Magna Carta Gets a Gold!

Canada’s History newsletter wins national online publishing award.

Posted November 25, 2015

Canada’s History won a major national award for its innovative newsletter designs and online content. The society took the top prize in the Best Email Newsletter Design and Engagement category for a special online newsletter that explored the rich history of the Magna Carta.

In 1215, amidst the chaos that was medieval England, a remarkable event occurred that would have worldwide repercussions to the present day. Fed up with the greedy behavior of their king, a group of barons wrote up a charter spelling out their rights. The document stated that no one was above the law, not even the king. That document was the Magna Carta, which means “Great Charter.” It is the foundation of parliamentary democracy, and its ideas are reflected in constitutions worldwide, as well as the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In 2015 the Magna Carta left England to tour four Canadian cities, opening at the Canadian Museum of History in June. In advance of the opening, Canada’s History created a special Magna Carta-themed newsletter entitled “What's the big deal about the Magna Carta?”, which was sent to 10,636 individuals. Information about Magna Carta was also sent to 3,161 teachers and to 840 francophones via our French-language newsletter.

The newsletter was anchored by popular historian Christopher Moore, who wrote about why the Magna Carta is important to Canadians today. Other content touched on important points drawn from the Magna Carta — wrongful convictions, the need for juries of peers, and convictions based on little or no evidence. The newsletter also included a video about Viola Desmond, a black Nova Scotian hairdresser who fought for civil rights; and a podcast about Lord Durham, who was the father of responsible government in Canada.

Contributors to Magna Carta newsletter included Canada’s History’s Melony Ward, Mark Reid, Tanja Hütter, Andrew Workman, Nelle Oosterom, Jessica Knapp, Danelle Cloutier.

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