, The Discourse Cowichan team got to work publishing factual, compassionate and useful coverage to guide our communities through a pandemic.
The Canadian Online Publishing Awards recognize Jacqueline Ronson, David Minkow and Jared Qwustenuxun Williams for their articles at this intense moment in the category of Best News Coverage. We wrote stories about what was really happening inside the Cowichan District Hospital, how people on the streets were impacted by shuttered services, how First Nations elders were managing and how to help.
We rejected fear mongering in favour of community-led coverage that focused on supporting each other through a difficult time. We always strive to include relevant links so community members can learn more, access resources and connect with others through our work.
A news website for a new world
The Canadian Online Publishing Awards have also recognized The Discourse team for innovations in delivering community news in a digital-first world in the category of Best Community News Website. Like everything we do, our website is built around the intention of serving our communities with news information that is useful, easy to find and a pleasure to engage with.
This nomination recognizes some of the unsung heroes behind the scenes, especially Caitlin Havlak and Jason Masongsong, two of the leaders with our partners at Indiegraf who bring our dreams of a beautiful and usable website to life.