Judges for 2021 (announced May 6, 2022)

Arts and Entertainment

Sahar Fatima is the Digital Editor for the Boston Globe’s Metro section. Sahar was previously a reporter and a digital producer at the Toronto Star, where she worked to amplify voices from under-represented communities. She has also reported for the Globe and Mail.

Thomas Ledwell is a Montreal-based strategy consultant, working with a range of organizations on strategic planning, communications, and public affairs issues. He spent 12 years as a journalist, editor, producer, and columnist with CBC, BBC and the Montreal Gazette.

Alison Uncles was most recently Editor-in-Chief of Maclean’s. 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.

E. Cora Hind Award for Beat Reporting

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.

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 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.

Aphrodite Salas has worked as a national correspondent for CTV, a video journalist and assignment editor at CTV Montreal, and an anchor at several stations across Canada. She is now the Graduate Journalism Diploma Program Director at Concordia University, where her research focuses on journalism education and the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s Call to Action 86: exploring conciliatory and collaborative methods of research-creation with Indigenous communities.

Breaking News

Elysia Bryan-Baynes spent nearly two decades as an anchor, reporter and lineup editor in Montreal. She wrote news and features for globalnews.ca, and covered the ins and outs of Quebec politics at the National Assembly. She now facilitates the Global News Academy’s race and reporting course and is a mentor to diverse reporters through a program offered by the Canadian Association of Black Journalists.

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.

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.

Breaking News Photo

Greg Horn is a journalist and photojournalist based out of Kahnawake. A graduate of Concordia University, Greg has been involved in community journalism for nearly 25 years and owns the community weekly Iorì:wase. He is a two-time Quebec Community Newspaper Association photojournalist of the year.

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.

Hugh Wesley is a veteran photojournalist who began his career at the Etobicoke Advertiser/Guardian before spending 28 years at the Toronto Sun as a two-way reporter, photographer and finally director of photography. Hugh co-founded Comfort Life magazine in 2002, and has freelanced for numerous Canadian dailies and magazines. For 34 years, he has served on the advisory board for Loyalist College’s photojournalism program.


Karen Macdonald is the news director/station manager at Global Montreal. A Quebec City anglo, Karen is passionate about the role journalism plays in protecting democracy. She judges the NNAs because it allows her to sample the outstanding quality journalism being produced across Canada day after day. Her claim to fame is being the editor and publisher of North America’s oldest newspaper, the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph, for more than a decade.

Sheila North is the former Grand Chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) and ran for the position of National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations in 2018. She is a member of Bunibonibee Cree Nation (also known as Oxford House). As a journalist, she won an RTDNA award for CBC and is a multiple award nominee for CBC and CTV. Sheila hosts the CBC Winnipeg News Late Night. As a filmmaker, she released 1200+, a film about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls featured on CTV in 2019.

Winston Sih is a freelance multi-platform journalist and television host. He was known as a daily television host for Breakfast Television, digital correspondent for CityNews, and co-ordinating producer, digital, for Citytv. Winston is a journalism and media lecturer at the Creative School at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Mary Ann Shadd Cary Award for Columns

Catherine Boucek is vice-president of content at QuickSeries, a mobile app and content developer for the U.S. government and military. Before that, she spent more than 25 years working in digital media at Southam/Canwest/Postmedia, beginning as an online editor and later heading up national digital editorial projects including the Olympics and federal election websites. She also led content strategy teams across Canada as executive producer of Postmedia Content Works.

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.

Okenge Yuma Morisho has been a public servant for more than 20 years. He has significant experience in public policy development and implementation at the federal and provincial levels, and has held several executive positions in Ottawa and Victoria. He currently serves as deputy minister with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs in British Columbia.

Editorial Cartooning

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

Mike Omelus is a communications professional who oversees programming, scheduling and content creation for APTN. Prior to joining the world’s first national Indigenous broadcaster in 2020, Mike spent seven years as vice president of national news and newsgathering at Global News, where he also served on the senior leadership teams of Shaw Communications and Corus Entertainment. Previously, Mike worked five years as executive producer at CTV’s Business News Network (now BNN Bloomberg) and held several key roles during a 21-year career at the Canadian Press.

