Judges for 2019 (results announced May 1, 2020)

Arts and Entertainment

Paul Cantin worked as a daily newspaper reporter and music and film critic in Winnipeg, Ottawa and Toronto before serving as senior reporter at canoe.ca. He has held senior communications roles with Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Health Council of Canada, University of Toronto faculty of medicine, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and currently at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management.

Suanne Kelman is Professor Emeritus of Ryerson University’s School of Journalism, where she taught for 21 years and served twice as the School’s Interim Chair. She is the author of All in the Family: A Cultural History of Family Life. Before joining Ryerson, she worked at CBC Radio’s Sunday Morning, CBC television’s The Journal and the Globe and Mail, and produced freelance material for a wide range of media.

Donald McKenzie began his 34-year career with the Canadian Press in 1984 as a reporter-editor in Montreal. After spells in Quebec City and Vancouver, he became Montreal bureau chief in 1999 and helped steer coverage of major news stories such as the Dawson College shooting, the Luka Rocco Magnotta trial, the Quebec election-night shooting and the Lac-Megantic tragedy.

 

E. Cora Hind Award for Beat Reporting

Janice Neil is chair of the Ryerson School of Journalism and teaches students in the bachelor of journalism and masters of journalism programs. After joining the faculty in 2007, she also served as editor-in-chief of J-Source.ca. Her professional journalism career included working as a senior producer, reporter and writer with CBC and senior producer/Ottawa bureau chief of TVOntario. She was also on the journalism faculty at Carleton University.

Laurie Stephens was a reporter for the Canadian Press for 10 years, covering a variety of beats, including sports and politics. She left CP to work as press secretary to Ontario Premier Bob Rae, and since then has held senior communications positions in a number of organizations. She owns her own media consulting firm.

David Yates was a journalist for more than 40 years, including 25 at the Montreal Gazette where he served in several positions. During his eight years as business editor, the section won a National Newspaper Award and several other awards.

 

Breaking News

Lucie McNeill was a broadcast journalist for CBC Radio in British Columbia from 1980 to 1993, later freelancing from China until 1996, and worked in international development assistance until 2008. More recently, she headed the University of British Columbia’s public affairs department before resuming China-focused work at Simon Fraser University. She is now busily retired, and spending more time reading newspapers.

Mike Omelus has spent more than half of his 35-plus years in the Canadian news business in senior leadership roles, most recently as vice-president of national news and newsgathering for Global News. He was instrumental in designing and launching Global’s award-winning multi-market content initiative. Before Global, Mike spent five years at CTV’s Business News Network as executive producer, and held several key roles during a 21-year career at the Canadian Press, including general news director (broadcast), senior parliamentary correspondent and Washington correspondent.

Corinne Smith is an instructor in the Journalism Department at Concordia University, and a community radio trainer. She spent 15 years with CBC, as a reporter and digital producer with CBC Montreal, and as a radio producer with the Cree Media Unit at CBC North.

 

Breaking News Photo

Shane Kelley worked for more than 20 years as a photojournalist for three Canadian daily newspapers: the Toronto Sun, Toronto Star and Montreal Gazette. Along with news, sports and general photojournalism, she also photographed and wrote a weekly Style column for the Montreal Gazette for 15 years. Kelley has also produced work for various American newspapers and magazines.

Brian Kerrigan is a consultant based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Louvre Abu Dhabi. Previously he was a member of the launch team of the National, a newspaper based in Abu Dhabi where he headed the photography and multimedia team. Before moving overseas he was on staff with news organizations such as the Globe and Mail, National Post, and the Canadian Press.

Jim Young is an award-winning photojournalist with more than 20 years’ experience as a wire photographer. He started in Ottawa before moving to Washington and then to Chicago. Young won an NNA in 2002 for News Photo and was a finalist in 2015.

 

Business

Derek Ferguson is co-founder of Dawson Ferguson Strategies, an Ottawa-based communications company that specializes in customized strategic communications, public relations and advocacy for the public and private sector. He has more than a decade’s experience as an award-winning leader in the federal public service, and 20 years as a provincial and national political journalist with the Toronto Star.

