Stephen Kimber’s cover feature for the June 9, 2009th issue of The Coast—"Who is Premier Darrell Dexter?"—has been selected as one of the finalists for this year’s Atlantic Journalism Awards.
The Dexter story is up against two other stories—Tim Bousquet’s "Doolittle, Darwin and the Deeply Dumb" from The Coast and Andrew McGilligan’s "Long Journey’s Home" in the Saint John Telegraph-Journal—in the Print Feature category. The awards will be presented at a ceremony in Halifax on May 8.
Excerpt’s from the entry submission explaining the background to the Dexter story:
"From During the winter of 2009, it became increasingly apparent Nova Scotians would voting in a spring general election, and that Darrell Dexter’s New Democrats would likely form the next provincial government. Such an outcome—unthinkable a generation ago—could mark an historic turning point in Nova Scotia politics.
How should The Coast cover these developments? Unlike the dailies or other media, we don’t have the luxury—in the print edition at least—of providing continuing coverage of events as they unfold. We had to decide on the central story of the election and write it.
We decided that story was Darrell Dexter. Who is he? Where does he come from? What makes him tick? What kind of government was he likely to lead?
While Nova Scotians had seen Dexter in action in the legislature over the previous decade, few were aware of more than the vaguest outlines of his personal history or the path he had taken to party and political power.
Our feature profile was an attempt to understand the man who could become premier by weaving together his personal story with the story of the party’s rise, and showing how the party had affected Dexter and Dexter has affected the party."
I’ll admit I was taken aback when I looked at the cover of The Coast on June 9 to see a title that assumed Dexter would win the election the next week," Kimber recalled. "Shades of Dewey! But the paper’s editors were braver—and more prescient—than me. Dexter won and, even seven months later, I believe our story provides useful insights into the mind of the province’s 27th premier."
Kimber is also a finalist for this year’s Atlantic Book Awards. His book, IWK, is up for the Dartmouth Book Award for Nonfiction. The Atlantic Book Awards will be presented April 14 at a ceremony in Dartmouth.