Nobina Robinson is a public policy expert, advocate and thought leader in Canadian higher education, innovation and skills policy issues. She has served in the Canadian Foreign Service and led two non-profits: the Canadian Foundation for the Americas and Polytechnics Canada. Between 2018 and 2020, Nobina was Chair of Informed Opinions, which works to ensure that the perspectives and priorities of women are equitably reflected in the news media.

Claude Ryan Award for Editorials

Miro Cernetig has written for some of Canada’s premier newspapers and was awarded the 2001 NNA for foreign reporting. During his time at the Globe and Mail, he served as bureau chief for Alberta and the Arctic, bureau chief and western editor in Vancouver, and later in the Beijing and New York bureaus. He was the Toronto Star’s bureau chief in Montreal and the Vancouver Sun’s western editor in Victoria before becoming a columnist. He has written and/or directed 10 documentaries that have been broadcast on CBC, BBC, National Geographic and other international broadcasters. Miro is also co-founder of CityAge, an international platform that connects thousands of leaders building the future of our cities.

Nancy Knowlton spent 30 years living in Geneva, Switzerland, working in communications and multi-stakeholder engagement. She was an editor and chief of staff at the World Economic Forum. Since her return to Canada, she has been chief of staff at Calgary Economic Development and is actively volunteering with organizations such as Rotary Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Junior Achievement, Alberta Health Services, Calgary Stampede, Meals on Wheels and the Humane Society.

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 decade in health-care communications, currently as director of earned and social media for the Ontario Medical Association.

Explanatory Work

Ingrid Bejerman is a journalist, scholar and cultural manager specializing in cultural reportage, Latin American matters and journalism training. She served as reporter and columnist for O Estado de S. Paulo in Brazil, as program coordinator 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 communication studies, research methods and journalistic theory and practice at Concordia University in Montreal.

Simona Chiose is a seasoned journalist who is now working in public affairs and public policy at the University of Toronto, where she manages external partnerships for the Government Relations Office. She has worked as a senior editor, beat reporter, TV and radio producer, and author. She was the Globe and Mail’s postsecondary reporter, leading investigative and data projects, and formerly was the publication’s education editor and assistant news editor.

Alexander Panetta is a Washington-based correspondent for CBC News who has covered American politics and Canada-U.S. issues since 2013. He previously worked for the Canadian Press and Politico in a career that included postings in Montreal, Quebec City and Ottawa, and on international assignments including in Afghanistan and Haiti.

Feature 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.

David Lee has worked in magazines for 16 years, first as a researcher at Canadian Business and then at Hello! Canada, where he served as assistant and associate photo editor. Working now at the University of Toronto as a photo and video editor, David says the thread that connects different facets of his career is a love of photography and the visual medium.

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.

General News Photo

Ken Faught worked as a photographer at newspapers in Yellowknife and Whitehorse, before getting an opportunity to freelance at the Toronto Star. Within two years he was hired and spent the next 20 years living the dream. He won an NNA and a Michener for his contribution to a special project on spousal abuse. His work took him around the globe before finishing his shooting career with another NNA for sports from the Athens Olympics. Promoted to assistant managing editor, photography, Ken helped transition the team towards multimedia until his retirement.

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.

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.


Norman Webster Award for International Reporting

Karine Fortin is the director of communications at the Canadian Union of Public Employees. Before joining the union in 2018, she was a public affairs consultant and 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.

Danny Glenwright is the president and CEO of Save the Children Canada. A journalist by training, he previously worked as executive director of Journalists for Human Rights and managing editor at Xtra newspaper, The Philanthropist Journal and South Africa’s Gender Links news service. His work has taken him to more than 70 countries, and he has written extensively about gender and LGBTQ issues, media literacy and Canada’s role in international development.

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.

George Brown Award for Investigations

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

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. Prior to 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.

Fred Vallance-Jones is an 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 three journalism textbooks.

Local Reporting

Jason A. Chiu is a Visual Editor at the New York Times, working on the Headway team leading visual storytelling. He was at the Globe and Mail for a decade as deputy head of visuals and led some of the Globe’s most ambitious editorial and product endeavours. His work has been recognized in design competitions worldwide. Jason is a four-time finalist and three-time winner of a National Newspaper Award.

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.

Megan Stewart is a senior television writer at CBC News Vancouver and previously worked as a section editor at a newspaper where she led a months-long feature series that was a finalist for a national award. She won a National Online Journalism Award and has been recognized by her peers for her work as a sportswriter. She has reported from five Olympic Games.