Susan Murray spent more than 20 years as a reporter and foreign correspondent, mainly for CBC. She was also a political commentator for TVOntario. After leaving journalism, Susan worked as a political aide, in international development and as an executive in the forest industry. She now serves on volunteer boards, teaches English to refugee women and helps run a lunch-and-learn program at a school for teenage mothers.

Sheila North is the former Grand Chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) who ran for the position of National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations in 2018. A former journalist with CBC and CTV, she won an RTDNA award. As a filmmaker, Sheila released, 1200+, a film about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls that was featured on CTV in 2019.

 

Columns

Brian Kappler started at the Windsor Star, then spent 30-some years at the Montreal Gazette as copy editor, “people” editor, entertainment editor, national editor, baseball beat writer, city editor, assistant managing editor and finally editorial page editor. For most of that time he also moonlighted as columnist Doug Camilli. Brian then spent three years writing editorials at the National in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Kelley Teahen is Vice President, Communications and Marketing at Parachute, Canada’s national charity dedicated to injury prevention. She previously held senior communications roles at OCAD University, University of Waterloo and the Stratford Festival. Prior to that, Kelley worked as a reporter, columnist and editor at the London Free Press, where she won five Ontario Newspaper Awards and was a professional member of the Ontario Press Council.

Alison Uncles is Editor-in-Chief of Maclean’s magazine. A former member of the NNA Board of Governors, she edited many NNA-winning features and projects in her years at the Toronto Star and National Post. In 2019, the National Magazine Awards named her editor of the year.

 

Editorial Cartooning

Rosa Harris got her start as a reporter at the Sherbrooke Record and has had articles published in Fortune, Chatelaine, Saturday Night, Maclean’s, Canadian Business, Equinox, Canadian Geographic, the Ottawa Citizen and the Victoria Times Colonist. She has taught journalism at Royal Roads, Carleton, Concordia and Victoria universities. She is the author of Boomerville, a collection of columns on her generation, published in 2015 by Manor House Press.

Peter Stockland is a former editor-in-chief of the Gazette in Montreal, a former editorial page editor of the Calgary Herald, a former editor of the Calgary Sun and has worked as a journalist throughout Canada. He currently divides his time between Montreal and Ottawa where he is a member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery as a freelance writer, and publishes Convivium.ca for the North American think tank Cardus. His columns and feature writing appear regularly in the Catholic Register and in newspapers across Canada through Troy Media syndication service.

As a journalist, Anthony Wilson-Smith reported from more than 35 countries and all of Canada’s provinces. He served four years as editor of Maclean’s magazine. Since 2012, he has been president and CEO of Historica Canada, the non-profit organization that produces the iconic Heritage Minutes and other programs devoted to building greater interest in our country’s history.

 

Claude Ryan Award for Editorials

Peter Donolo is vice-chair of H+K Strategies Canada and is a strategic advisor to H+K’s senior management and its clients. Peter served as director of communications to prime minister Jean Chretien, worked as a senior executive in the private and public sectors and has represented Canada abroad as a senior diplomat.

Brian MacLeod is editor of the Western Producer. He has worked at seven newspapers, including as managing editor of the Sudbury Star and as regional content director for Sun Media’s Northern Ontario group. His writing has won awards from the Ontario Newspaper Association, the North American Agricultural Journalists association and the Canadian Farm Writers Federation.

Bouchra Ouatik is a journalist for the television program Décrypteurs on RDI, as well as for the Radio-Canada website, where she specializes in covering “fake news” and misinformation. Previously, she covered scientific news for the program Découverte at Radio-Canada, and was a finalist for a Gemini award in 2016. Her work has been awarded several prizes and grants, including the Herb Lampert Emerging Journalist Award, the Journalism Prize of the Conseil québécois du loisir and the European Union-Canada Prize for young journalists.

 

Explanatory Work

Hannah Hoag is deputy editor and environment and energy editor at the Conversation Canada. She has been a science, medical and environment reporter and editor for 17 years, working for the Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, Nature, Discover, National Geographic, BBC, the New York Times and many others.

Jennifer Lanthier is the director of editorial strategy for University of Toronto Communications. A former news agency and newspaper reporter, she is also an award-winning children’s author published by Harper Collins, Penguin Canada, Fitzhenry & Whiteside and Clockwise Press. Jennifer is a member of the board of PEN Canada, an organization devoted to freedom of expression and the protection of writers and reporters.

