Améli Pineda and Magdaline Boutros of Le Devoir named journalists of the year in 2021 National Newspaper Awards; 17 journalists are first-time winners

TORONTO, May 6, 2022 – Améli Pineda and Magdaline Boutros of Le Devoir were named journalists of the year as the 2021 National Newspaper Awards were announced, marking the first time the award has gone to more than one journalist.

Pineda and Boutros, who won the Beat Reporting category, were among 15 category winners considered for recognition as Journalist of the Year. Only individual winners and two-person teams are eligible for the honour. The seven previous Journalists of the Year were individual entrants.

In addition to teaming up with Pineda in Beat Reporting, Boutros was also a finalist in International Reporting and (with colleague Ulysse Bergeron) in Sustained News Coverage.

Pineda and Boutros won for in-depth coverage of domestic violence in Quebec. The three Journalist of the Year judges said their work on feminicide and its ramifications, especially for children left behind, reminded us that to live free from fear is an unfulfilled promise for many. They called it an eloquent demonstration of journalism’s ability to bring truth to those who hold the power to change society for the better.

Pineda and Boutros are both first-time winners. A total of 17 journalists won an NNA for the first time.

Among the first-time winners, Evan Buhler of RMO Today won twice: in Feature Photo and in Local Reporting, where he was part of a team with Tanya Foubert and Greg Colgan.

RMO Today, based in Canmore, Alta., was one of two organizations to have journalists honoured for the first time. Tori Marlan’s win in the Long Feature category was a first for Capital Daily, a news outlet in Victoria.

Karyn Pugliese won her first National Newspaper Award, and just the second for the National Observer, in the Columns category for gut-wrenching columns about Canada’s residential school scandal.

Marcus Gee of the Globe and Mail was the only other double winner, taking home top honours in Short Feature and Sustained News Coverage, a team effort with colleagues Andrea Woo and Ian Brown. It was the sixth NNA for Gee, the fifth for Brown and the second for Woo.

The Globe and Mail’s Grant Robertson won for the eighth time, equalling Serge Chapleau, Jacquie McNish and Stephanie Nolen for the most wins all-time. Robertson was selected in the Sports category for his joint submission with first-time winner Rachel Brady.

Bruce MacKinnon of the Halifax Chronicle Herald (Editorial Cartooning) and Mark MacKinnon of the Globe and Mail (International Reporting) each won for seventh time.

The Globe and Mail led all organizations with 10 wins among the 22 categories. The Halifax Chronicle Herald, RMO Today and the Toronto Star each had two. The Canadian Press, Capital Daily, Le Devoir, the London Free Press, the National Observer and La Presse each had one win.

There were 66 finalists from 22 news organizations in 22 categories. Finalists and winners were selected by three-judge panels in each category from 869 entries submitted for work published for the first time in 2021.

This is the 73rd year for the awards program, and the 33rd under the current administrative structure. The awards were established by the Toronto Press Club in 1949 to encourage excellence and reward achievement in daily newspaper work in Canada. The competition is now open to newspapers, news agencies and online news sites approved for entry by the NNA Board of Governors.

 

A complete list of winners and finalists:

Arts and Entertainment

Winner: Kate Taylor, Globe and Mail, for a portfolio of work including analysis of the rise of non-fungible tokens, a forensic investigation into Nazi-looted art, and a deep dive into the morality of keeping human remains at museums

Finalists: Hugo Dumas, La Presse, for a two-part story on a reclusive screenwriter who carefully choreographed his own death years earlier; Jen Zoratti, Winnipeg Free Press, for a profile of a third-generation Inuit artist

 

E. Cora Hind Award for Beat Reporting

Winners: Améli Pineda and Magdaline Boutros, Le Devoir, for illuminating work on conjugal violence in Quebec

Finalists: Sharon Kirkey, National Post, for reporting on health, including COVID-19; Stefan Labbé, Glacier Media, for coverage of the environment and climate change

 

Breaking News

Winner: The London Free Press for in-depth reporting and hard-hitting commentary after a man drove his vehicle into an immigrant family out for a summer evening stroll, allegedly targeting them intentionally because of their Muslim faith

