Monday, May 16, 2011

Canada’s best multimedia journalism

One of my enjoyable responsibilities – honours, actually – is judging journalism awards.

This year my favourite was the multimedia feature category of the National Newspaper Awards, which were presented last weekend in Ottawa.

Yes, these awards are for newspapers, not broadcasters.

Other than, no Canadian broadcaster is creating consistently strong journalism that exploits multiple media including text stories, video, still photos and blogs, and creating communities of intelligent online commenters.

But several newspapers are committing the resources of money, time and professional staff to do just that. So is the news agency The Canadian Press.

Judges Colette Brin of Laval University, Ingrid Bejerman of McGill University and I read, watched and listened to the best multimedia journalism created in Canada in 2010.

For the top award we selected The Globe and Mail's Project Jacmel: The Disaster, the Rebuild, the Future. It’s a comprehensive and moving report on how Haitians are coping with the aftermath of the most recent earthquake.

We were impressed that the newspaper stayed with the story, keeping its staff in Haiti after most other international journalists had moved on to the next disaster.

In the multimedia world, Twitter is informative, instant and fun. It propagates breaking news as no other medium can. Sometimes that news is even true.

But to fully realize the possibilities of multimedia journalism you need a much longer attention span.

Congratulations to The Globe and Mail and other forward-looking organizations that are in multimedia journalism for the long haul.