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Outlook wins pair of National Newspaper Awards

The Rocky Mountain Outlook won a pair of National Newspaper Awards.
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Freediver Lorenza Malaguti prepares to resurface while freediving at Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park on Saturday (March 6). EVAN BUHLER RMO PHOTO

The Rocky Mountain Outlook won a pair of National Newspaper Awards.

A team entry of Tanya Foubert, Greg Colgan and Evan Buhler won the local reporting category for its four-part series Buried in the Aftermath on the impact of traumatic and fatal incidents in the climbing community in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

The series looked at three individual incidents, the toll it took on those involved and the role of the mountain guiding community when fatalities take place.

“I believe strongly in the importance of community-based newspapers and the journalism that is produced out of newsrooms like the Rocky Mountain Outlook's,” said Foubert. “It is an honour to be able to shine a spotlight on the hard-working journalists doing investigative work at weeklies with this award's recognition. Thank you to the NNA judging committee.”

The project took months of research, dozens of interviews, analysis of more than two decades of Canadian avalanche data where fatalities were involved, examined the role of the guiding community, and also what work is being completed to improve and help those who experience such situations.

The series was led by former Outlook editor Foubert.

“Being an editor and journalist carries with it a social responsibility to tell difficult stories that push at the status quo and inspire change. That is what I set out to achieve with Buried in the Aftermath,” she said.

“I am also proud to share this honour with my colleagues Evan Buhler and Greg Colgan. Thanks to Colgan's data journalism and mapping; and Buhler's design and photojournalism skills, I was able to tell this story more effectively in print and online.”

The judges for the awards praised the project for its photography, design, data and investigative work and said it was “impressive enterprise journalism from a small team and one that highlighted shortcomings in the protection of life and leisure in Canada’s backcountry.”

Buhler, a former Outlook photojournalist, received the win in the feature photography category for a photo of freediver Lorenza Malaguti in Lake Minnewanka in March 2021.

The judges highlighted the “underlying tension of the image between the stillness and beauty of the water and ice and the potentially deadly environment. … It invoked the feeling of peace. The diver's body language shows reverence and communion with this underwater world.”

Buhler was the recipient of the 2021 Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award run by the Canadian Journalism Foundation and was one of 10 journalists in Canada recognized for two or more categories.

"It's an absolute honour to have won an NNA for feature photo alongside some of Canada's best photojournalists," he said. "Without the guidance and support of Tanya and Greg during my time at the Outlook, I don't believe I'd even be in contention for this level of award. The cherry on top is being able to share an award with both of them."

The Outlook is also nominated in the community written category for the Canadian Association of Journalists awards May 28 in Montreal. The paper is also nominated for the Jackman Award for excellence in the small media category for the Canadian Journalism Foundation awards June 7 in Toronto.

Patrick LaMontagne, the Outlook’s and a nationally syndicated cartoonist, won second at the World Press Freedom cartoon competition.

The Outlook is also nominated for several categories at the upcoming Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Competition awards June 3 in Edmonton.

The National Newspaper Awards were created in 1949 by the Toronto Press Club. It recognizes journalistic excellence in 22 categories.

The annual awards honour the top journalism in Canada’s newspaper and digital media industry.

The nationally recognized awards are the first in the Outlook’s history.

For a full list of winners and nominees and the work recognized, visit: https://nna-ccj.ca/2021-winners-gagnants-2021.