Judges for 2017 (awarded May 4, 2018)

Arts and Entertainment

Rick Boychuk is the former editor of Canadian Geographic magazine. Under his leadership, Canadian Geographic was named magazine of the year by the National Magazine Awards Foundation (2001) and magazine of the year three times by the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors. Currently a speechwriter at the Bank of Canada, he has also worked as a newspaper reporter, and is the author of two books of non-fiction.

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.

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.

Beat Reporting

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 and CBC Newsworld, now CBC News Network. He has been teaching journalism at Ryerson University since 1987.

Anne McNeilly is an associate professor at Ryerson University after more than 25 years as a working journalist, including 18 years at the Globe and Mail and eight years as a reporter for the Ottawa Citizen and the Kitchener-Waterloo Record. She won six provincial newspaper awards for beat reporting, feature writing, column writing and spot news.

Nancy Wood has been a journalist for 33 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.

Breaking News

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.

Jean Roy worked for 15 years at La Presse Canadienne, including five years as vice-president of French services. He spent give years at TC Transcontinental Media where he was editor-in-chief at Les Affaires, assistant publisher at Metro and director of operations for the Quebec-Ontario newspapers group. He also spent eight years at Le Journal de Montreal as managing editor and assistant sports director.

Leslie Shepherd has been 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 is manager, media strategy, at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.


Christian Bellavance is a former journalist with more than 35 years’ experience in newspapers (La Tribune, Le Devoir), magazines, radio and television. He worked as a reporter and in management at Radio-Canada. Christian was also part of the management team of Financial Executive International Canada as vice-president, Research and Communications. He does consulting work in communications and is writing the biography of Bernard Lemaire, founder of Cascades Inc.

Suanne Kelman taught at Ryerson’s School of Journalism, where she served as director of broadcast, associate chair and interim chair. She worked previously at CBC in both radio and television, and at the Globe and Mail.

Bill Turpin worked as a reporter and editor in Montreal and Halifax for 25 years. For 16 of them, he was the managing editor and then editor-in-chief at the Halifax Daily News, which won many regional awards and the Michener Award for public service in journalism during his tenure. He is currently working on his second novel.


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.

Sophie Gaulin was born in France. After post-secondary studies in Canadian history, she moved to Winnipeg in 2003 to teach at the University of Manitoba. In 2007, she started to work for the French language newspaper La Liberté where, in 2009, she became editor-in-chief.

Karine Fortin is a senior advisor at Octane Public Affairs in Ottawa. Before joining the firm last year, she held senior management positions with the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition and the New Democratic Party of Canada. Karine worked previously 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.

Editorial Cartooning

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.

Jonna Brewer has been with CBC since 1988, starting as an editorial assistant in the national radio newsroom in Toronto, followed by a couple of decades reporting in the field. She is currently host of Information Morning in Moncton, N.B. Her heart is in radio but she has a passion for storytelling in all platforms.

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.


Satya Brata Das is a community volunteer, author and policy guru. He spent the last quarter of the 20th century as a journalist with Southam and CanWest, capping his career as an editorialist and foreign correspondent.

Peter Stockland is the publisher of Convivium magazine. He is a former editor-in-chief of the Montreal Gazette, editorial page editor and columnist for the Calgary Herald, and editor of the Calgary Sun. His opinion columns and reporting have appeared in newspapers across Canada.

Linda Williamson worked as a reporter, city editor, columnist, editorialist and editorial page editor in Winnipeg, Ottawa and Toronto for more than 20 years, garnering NNA nominations for Special Project and Editorials, before moving to the not-so-dark side of public sector communications. She has been director of communications for the Ombudsman of Ontario since 2006. She loves dogs, food, running and a well-crafted argument.

Explanatory Work

Gene Allen had an extensive and varied career as a television news and documentary producer (CBC) and a newspaper editor and reporter (Globe and Mail) before joining the journalism faculty at Ryerson University in 2001. He is the author of Making National News: A History of Canadian Press (2013), and is currently completing a biography of Kent Cooper, general manager and executive director of the Associated Press news agency from 1925 to 1951.

Roland-Yves Carignan was managing editor at Montréal’s Le Devoir, where he worked for more than 10 years. He also worked as assistant managing editor for visuals at the National Post, Libération (Paris) and the Montreal Gazette. He is now doing consulting work in multimedia communication, teaching at university and college levels, and pursuing a master’s degree in social media journalism.

