A news site staffed entirely by journalists on strike from the Halifax Chronicle Herald has been nominated for twice as many Atlantic Journalism Awards as the newspaper itself.
Local XPress is nominated for six AJA awards, including one for business reporting and five for photojournalism. The Herald, which is the city’s flagship paper, is up for three.
“It feels like vindication,” said Frances Willick, who is nominated alongside colleague Michael Gorman for their scoop about a Cape Breton mining operation. Both reporters are now working for CBC.
“All along, the union has said that this strike is about protecting quality journalism, and so to see our work nominated and recognized just reminds us during a pretty dark time that what we are doing is important and that journalism is valued — even though the circumstances that we find ourselves in may not make us think that.”
‘We kept on trucking’
LocalXPress got up and running about a week after Chronicle Herald staff went on strike in January 2016. They’ve been on strike ever since, even after the newspaper bought up 28 other Atlantic Canada publications.
“Basically, we kept on trucking with what we always have done — so reporting, editing, photographing, doing all of that,” Willick said.