Finalists: The Globe and Mail for coverage of a deadly heatwave in British Columbia that provided intense details about the devastation and important context about the role climate change played in it; Malak Abas, Dean Pritchard and Paul Samyn, Winnipeg Free Press, for aggressive reporting about an incident in which a nurse was stabbed inside a hospital before a doctor prevented further carnage by launching himself into the attacker

 

Breaking News Photo

Winner: Tim Krochak, Halifax Chronicle Herald, for a photo of a police chase in a weed-infested lake

Finalists: Barry Gray, Hamilton Spectator, for an image of protesters toppling a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald; Chris Young, Canadian Press, for a picture of a confrontation between police and protesters at a homeless encampment

 

Business

Winners: Greg McArthur, Tim Kiladze, Joe Castaldo and Wendy Stueck, Globe and Mail, for an investigation into Bridging Finance and one of the largest investment scandals in Canadian history

Finalists: Christine Dobby, Richard Warnica, Jacob Lorinc and Doug Smith, Toronto Star, for coverage of the Rogers family and corporate feud; Vanmala Subramaniam, Clare O’Hara, James Bradshaw and Jaren Kerr, Globe and Mail, for revealing little progress from companies that had pledged to diversify their workforces and combat systemic racism

 

Mary Ann Shadd Cary Award for Columns (portfolio)

Winner: Karyn Pugliese, National Observer

Finalists: Andrew Coyne, Globe and Mail; Isabelle Hachey, La Presse

 

Editorial Cartooning (portfolio)

Winner: Bruce MacKinnon, Halifax Chronicle Herald

Finalists: Michael de Adder, Halifax Chronicle Herald/Toronto Star; Graeme MacKay, Hamilton Spectator

 

Claude Ryan Award for Editorial Writing (portfolio)

Winner: David Ebner, Globe and Mail

Finalists: Stéphanie Grammond, La Presse; John Roe, Waterloo Region Record

 

Explanatory Work

Winner: Tu Thanh Ha, Globe and Mail, for succinctly explaining Canada’s high rate of deaths in long-term care, and the impact on thousands of distressed families

Finalists: Kevin Donovan and Kelsey Wilson, Toronto Star, for an in-depth look at car theft; Marie-Claude Malboeuf, La Presse, for reporting on an invasive form of pornography made possible by miniature cameras hidden in bathrooms

 

Feature Photo

Winner: Evan Buhler, RMO Today, for his underwater photo of a free diver submerged in an icy lake

Finalists: Bernard Brault, Globe and Mail, for an image of a performance artist moving sand from one pile to another; Jason Franson, Canadian Press, for a picture of a man cooling off in Edmonton as temperatures climbed to 37 degrees

 

General News Photo

Winner: Nathan Denette, Canadian Press, for a photograph of a COVID patient fighting for his life as a doctor provides urgent care

Finalists: Frank Gunn, Canadian Press, for capturing Michael Kovrig’s emotional reunion with his wife after three years in detention in China; Martin Tremblay, La Presse, for a striking illustration of historic flooding in Abbotsford, B.C.

 

Norman Webster Award for International Reporting

Winner: Mark MacKinnon, Globe and Mail, for stories about the humanitarian disaster that unfolded in Afghanistan after the Taliban swept to power

Finalists: Magdaline Boutros, Le Devoir, for reports exploring the impact of 9/11 and the ensuing strife in Afghanistan on its neighbouring country, Pakistan; Nathan VanderKlippe, Globe and Mail, for reporting on migration through the U.S./Mexico border, including a trek through the dangerous and lawless Darien Gap

 

George Brown Award for Investigations

Winners: Tavia Grant, Tom Cardoso and David Milstead, Globe and Mail, for an investigation into the financial health of the Catholic Church following its failure to live up to an agreement to pay residential school survivors $25 million

Finalists: Kevin Donovan, Toronto Star, for a five-part series on the death of a toddler, which led police to re-open the cold case and charge the child’s babysitter with manslaughter; Ryan Thorpe, Winnipeg Free Press, for an eight-part series on Stony Mountain Institution, where inmates were dying with disturbing regularity and inquests rarely called

 

Local Reporting

Winners: Tanya Foubert, Evan Buhler and Greg Colgan of RMO Today, for an examination of the circumstances and aftermath of accidental deaths of skiers and climbers caught in avalanches during guided trips into the Rocky Mountains