Catherine McKercher, a former newspaper and news agency journalist, is professor emeritus at the Carleton University school of journalism and communication. She is the author, co-author or co-editor of several books, including a history of newspaper unions in the digital age and a textbook for Canadian journalism students.

Feature Photo

Barry Gray, a graduate of Ryerson’s journalism program, began his career at the Toronto Telegram and has worked as a photographer and assistant photo editor at the Toronto Sun, photo editor of the Montreal Gazette and photo editor for Canwest and Postmedia News services.

Shane Kelley is a freelance photographer in the Vancouver area. Her 25-year career as a photojournalist included work for the Toronto Sun, the Toronto Star and the Montreal Gazette. She also wrote and photographed a weekly Style column for the Gazette for 15 years, and has been published in Time, People, Newsweek, Variety, the New York Times, Hollywood Reporter, Town & Country and other publications.

Brian Kerrigan worked as a photo editor and photographer for almost three decades. He returned to Canada last year after nine years in Abu Dhabi, where he helped launch and served as head of photography and multimedia at The National, an English language daily newspaper. Brian worked previously at the Globe and Mail, National Post, the Canadian Press and other news organizations. Based in Halifax, he now does media and communications consulting.


Sabrina Fabian is a network reporter for RDI, Radio-Canada’s 24-hour television news network. She is based in Halifax and covers issues in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and the broader Maritime region. She has previously worked in broadcast and print in Alberta.

Graham Fox is President and CEO of the Institute for Research on Public Policy, an independent, non-partisan think tank headquartered in Montreal. He is a former chief of staff to the Rt. Hon. Joe Clark, and advisor to members of Parliament. A policy entrepreneur, Graham holds a degree in history from Queen’s University and a master’s degree in political science from the London School of Economics.

Beth Gorham is manager of public affairs at Carleton University after a long journalism career, much of it at the Canadian Press, where she served as Ottawa bureau chief and Washington correspondent. She won a National Newspaper Award in 1993 for stories on the Innu suicide crisis in Davis Inlet, NL.


Joyce Smith is an associate professor at Ryerson’s School of Journalism, where she has taught a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses. In addition to studying the representation of religion in mainstream media, she continues to examine the evolution of journalism in a digital age. She has been a core member of the International Society for Media, Religion and Culture, and worked previously at the globeandmail.com and the Toronto Star.

Fred Vallance-Jones is an award-winning journalist and author who has taught journalism at King’s College since 2007. He had a 23-year career with CBC and Hamilton Spectator. One of Canada’s leading authorities on freedom of information and a specialist in data journalism, Fred leads the News Media Canada Freedom of Information Audit, which annually tests the performance of government bureaucracies in responding to open records requests.

Christopher Waddell is a professor and former director of the school of journalism and communication at Carleton University in Ottawa. He joined Carleton in 2001 after 10 years at CBC TV, where he was senior program producer for The National and the network’s parliamentary bureau chief in Ottawa. Christopher has also worked at the Globe and Mail as a reporter, Ottawa bureau chief, associate editor and national editor. He won two National Newspaper Awards for business reporting.

Local Reporting

Thomas Ledwell spent 12 years as a journalist, editor and columnist with CBC, BBC and the Montreal Gazette. He is currently director, alumni communities at McGill University in Montreal, building connections with the school’s graduates around the world.

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.

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.

Long Feature

Janet Bagnall, a two-time NNA nominee, worked 35 years at the Montreal Gazette as a reporter, lifestyle editor, editorial writer and columnist, with emphasis on children’s and women’s rights. She won the YWCA-Montreal Women of Distinction (Journalism) award in 2008.

Athana Mentzelopoulos works for the Canadian Credit Union Association as vice-president of government relations. Before that she worked in government at both the federal and provincial levels, including Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment Canada and Health Canada.

Rob Russo is now in his fourth decade as an editor, reporter, foreign correspondent, broadcast babbler and bureau chief. That makes him old. But he’s confused, too. After almost 30 years at the Canadian Press, he wanted to scare himself one last time. So he went to work for the CBC, where he is the Ottawa bureau chief.

News Photo

Glenn Baglo joined the Vancouver Sun photo department in 1970 and worked as a photographer, assistant graphics editor and design editor for 42 years. He won two National Newspaper Awards for feature photography.

Peter Bregg has travelled to more than 80 countries capturing compelling stories with his camera. He worked as chief photographer at Maclean’s for 17 years and has also worked as a photographer and editor with the Canadian Press in Ottawa, the Associated Press in London, New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., and as official photographer to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in 1984-85. Peter has won numerous awards including a World Press Photo Award and a National Newspaper Award.

