Judges for 2020 (announced May 7, 2021)

Arts and Entertainment

Simona Chiose is a veteran journalist and public-affairs professional who works in government relations for the University of Toronto and teaches political science at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Most recently, she was the Globe and Mail’s postsecondary reporter, leading investigative and data projects focused on colleges and universities. She has worked as a beat reporter, editor, national news editor, television producer and author.

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 has spent the past 10 years in health-care communications, currently as director of earned and social media for the Ontario Medical Association.

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. She also worked at the London Free Press, where she won five Ontario Newspaper Awards, and was a professional member of the Ontario Press Council.

 

E. Cora Hind Award for Beat Reporting

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.

Carrie Buchanan, a longtime journalist in Montreal and Ottawa, primarily at the Ottawa Citizen, covered local and national issues including municipal politics, Indigenous affairs, public health and the environment. She earned her doctorate in 2010 at Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication, and is now a professor in the Tim Russert Department of Communication at John Carroll University, a Jesuit liberal arts college in Cleveland.

Satya Brata Das was a barrier-breaking Canadian journalist in the last quarter of the 20th century: the first person of colour in the Alberta legislature press gallery and later an editorialist, columnist, and foreign correspondent with the Edmonton Journal. His 21st-century writing career includes his book Us (usthebook.ca), summoning Gandhi’s teachings to address our challenges in a post-COVID world.

 

Breaking News

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.

Graeme Smith reported for the Globe and Mail from 2001 to 2012, winning several awards including a Michener and an Emmy. His bestselling book about Afghanistan won the Weston prize for non-fiction. Smith now works as a consultant on the Afghan peace process in Doha. He presented and co-wrote a documentary, Ghosts of Afghanistan, that will be broadcast this year in English, French and German.

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.

 

Breaking News Photo

Ken Faught worked as a photojournalist at the Toronto Star. After winning a National Newspaper Award and a Michener Award for his work, he managed the Star’s photography department and created the paper’s award-winning multimedia group before retiring in 2010.

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.

Chris Schwarz has worked as a news photographer in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Ottawa, including stints as associate photo editor at MacLean’s and senior staff photographer at the Edmonton Journal. He now works as a staff photographer with the Government of Alberta.

 

Business

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 three books since his retirement, including a bestseller, and continues to teach journalism at Ryerson University, which he’s done since 1987.

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.

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.

 

Columns

Fabrice de Dongo is a bilingual communications leader with significant experience across financial and professional services as well as in government. He currently leads media relations for the National Police Federation, a recently constituted labour union representing approximately 20,000 frontline RCMP members across Canada and internationally.

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.

Ruth Zowdu is senior managing director of eight local CBC stations Ontario: Toronto, Ottawa, Windsor and five smaller markets across the province. She has been with CBC for more than 30 years, most recently as managing editor at CBC Ottawa, where she led the multi-platform newsroom to win awards for investigative journalism, digital storytelling and podcasting.

 

Editorial Cartooning

Natalie Clancy is director of communications at Unifor, Canada’s largest media union. Before that, she spent 25 years reporting for CBC News in Halifax, Calgary, St. John’s and Vancouver. Her investigative reporting has won four CAJ awards, three Webster Awards, four Atlantic Journalism Awards, several RTDNA awards, a digital publishing award and a Canadian Screen Award.

Sophie Gaulin has been executive director and editor-in-chief of La Liberté since 2009. Born in France, she studied Canadian civilization at the University of Bordeaux, where she developed a keen interest in Canada. She taught English in school and business settings for eight years. In 2006, she settled permanently in Winnipeg.

Christopher Neal has been a reporter and feature writer at the Montreal Gazette and the Ottawa Citizen, a freelance correspondent in Latin America, and a senior communications manager at Global Affairs Canada and the World Bank Group. He lives in Montreal.

 

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.

Carole Graveline is director of community engagement and partnerships at McGill University. Before that she was a reporter for Radio-Canada for many years, breaking exclusive stories on contaminated blood in Canada as well as conditions in a mental-health hospital that brought national inquiries. She is author of a history of AIDS in Quebec and a past winner of an award from the Michener Foundation for reporting in the public interest.

