The Narwhal, one of Canada’s top independent online environmental newsletters, is taking a victory lap this week, after winning big at the Canadian Online Publishing Awards in Toronto.
With three full-time staff and no formal office space, The Narwhal took silver for best publication, silver for best news website, and a gold and silver for best photo essays.
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“We certainly didn’t expect this. We were up against such big players,” Editor-in-Chief Emma Gilchrist told  Broadcast Dialogue. “We were really pleased just to be finalists. To actually win four of them was beyond our wildest dreams.”
“As a non-profit news outlet that doesn’t run advertising, we are so proud to be able to say: nobody owns us,” she added in an email to readers. “It’s easy to feel overwhelmed about the state of the world these days, but it truly is amazing what a small group of committed people can accomplish.”
Gilchrist said she sees a “tonne of potential” in a low-overhead publishing model that allows a team of freelancers to get the job done remotely. “Working as an online startup, it’s an uphill battle to get recognition,” but “Canadians are definitely craving a different type of news.”