Chris Welner is an editor and writer with more than 35 years’ experience. He has worked at the Toronto Star, Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald and in government communications, international sport and the energy industry. He spent eight years as editor of IMPACT Magazine in Calgary and operates his own communications consulting firm, Crystal Writing Co. Chris was the 2012 Alberta Magazines Editor of the Year and vice-president of the Alberta Magazine Publishers’ Association.

 

Feature Photo

A.P. Hovasse began his photojournalism career in the mid-1980s at Reuters in Brussels and London. He then moved to AFP/EPA where he launched a Moscow bureau, worked as a freelance in Paris before being hired as supervising photo editor for the Associated Press in London. He then moved to Toronto to help launch the photo department at the National Post, and later worked as director of photography for La Presse, photo supervisor for the Vancouver Olympics and director of photography for QMI.

Kevin Udahl is an award-winning photojournalist who began his career in smaller community newspapers in southern Alberta. Working freelance for several years before taking a staff position with the Calgary Sun, he has had pictures published in numerous publications in Canada and around the world. He currently teaches photojournalism at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.

Len Wagg is an award-winning photographer and photo editor. He spent 25 years in the newspaper industry and then left to focus on personal work. His work has been published in the New York Times, Maclean’s, Time and other renowned publications, and he is the author of 10 books.

 

General News Photo

Erin Combs worked for the Toronto Star for 28 years and was the paper’s first female photographer and visuals editor. In addition to her news photography, Erin also had an extensive fashion portfolio covering European and North American collections. She now lives in San Diego, where she continues to keep her camera busy with freelance work and travel as well as doing philanthropic work for two non-profit organizations.

Julien LeBourdais worked as a freelance photographer with the Toronto Star, a staff photographer with Toronto Life, a contract photographer with UPI, a staff photographer and assistant newspictures manager with United Press Canada, and a photo editor with the Canadian Press. He then taught photojournalism at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont., for 20 years.

Steve Simon is an award-winning documentary photographer and author of five critically acclaimed photography books. He has worked on assignment in more than 40 countries, and his work has been published in the New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, Life, Time, Le Monde, Harpers, Maclean’s, the Walrus and many other publications. Steve worked for 10 years as a staff photographer for the Edmonton Journal, and was professor/co-ordinator of the Loyalist College photojournalism program.

 

Norman Webster Award for International Reporting

Fran Halter was a Montreal-based journalist with diversified media experience, including radio broadcasting with CKO and CFCF, news agency reporting with United Press Canada, and business journalism with the Montreal Gazette. For the past 30 years, she has worked as a freelance writer, editor and writing coach, and communications specialist.

Anne McIlroy is Executive Director, Strategic Engagement, at the University of Ottawa. She spent more than 25 years in journalism, including 16 years at the Globe and Mail where she was the first woman to hold the position of Parliamentary Bureau Chief. She has reported from across Canada as well as Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East. A graduate of Carleton University’s journalism program, she began her career at the Ottawa Citizen.

Leslie Shepherd was a reporter, editor and manager for more than 30 years in Canada, the United States and Europe, working for the Canadian Press, the Associated Press, the Washington Post and the Globe and Mail. She spent the past 10 years in health-care communications, currently as an account director for the Member Relations, Advocacy and Communications team at the Ontario Medical Association.

 

George Brown Award for Investigations

Rod Macdonell is an Ottawa based writer-editor. He won Quebec’s highest journalism award three times with the Montreal Gazette’s investigative team, and was twice an NNA finalist. Macdonell trained journalists in investigative journalism in 35 countries for the World Bank. He was research associate for Stevie Cameron in two best sellers on Brian Mulroney and taught Press and the Law for 10 years at Concordia University.

Fred Vallance-Jones is associate professor of at the University of King’s College in Halifax, where he specializes in investigations and data journalism and teaches in the master of journalism program. He is an NNA winner for investigations and a Michener Award nominee. His reporting career spanned 23 years, at the CBC and Hamilton Spectator. He is co-author of two journalism textbooks.

Nancy Wood has been a journalist for 34 years, working in print, radio and television. She was a National Assembly reporter for the Montreal Gazette, a Queen’s Park reporter for the Toronto Star and a senior writer in Maclean’s magazine’s Ottawa bureau. She is currently a news anchor and online contributor for CBC TV in Montreal.

