And the Winner is…

The Atlantic Journalism Awards for 2021 were announced yesterday and the names of the gold winners in the Excellence in Digital Journalism: Enterprise/Longform category may sound familiar to you:

Rob Csernyik/Mary Campbell – The Cape Breton Spectator – Sydney, NS – Sydney’s casino at 25.

Yes, the Cape Breton Spectator, thanks to its wisdom in accepting a pitch from Sydney-native Rob Csernyik, can now call itself an award-winning news publication.

Rob is kind of the Michael Phelps of this competition – he also won gold in the Business Reporting: Any Medium category for a casino story he wrote for the Halifax Examiner. But he clearly hasn’t let it go to his head:

Speaking of the Halifax Examiner, it did alright for itself too: Yvette d’Entremont won gold in the Excellence in Digital Journalism: Breaking News category for her pandemic coverage and the Examiner‘s news team won silver for its coverage of the Portapique mass murder.

Joan Baxter won silver in the Excellence in Digital Journalism: Enterprise/Longform for her Port Wallace gamble, published in the Examiner.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what this means to me, as the editor of a startup, online news publication, and I’ve decided that while there is neither an actual gold medal nor a sash or tiara involved (I asked), there is something even better: validation.

Validation that a startup, online publication of limited resources can produce award-winning journalism.

Thank you — all of you — who subscribe to and contribute to and otherwise support the Spectator. I’d name you all individually but I can hear the music rising and I’ve seen enough awards shows to know what that means…