Linda Williamson worked as a reporter, city editor, columnist and editorial page editor in Winnipeg, Ottawa and Toronto for more than 20 years, gathering NNA nominations for special projects and editorial writing. She has been director of communications for the Ombudsman of Ontario since 2006.

 

Explanatory Work

Michael Cooke is chair of Journalists for Human Rights. He has spent 50 years in newspapers, beginning as a teenage reporter on a weekly in the United Kingdom and much later as editor-in-chief of the Chicago Sun-Times, the New York Daily News and the Toronto Star.

Suanne Kelman is a professor emeritus of 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.

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 journalist with CBC Montreal, and as a radio producer with the Cree Media Unit at CBC North.

 

Feature Photo

Phil Carpenter is a photojournalist and videojournalist in Montreal. After working for more than 20 years as a newspaper photojournalist, 13 of those at the Montreal Gazette, he is now often on the other side of the camera, shooting his own stories as a reporter at Global News. He also teaches photography and provides consulting services in photography and visual storytelling.

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.

At 18, Peter Martin became a staff photographer at the Oakville Journal Record. He went on to the Edmonton Sun and Montreal Gazette, accumulating more than 10,000 assignments over 40 years. He’s worked in more than 30 countries, covering events from Formula One racing to the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 2008, his NNA-winning photograph of Terry Fox was voted No. 4 in the Top Ten Historical Photos That Changed Canada.

 

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.

Tim McKenna has worked as a photographer and photo editor at five Canadian newspapers during a 40-year career. He is a past NNA winner for Spot News Photo and co-recipient of a citation of merit to the Globe and Mail’s visual journalism team in the Presentation category. He is currently an aspiring street photographer.

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

Stephen Bindman is a visiting fellow at the Faculty of Law (Common Law Section) of the University of Ottawa and a senior advisor at the Department of Justice. He teaches courses on wrongful convictions and the Supreme Court of Canada. He worked previously as national legal affairs correspondent for Southam News, based in Ottawa, and is a former president of the Canadian Association of Journalists and a former member of the NNA Board of Governors.

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.

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 is a former vice-president of the Alberta Magazine Publishers’ 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.

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.

Mutsumi Takahashi is chief news anchor of CTV Montreal News. A graduate of Vanier College and Concordia University, she is Honorary Chair of Concordia University’s campaign to raise $250 million. She has been honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the RTDNA, received a member statement in the Quebec National Assembly and was named to the Order of Canada in 2018.

 

Local Reporting

Solveig Miller retired from Radio-Canada (TV) after 35 years. She worked as a national reporter/anchor in Montreal, national correspondent for Eastern Canada based in Halifax, journalist for current-affairs programs Enjeux, Zone Libre and Enquête, and anchor/journalist for Tout le monde en parlait, a program that revisited historical events.

Michelle Richardson is the Director of Communications, Public Affairs and Stakeholder Relations at the Royal Canadian Mint. She is the former editor-in-chief of the Ottawa Citizen and spent more than a decade at the Montreal Gazette, where she held a variety of roles including managing editor and city editor.

David Yates has been 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, an NNA citation of merit and several SABEW awards.

 

William Southam Award for Long Feature

Marina Jimenez works as an issues and media strategist for the University of Toronto. During her 25-year journalism career, she worked at six different newsrooms in three provinces, including stints on the Globe and Mail’s editorial board, as a foreign writer for the National Post and as an on-air reporter for CBC Alberta News. She is the proud recipient of the 2003 National Newspaper Award for Beat Reporting, and was an NNA finalist on three other occasions.

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, including the New York Times, and teaches journalism part-time at Concordia University in Montreal.

Nancy Wood has been a journalist for more than 35 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 copy editor for CBC.ca.

 

John Wesley Dafoe Award for Politics

Esther Enkin was ombudsperson for CBC News for six years. Before that, she held various senior positions in CBC news management. For over 30 years she worked in news and current affairs at CBC Radio and Television. She has written and lectured extensively on journalism ethics, codes of conducts and the role of ombudspersons.