Gary Hershorn is photo editor for Fox News Channel in New York. He began his career with United Press Canada in 1979 in Toronto, and was with Reuters from 1985 to 2014. He worked as chief photographer for Canada as well as a senior photographer in Washington, D.C., picture editor-Americas, and global sports pictures editor.

Photo Portfolio/Essay

Gordon Beck spent five decades as a photojournalist, working along the way at the Montreal Star, Edmonton Journal, Hamilton Spectator, Edmonton Sun and Montreal Gazette. Gordon also worked in London for the Sunday Observer and the Daily Sketch, and as staff photographer at Expo 67 and the 1976 Summer Olympics.

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.

Kevin Udahl has worked as a news photographer in Western Canada for more than 20 years, starting in the weekly newspaper market and then working his way to a staff position at the Calgary Sun. In 2007, after nearly a decade at the Sun, he joined the teaching staff at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology’s journalism program, where he is now a senior photojournalism instructor.


Claude Beauregard is strategic advisor, public relations, at Desjardins Group. He worked previously as editor of Les Affaires, vice-president of French services for La Presse Canadienne, director of special projects for Transcontinental and managing editor at Le Devoir.

Solveig Miller has worked as a journalist with Radio-Canada for 30 years, currently based in Montreal. She has also worked as a regional reporter in Quebec and a national reporter in Halifax. Miller currently works for Tout le monde en parlait, a program that revisits historical events.

Alison Uncles is the 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 as associate editor of the Toronto Star and managing editor of the National Post.


Anne Kothawala is a public affairs and communications consultant who has more than 20 years of experience in communications and government relations for several industry associations. She is a former president of the Canadian Newspaper Association and has also worked as senior vice-president for the Retail Council of Canada, and vice-president for Hill & Knowlton Strategies in their Toronto office.

Brian MacLeod is the editor of the Western Producer, the largest newspaper in Canada serving the agricultural industry. He has worked at seven different newspapers and was nominated three times for editorial, opinion and analysis writing at the Ontario Newspaper Awards, winning in 2014.

Catherine Pike spent 28 years in the newsroom of the Toronto Star as a designer and editorial art director. A previous NNA winner and nominee in Presentation, she is currently co-ordinator of the advertising and graphic design program at Humber College, Lakeshore Campus.

Project of the Year

Jack Aubry worked as a reporter at the Ottawa Citizen for 27 years, 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 is currently director of consultations and media relations for Finance Canada.

Stephen Bindman is special advisor on wrongful convictions at the federal Justice Department. Between 2012 and 2014, he served as special advisor to the Commissioner of an inquiry that investigated the collapse of a mall in Northern Ontario. He worked previously as national legal affairs correspondent for Southam News, based in Ottawa.

Shannon Miller was a journalist for two decades, working in small, medium and large daily newsrooms in British Columbia. She held roles as managing editor/senior news editor, city editor, assignment editor, letters editor and copy editor at the Vancouver Province. Shannon is now client communications manager for Detail Communications Ltd.

Short Feature

Jennifer Lanthier is the director of U of T News, an online news service produced by reporters and editors at the University of Toronto. 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.

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 in 2013, Rod has kept busy freelancing, blogging and writing a book on B.C. labour history.

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 teaches English to refugee women and helps run a lunch-and-learn program at a school for teenage mothers.


Michael Benedict was an editor for two decades at Maclean’s, where he was also responsible for the copy editing and research (fact-checking) departments, when people cared about those things. Earlier, he worked as a parliamentary reporter for the Toronto Star and CTV News. He cut his teeth at the St. John’s Evening Telegram.

Normand Grondin has been a journalist for more than 30 years, first in newspapers and magazines, then in television. He has worked for CBC since 1998, producing reports about consumer issues, science and general news. He has won several awards in Quebec, Canada and abroad.

Shaun Poulter was a television journalist for 12 years, including stints with CTV’s CJOH and on Parliament Hill with ISN. He is currently executive director of public affairs at CBC/Radio-Canada.

Sports 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.

Alain-Pierre Hovasse began his journalism career as a photographer and photo editor with Reuters Europe in 1986. He has worked for AFP, the Associated Press, the National Post, La Presse, and was director of photography for QMI and the Sun newspaper chain.

Hugh Wesley was a photojournalist at the Toronto Sun for 28 years, the final eight as photo director. In 2002, he co-founded Comfort Life magazine. For the past 30 years, Hugh has served on the advisory board of the Loyalist College photojournalism program. He continues to work as a freelancer photographer.