Finalists: Andrew Rankin, Halifax Chronicle Herald, for revealing a long-hidden pattern of abuse by a respected public figure; Zak Vescera, Matt Smith, Dave Breakenridge and Thia James, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, for a series exploring Saskatchewan’s overdose crisis and the systems of inequality that drive it

 

William Southam Award for Long Feature

Winner: Tori Marlan, Capital Daily, for a gripping tale about a fugitive from U.S. justice who managed to take control of a hotel that is both a local treasure and an internationally renowned destination

Finalists: Joe Castaldo, Globe and Mail, for a feature on MindGeek, one of the world’s largest and most secretive pornography companies; Ryan Thorpe, Winnipeg Free Press, for “Promise after the Plague,” a chronicle of the first year of COVID-19

 

John Wesley Dafoe Award for Politics

Winner: Althia Raj, Toronto Star, for columns about federal politics, including an account of how the Liberals’ sputtering campaign got its mojo back

Finalists: Patrick Brethour, Tom Cardoso, David Milstead and Vanmala Subramaniam, Globe and Mail, for a data-driven analysis of the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy and problems with where the money went; Noor Javed, Steve Buist, Sheila Wang and Emma McIntosh, Torstar/National Observer, for exposing the Ontario government’s ties to developers, its fast-tracking of developments, and the resurrection of a controversial proposed freeway

 

Presentation/Design

Winners: Nathan Pilla, Kelsey Wilson and Tania Pereira, Toronto Star, for a dynamic presentation, including 3D modelling, about a devastating blaze that changed the way Toronto fights high-rise building fires

Finalists: Jeremy Agius, Globe and Mail, for bringing a data-driven story about Calgary’s high commercial vacancy rate to life through infographics, photo illustrations, line drawings and aerial footage; Judith Lachapelle, La Presse, for creating a virtual comic book to explain why culling deer was the “least worst” of solutions considered by biologists for a park in Longueuil, Que.

 

John Honderich Award for Project of the Year

Winner: La Presse, for comprehensive reporting on an unprecedented number of firearm-related incidents in Quebec

Finalists: The Globe and Mail for a community-focused project to understand why northeast Brampton, home to thousands of racialized essential workers, consistently registered Ontario’s highest per-capita rate of COVID-19 cases; the Toronto Star for “What COVID Reveals,” a series that explored the extra burden the pandemic placed on women, mothers, essential workers, migrants and the homeless

 

Bob Levin Award for Short Feature

Winner: Marcus Gee, Globe and Mail, for a poignant piece on the “garden of the unforgotten,” a handmade memorial for marginalized people who died of overdoses

Finalists: Mike Hager, Globe and Mail, for a story about a man who cleaned up the mess made by 10,000 crows who roosted overnight at an office park; John Mackie, Vancouver Sun/Province, for a story about the surprisingly collegial relationship between two political adversaries, who are both quadriplegic

 

Sports

Winners: Grant Robertson and Rachel Brady, Globe and Mail, for an investigation into eating disorders and a sometimes-toxic culture in competitive amateur sports 

Finalists: Joe Callaghan, Toronto Star, for features about basketballer Kyle Lowry, swimmer Maggie Mac Neil and legendary boxer Muhammad Ali; Alexandre Pratt, La Presse, for columns on soccer, high school football and NHL player Jonathan Drouin

 

Sports Photo

Winner: Melissa Tait, Globe and Mail, for capturing the joyful reaction of Canada’s women’s soccer team at the moment they won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics

Finalists: Bernard Brault, La Presse, for a photograph of jubilation after the Canadian women’s soccer team won gold; Melissa Tait, Globe and Mail, for an artistic image of sprinter Andre De Grasse racing at the Olympics

 

Sustained News Coverage

Winners: Andrea Woo, Marcus Gee and Ian Brown, Globe and Mail, for reporting on the opioid epidemic and, in particular, profiles of 100 souls lost to addiction

Finalists: Magdaline Boutros and Ulysse Bergeron, Le Devoir, for coverage of child abuse perpetrated within the Catholic Church in Quebec, and its efforts to avoid paying compensation to victims; Kevin Donovan, Toronto Star, for his unrelenting investigation and exclusive stories about the killings of billionaires Barry and Honey Sherman

 

For more information, contact:

Paul Woods
Executive Director
National Newspaper Awards
exec@nna-ccj.ca
905-719-8675