The Squamish Reporter Shorlisted for National Journalism Award

By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: March. 31, 2012

For the second year in a row, the Squamish Reporter has been shortlisted for an investigative journalism award given by the Canadian Association of Journalists.

My story on dike seepage was shortlisted in the “scoop” category.

The Squamish Reporter stories uncovered a crucial report on dike safety the district had commissioned after 2003 flood, but had ignored for several years.

In 2003, massive flooding in the Squamish River breached the dike at several points along the river. The municipality hired consultants to find ways to strengthen the dike, but never acted on these consultant reports.

One of the them, the Thurber report of 2008, warned the dike seepage must be addressed to avoid catastrophic damage in the event of a 2003 like flood.

The Reporter articles uncovered the Thurber report, and the fact that Squamish had ignored the report for several years.

With pressure from Brackendale residents and a letter from the local engineer Frank Baumann, the district finally decided to give more than $900,000 to dike remediation.

Last year, the Squamish Reporter was also shortlisted for a CAJ investigative journalism award for exposing a  confidential Squamish fire department report.

Civic and public-service journalism that brings crucial information to light  has always been my driving force. The award nomination, in my view, is an affirmation of that vision.

For the CAJ award in the ‘scoop’ category, I’m up against senior journalists working in some of Canada’s biggest media organisations.

Others in scoop category include Kim Bolan of the Vancouver Sun, Ian McLedod of Ottawa Citizen, Natalie Clancy and Manjula Dufresne of CBC Vancouver, and Tiar Wilson of APTN National News.

The finalist will be announced on April. 28th in Toronto.

Wish me luck.

Comments

  1. Glenne Campbell says:

    Congratulations Gagan!!!!
    It’s been wonderful to read your articles and witness the growth and development of your paper.
    All the Best in the future!

    Glenne

  2. Peter Legere says:

    Good on you! Let’s hope spelling isn’t one of the judging criteria. :)

  3. Auli Parviainen says:

    Congrats Gagan, great to see how applying passion, action and skill creates real conversation and change. Thanks for holding us all accountable.

  4. Thanks Peter. Can you lend me some money to hire a copy editor. Just kidding :)
    Your point is well taken. I will try to be more careful.

  5. Graham E. Fuller says:

    That’s wonderful news, Gagan, and well-deserved. If you win the “scoop” prize it will be wonderful, but to me the greatest accomplishment of the Squamish Reporter is your in-depth coverage of the town in all its faces and activities. Over the two years you’ve been operating you’ve compiled an impressive portrait of this town– personalities, economics, politics, burning issues, and human interest stories. That is your greatest accomplishment, whether or not you win the “scoop” award.
    And now you have some advertising as well. Globe and Mail, watch out!

  6. Mohsin Abbas says:

    Hi Gagan,
    I wish you the best. l will be in Toronto for the CCNA AGM. Please let me know if you will be around.

    Mohsin Abbas
    http://www.diversityreporter.com