Emerging Excellence

Emerging Excellence Award

Naël Shiab of L’actualité was named this year’s recipient of the Emerging Excellence Award. The award honours an individual whose early work in Canadian digital publishing shows the highest degree of craft and promise.

Recruited by CBC/Radio Canada in 2011, Naël Shiab travelled the country as a young journalist for three years before completing a Master’s degree in data journalism at the University of King’s College. Upon returning to Montreal, he worked for Journal Métro before joining the team at L’actualité. Since then, he has worked hard to push the boundaries of Canadian journalism, merging reporting with the most advanced algorithms to bring the reader the most personalized information possible. At 28, he has already been recognized in Quebec for his avant-garde work.


In Naël’s mind lives a journalist and a coder, and the coder is the servant of the journalist. Watching him work is a balm for those like me who believe there is still a future for journalism and the search for truth.” - Carole Beaulieu, editor-in- chief and publisher, L’actualité


According to the Emerging Excellence Award jury:


“Naël Shiab is a bright light shining across the world of journalism. He combines the inquisitiveness and skepticism of a journalist with the creativity and three-dimensional thinking of a coder to create astonishing data-led work that illuminates and educates and entertains. He is the future of journalism and the more Naël Shiabs at work, the better off we are as an informed citizenry.”


Honourable Mentions for Emerging Excellence were awarded to:


Manisha Krishnan, VICE


Manisha Krishnan joined VICE Canada in 2015 after stints at the Toronto Star, Maclean’s, and the Edmonton Journal, where she honed her impressive skills as a writer and digital journalist. As senior writer for VICE, she has established herself as one of the strongest voices of the next generation of Canadian journalists. In the past year, she was VICE’s lead reporter on the Jian Ghomeshi trial, hosted a live VICE event on sexism in the music industry, and wrote several feature stories in addition to filing daily news hits.


“Manisha is the epitome of the modern journalist, able to work on multiple platforms and in multiple styles, whether that is a brilliantly reported news story, a controversial column on a subject of national interest, or a hilarious first-person essay.” - Chris Bilton, deputy editor, VICE Canada 


Tom Cardoso, The Globe and Mail


Tom began his career at the Globe and Mail’s summer program in 2014 and quickly distinguished himself as an innovator of digital tools to enhance editorial work, such as the in-house “Chart Tool,” an open-source app that allows any editor or reporter to create respon­sive charts for mobile, social and even print. Hired as a graphics editor after the summer program, he has been instrumental in developing digital “middleform” content—medium-sized reporting projects that are predominantly visual and can be turned around in a week or two.


“Tom Cardoso is a rare breed amongst journalists. He’s one-third design­er, one-third visual producer, and one-half developer. The math there doesn’t add up because the sheer quantity and quality of Cardoso’s work has consistently exceeded expectations. I think of him as the Swiss Army knife our arsenal of tools.” - Jason Chiu, deputy head of presentation, The Globe and Mail