 

Local Reporting

Gene Allen is a Professor of Journalism at Ryerson University. Before joining the Journalism faculty, he worked as a journalist for more than 20 years, mostly as an editor and reporter at the Globe and Mail, and as a producer in TV news, radio current affairs and TV documentaries at CBC. He was director of research for Canada: A People’s History and is the author of Making National News: A History of Canadian Press.

Karen Macdonald is the news director/station manager at Global Montreal. A Quebec City anglo, Karen has worked in newsrooms in Quebec City and Montreal, where she learned how to do just about everything including setting type. She loves to brag about all the bright journalists she has given jobs to in her career of 30-plus years, and to remind people that she was the editor and publisher of the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph for more than a decade.

Shannon Miller has been a journalist for two decades, working in small, medium and large daily newsrooms in British Columbia. She held every role imaginable including managing editor, senior news editor and assignment editor at the Vancouver Province. Miller is currently communications manager for the B.C. Ambulance Service.

 

William Southam Award for Long Feature

Fabrice de Dongo is a communications leader who has built and implemented strategic communications campaigns and managed media relations issues. He has experience in financial and professional services as well as in government. He focuses on helping organizations promote and protect their brand and reputation through narrative-based storytelling across multiple communications channels.

Sophie Gaulin is the executive director and editor-in-chief of La Liberté. Born in France, Sophie grew up in a family that loved to sail. During her studies in Canadian civilization at the University of Bordeaux, France, she quickly developed a keen interest in Canada. She taught English in school and business settings for eight years. In 2006, she decided to settle permanently in Winnipeg. She became Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief of La Liberté in 2009, a position she still holds.

Anne McNeilly retired recently as an Associate Professor at Ryerson University. Before joining the School of Journalism, she spent more than 25 years as a working journalist, including 18 years as an editor at the Globe and Mail and eight years as a reporter for the Ottawa Citizen and the former Kitchener-Waterloo Record. She won six provincial newspaper awards for beat reporting, feature writing, column writing and spot news.

 

John Wesley Dafoe Award for Politics

Jack Aubry worked as a reporter at the Ottawa Citizen for more than a quarter-century, mostly as a national writer on Parliament Hill, after serving as the Outaouais bureau chief and covering Ottawa city hall. He won a National Newspaper Award for Investigations in 1990. He recently retired as director of consultations and media relations for Finance Canada.

Catherine McKercher, professor emerita at the Carleton University School of Journalism and Communication, is a former newspaper and wire service journalist. She is the author, co-author or co-editor of several books, including a history of newspaper unions and a reporting textbook. Her latest book, 2019’s Shut Away: When Down Syndrome was a Life Sentence, examines the rise and fall of institutions for people with intellectual disabilities, as told through the life of her brother Bill.

Michael Shenker is a former associate managing editor at the Montreal Gazette, where he worked for 26 years in a variety of editing posts. He began his journalism career as a reporter and editor in New York before immigrating to Canada three decades ago. Shenker has written freelance for a number of publications, and currently teaches journalism part-time at Concordia University in Montreal.

 

Presentation/Design

Roland-Yves Carignan is a journalism professor at Université du Québec à Montréal after a long career in newsrooms. He was previously managing editor at Le Devoir, where he worked for more than 10 years, and also assistant managing editor for visuals at the National Post, Montreal Gazette and Libération, in Paris. He is on course to finalizing a master’s thesis on social media journalism in the next few months.

Peter Haggert is director of Haggert Media Group, an organization providing business-to-business marketing planning, content and execution primarily for the Microsoft community of partners, events and consultants. This follows a 30-year career as editor-in-chief of daily and community newspapers in three provinces across Canada. Haggert is a former board member for the Local Media Association and the Ontario Press Council, and was long-time chair of the Atlantic Journalism Awards.

Catherine Pike spent 28 years in the newsroom at the Toronto Star as a designer and editorial art director. A previous NNA winner and nominee in Presentation, she currently teaches in the Advertising and Graphic Design program in the Faculty of Media and Creative Arts at Humber College, Lakeshore Campus.

