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Journal wins Canadian Online Publishing Award

The Journal won top honours in the ‘Continuing Coverage of a Story’ category for the Stories from the Street series by journalist Cathy Dobson and photojournalist Glenn Ogilvie.
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The Journal won top honours in the ‘Continuing Coverage of a Story’ category for the Stories from the Street series by journalist Cathy Dobson and photojournalist Glenn Ogilvie

The Sarnia Journal has won its first Canadian Online Publishing Award (COPA).

The COPAs, which recognize excellence in Canadian digital media, announced the winners of the 2023 awards Thursday evening at a ceremony in Toronto.

The Journal won top honours in the ‘Continuing Coverage of a Story’ category for the Stories from the Street series by journalist Cathy Dobson and photojournalist Glenn Ogilvie, who spent months telling the stories of some of Sarnia’s most vulnerable individuals amid the city’s growing and unprecedented homelessness crisis.

"The Journal shared these stories to shed light on the harsh realities happening right in our own community,” said Journal owner Nathan Colquhoun. “Our unhoused neighbours have been neglected and forgotten due to the shortsightedness and neglect of our politicians and bureaucrats focused solely on their own interests. 

“These stories should open our eyes to the truth of our situation and move us to respond with empathy and action.”

The series sparked widespread attention and led to the launch of a grassroots ‘Stories from the Street’ committee, whose members are working to raise awareness and collaborate with community partners to find solutions.

In addition, a Stories from the Street Fund, offered through the Sarnia Community Foundation, has been established to assist with immediate needs — like distributing backpacks, tarps, sleeping bags and other necessities — and the transition to permanent housing.

Other nominees in the category included: Global News' coverage of John Tory/Olivia Chow by-election; IndigiNews' coverage of suspected burial sites at the former Alberni Indian Residential School; The Breach's coverage of Canada's drug-price reform; and Reuters' coverage of Canada's Safe Third Country Agreement.