Janice Neil is an associate professor in the Ryerson School of Journalism, teaching students in the bachelor and masters of journalism programs. She served as chair (2016-2021) and associate chair (2014-2016). After joining the faculty in 2007, she also served as editor-in-chief of J-Source.ca. Her journalism career included stints 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.

Paul Wells is a senior writer at Maclean’s magazine. For 25 years he has been a reporter and columnist in Ottawa, where he has covered seven federal elections and four prime ministers. Wells has also filed on politics, war and major events from 20 countries. He is the author of two best-selling books and a frequent commentator on television and radio.

 

Presentation/Design

Jason A. Chiu is the former deputy head of visuals at the Globe and Mail, where he led photo, design, graphics, interactive, video and magazine teams. He was at the Globe for a decade as an Art Director, UX lead and creative on some of the Globe’s most ambitious editorial and product endeavours. His work has been recognized in many design competitions. He is a four-time finalist and three-time winner of a National Newspaper Award.

Janet Matiisen is the former design editor at the Calgary Herald, where she worked for almost 25 years and won several design awards on her own and with her team. Currently, she teaches journalism at SAIT and looks for fun design projects.

Catherine Pike spent 28 years at the Toronto Star as a designer and editorial art director. A previous NNA winner and finalist in Presentation, she has taught for the past 10 years in the Advertising and Graphic Design program, Faculty of Media and Creative Arts at Humber College in Toronto.

 

Project of the Year

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.

Valérie Dufour is a senior manager, strategic communications, at the National Capital Commission in Ottawa. From 2011 to 2020, she worked at the Canadian Association of University Teachers and for the parliamentary communications team of the New Democratic Party. Before that, she was a political and investigative reporter in Montréal from 1999 to 2011. During her journalistic career, she worked at La Presse, La Voix de l’Est, Le Devoir, Le Journal de Montréal and RueFrontenac.ca

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.

 

Bob Levin Award for Short Feature

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.

Loreen Pindera recently retired from CBC News after 36 years as a reporter and editor. She is the recipient of many awards, including more than a dozen RTDNA awards for radio and digital journalism, and she was short-listed for a National Magazine Award for feature writing in 1991. She is the co-author, with Geoffrey York, of People of the Pines: The Warriors and the Legacy of Oka. An avid triathlete, she writes about her sport for Triathlon Magazine Canada.

Christopher Waddell is a professor emeritus 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.

 

Sports

Adrian Harewood has been the co-anchor of CBC Ottawa News at Six for 12 years, and has received a Canadian Screen Award. He was previously host of the CBC Ottawa drive-home show All in a Day and the programs The Actors, Literati and The Directors as seen on BRAVO and PBS. He’s an adjunct professor of Journalism at Carleton University.

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.

Shannon Miller has been a journalist for two decades, working in small, medium and large daily newsrooms in British Columbia. She held every newsroom role imaginable (and some unimaginable) including managing editor, senior news editor and assignment editor at the Vancouver Province. Miller currently manages media relations for the B.C. Ambulance Service.

 

Sports Photo

Patti Gower has been teaching in the photojournalism program at Loyalist College for the past 14 years. Before working in education, she was a staff photographer with the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail from 1989 to 2003. During that time, she was awarded a National Newspaper Award for Feature Photo in 1994, and the Atkinson Fellowship in 2001.

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 ten books.

Hugh Wesley, a graduate of the Sheridan College photography program, started at the Etobicoke Advertiser/Guardian in 1971 as staff photographer. 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. He co-founded Comfort Life magazine in 2002, and has freelanced for numerous Canadian dailies and magazines. For 33 years, he has served on the advisory board for Loyalist College’s photojournalism program.

 

Sustained News Coverage

Gabrielle Giroday is the media relations lead and editor of U of T Med Magazine at the University of Toronto’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine. She reported for the Winnipeg Free Press and served as editor of Law Times at Thomson Reuters in Toronto before joining U of T in 2019.

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, and is working on her golf and curling games.

Fred Vallance-Jones is associate professor 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.