 

Project of the Year

Mark Bulgutch spent more than 35 years with CBC News, beginning as a reporter and retiring as the senior executive producer of CBC TV News. He has written two books since his retirement and continues to teach journalism at Ryerson University, which he’s done since 1987.

Graham Fox is President and CEO of the Institute for Research on Public Policy. A policy entrepreneur, Graham’s research interests include parliamentary reform, democratic renewal and federalism. Prior to joining the IRPP in 2011, he worked in politics as a senior advisor to political leaders, think tank executive and government relations practitioner. He is co-editor, with Jennifer Ditchburn, of The Harper Factor (2016), an analysis of the policy impact of Canada’s 22nd prime minister.

Athana Mentzelopoulos works for the Government of Alberta as Deputy Minister of Treasury Board and Finance. She has spent most of her career in government at both the federal and provincial levels. She has also worked as vice-president of government relations at the Canadian Credit Union Association.

 

Bob Levin Award for Short Feature

Ingrid Bejerman is a journalist, scholar and manager specializing in cultural reportage, Latin American matters and journalism training. She served as reporter and columnist for O Estado de Sao Paulo in Brazil, as program co-ordinator for the Gabriel García Márquez Foundation for Journalism in Colombia, and as director of the Cátedra Latinoamericana Julio Cortázar at the University of Guadalajara, Mexico. Ingrid teaches courses in journalistic theory at Concordia University.

Karine Fortin is director of communications at the Canadian Union of Public Employees. She previously held senior management positions in the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition and the New Democratic Party of Canada. Karine worked as a national reporter at Le Devoir and La Presse Canadienne, and was editor of Le Trente, a monthly magazine published by the Quebec Federation of Professional Journalists.

Ed Greenspon is president and CEO of the Public Policy Forum, a think tank that partners with governments, the private sector, academia, unions, indigenous groups and civil society on pressing policy issues. He wrote the forum’s landmark report on news, democracy and trust in the digital age, The Shattered Mirror. Ed is a former editor-in-chief of the Globe and Mail, where he was also founding editor of globeandmail.com and Ottawa bureau chief. He also worked as senior editor for Bloomberg News and vice-president of strategic investments at Torstar Corp.

 

Sports

Phil Andrews worked for four daily newspapers in a 20-plus-year journalism career. His final role in the industry was as the last managing editor of the Guelph Mercury. He is a former winner of an Ontario News Wire Award for news reporting and of an Ontario Newspaper Award for editorial, opinion and analysis writing. Since 2016, he has served in a variety of senior communications positions with different ministries of the Government of Ontario.

Lee-Anne Goodman is a veteran journalist and communications specialist who has worked in Washington, D.C., Ottawa and Toronto covering everything from the political ascent of Barack Obama during her years as White House correspondent to the fatal 2014 shooting on Canada’s Parliament Hill. She’s the senior director of content for Provident Communications Inc. and also works editing politics and business copy for the Conversation Canada.

Rod Mickleburgh was a journalist for more than 40 years, 23 of them at the Globe and Mail. He was co-winner of the Michener Award for coverage of Canada’s tainted blood scandal, and the Globe’s Beijing bureau chief during the 1990s. Since leaving the Globe, Rod has freelanced, blogged and found time to write On the Line, a book about B.C. labour history, which won the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness.

 

Sports Photo

Julie Matus is a photographer, photo editor and photo director with a career spanning more than 25 years working alongside award-winning photographers and journalists, She has worked at the London Free Press, the Canadian Press, Weekly Scoop, GTA Today, Metro Toronto, Torstar’s New Ventures and was photo director of Zoomer magazine for more than seven years. She is a graduate of Ryerson University.

Jon Murray spent 35 years in news photography working for the Vancouver Province, the Canadian Press, the Vancouver Sun, the Edmonton Journal, United Press Canada and many international newspapers and magazines. He won several awards for news, feature and sports photography through the years.

Hugh Wesley, a graduate of the Sheridan College photography program, started at the Etobicoke Advertiser/Guardian in 1971. In 1973 he began a 28-year career at the Toronto Sun as a two-way reporter, then a photographer and finally an eight-year stint as director of photography. In 2002, he co-founded Comfort Life magazine, and has freelanced for numerous Canadian dailies and magazines. For 32 years, he has served on the advisory board for Loyalist College’s Photojournalism program.