APTN News and Investigates receive four award nominations

APTN National News and Investigates has received four award nominations from The Canadian Association of Journalists.

APTN National News
WINNIPEGAPTN National News and Investigates received four award nominations this week from The Canadian Association of Journalists.

“I am proud of our news team who, in my opinion, punch above their weight and produce award-winning work every single day, but of course receiving these nominations is a chance for them to be recognized by their peers and the industry. It’s very satisfying,” said Karyn Pugliese, APTN’s Executive Director of News and Current Affairs.

“This is unprecedented for APTN National News to receive four nominations for the upcoming Canadian Association of Journalists Awards gala on May 28 in Edmonton,” said Jean La Rose, APTN’s Chief Executive Officer. “Today’s announcement demonstrates our national news team’s reporting capacity is achieving increased recognition for outstanding investigative journalism in Canada.”

Pugliese added that there has been growing recognition of the work APTN is producing.

“We’ve seen it in the ratings, we’ve noticed a growing following on social media, and more often we’ve had other news agencies approach us for analysis and commentary – not only on Aboriginal issues, but they are asking us to train them in journalism techniques and storytelling.”

Seasoned journalist Kathleen Martens is nominated in the Open Broadcast Feature Category. For the Love of Matty, tells the story of a foster family struggling to keep a mentally-disabled First Nations man out of an institution, even as the government withdraws financial support because he’s “aged out” of the foster care system.

Martens joined APTN Investigates in 2010. She’s been honoured with a Manitoba Human Rights Journalism Award, has received two CAJ nominations, won an Amnesty International Media Award and was nominated for a 2014 Beyond Borders ECPAT Canada Media Award.

APTN National News reporter Dennis Ward and producer Murray Oliver are nominated for a JHR /CAJ Award for Human Right Reporting for, A Soldier Scorned. The 22 minute documentary tells the story of Esther Wolki, an Inuit woman who left her tiny Northwest Territories community for a career in the army, hoping to see the world.  Instead, despite a tour in war-torn Afghanistan, her time in the military was marred by discrimination and harassment.  The abuse became so severe, it drove Esther to attempt suicide.

Métis reporter-correspondent Dennis Ward joined APTN’s Winnipeg bureau in 2014, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience telling Indigenous stories in Manitoba and Ontario.

Prior to joining APTN in 2009, Murray Oliver worked a domestic and foreign correspondent with CTV National News. He was previously an investigative journalist at CBC.  He’s been nominated or won several national and international awards.

APTN journalist Jorge Barrera and camera-editor Damien Joseph are nominated for Daily excellence for their reportage on fires threatening Lac La Ronge Indian Band reserve and the communities of Sucker Creek and Stanley Mission.  The duo bravely went behind the lines, the first broadcast media to enter without a provincial escort, to tell the story of the Indigenous volunteer fire-fighters as they struggled to save the homes of their community.

This is the second CAJ nomination for Barrera who won a CAJ in 2012 for his work at breaking the Bruce Carson story. The next year, Barrera was named J-Source Newsperson of the Year Award for his multi-platform reporting on the Idle No More movement.

Damien Joseph is an Ojibway from Northwest angle #37 and Whitefish Bay Ontario. He’s a graduate of the Television Production Program at Confederation College. Joseph joined APTN through our internship program as a studio technician, completed APTN’s VJ training program and currently works as a camera-editor in our Winnipeg Bureau.

Melissa Ridgen’s investigation into the health and safety of indigenous workers, called Hurting for Work, is nominated for the CWA Canada/CAJ Award for Labour Reporting.  The story shows temporary Indigenous labourers emptying trash bins by hand into waste-collection trucks in Winnipeg. Her story ultimately provoked an investigation that is on-going.

When Ridgen joined APTN in 2009 she was already an experienced reporter and winner of the 1998 Edward Dunlop Award for Investigative Journalism. In 2014, she was named a finalist for investigative reporting by the World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Network. Ridgen is a proud Red River Métis.

The CAJ’s annual awards program recognizes the best in Canadian journalism—with a particular focus on investigative work. The Nominees were revealed today.

The recipients in each category will be announced May 28, 2016 at the CAJ Awards gala in Edmonton as part of the CAJ’s annual conference.

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