William Southam Award for Long Feature

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 sectors. He has more than a decade’s experience as an award-winning leader in the federal public service and long-time provincial and national political journalist with the Toronto Star.

Heidi Legg is an American-Canadian journalist, a Concordia Graduate Journalism alumna, and a research fellow at Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science on the Future of Media. She has written extensively about the media landscape, including The Fight Against Disinformation in America and Preserving America’s Thought Leader Magazines. Heidi has written for the Boston Globe, Ottawa Citizen, Globe and Mail, CNN, the Atlantic, USA Today and the Press Gazette.

Mutsumi Takahashi is chief news anchor of CTV Montreal News. A graduate of Vanier College and Concordia University, she is Honourary 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.


John Wesley Dafoe Award for Politics

Gillian Burnett worked in journalism for more than two decades as an editor, writer and manager at magazines such as Saturday Night and the Walrus, and newspapers from the Globe and Mail to the Vancouver Sun. She is now a communications professional at WorkSafeBC.

Adrian Harewood has been the anchor of CBC Ottawa News at Six for 13 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 a professor of journalism at Carleton University.

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.


Vibhu VibzGairola is a litigator with a specialty in employment, labour, contract and human rights issues. Prior to entering legal practice, he freelanced for numerous publications including Toronto Life, the Toronto Star, Flare and Reader’s Digest, and he was a senior researcher for Reader’s Digest Canada. He has been a teaching assistant for courses in professional ethics and media law at the School of Journalism at Ryerson University.

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.

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.

John Honderich Award for Project of the Year

Anne Kothawala is a public affairs executive with more than 25 years of experience in communications and government relations. Now president & CEO of the Convenience Industry Council of Canada, she previously worked with the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, the Canadian Newspaper Association and the Retail Council of Canada. A recipient of the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteerism, Anne has volunteered with several organizations including the Daily Bread Food Bank, French for the Future, and ParticipACTION. She currently serves on the Board for the American Chamber of Commerce in Canada.

Katherine Monk is a bestselling author, filmmaker and journalist who started her career as a general assignment reporter at the Vancouver Sun in 1990, and wrapped it up as national movie critic for Postmedia/Canwest News Service in 2015. Author of Weird Sex & Snowshoes – And Other Canadian Film Phenomena, and more recently, Joni: The Creative Odyssey of Joni Mitchell, she has endeavoured to better understand the peculiarities of Canadian culture and celebrate our differences. A long-time contributor to CBC radio, Katherine reviews movies on-air, and scribbles for a website that celebrates the writing of retired writers, ex-press.ca.

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. Her journalism career included roles as a reporter, columnist and editor at the London Free Press, where she won five Ontario Newspaper Awards and served as a professional member of the Ontario Press Council.

Bob Levin Award for Short Feature

Daniel Fontaine is the chief executive officer and deputy minister for Metis Nation British Columbia. He has had an extensive career working in government and the non-profit and private sectors. In 2013, Daniel received a Queen’s jubilee medal for public service. He obtained his political science degree from the University of Manitoba and a media writing and public relations communications certificate from Langara College. Daniel was a civic affairs columnist with 24 Hours Vancouver and the Orca, and a weekly political commentator on the Bill Good Show on CKNW radio.

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.

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. She continues to work as a freelance travel writer.


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.

Irene Caselli is a multimedia reporter and writer with more than 15 years of experience in radio, TV and print, now focusing on early childhood, reproductive rights and careers. For a decade, she was a foreign correspondent in Latin America, reporting for BBC, the Washington Post, the Guardian, the New York Times and others. In January 2021, Irene launched her own newsletter, the First 1,000 Days, about the foundational period of our lives.

Michael Karapita, a journalism professor at Humber College, has worked at the Canadian Press, CTV News and CBC News, where he was an executive producer. At Humber, Mike works mainly with first-year and graduating students, helping them shape their journalistic skills to launch their careers. Mike has spoken about digital journalism education at conferences around the world. He has just returned to teaching after a one-year sabbatical studying fake news.

Sports Photo

Stan Behal spent 37 years as a photographer at the Toronto Sun, covering subjects as diverse as fashion in Paris, kings and queens, the Olympic Games, the suffering of the children of Chernobyl, and the destruction of the rain forest. He won three National Newspaper Awards and was honoured by the National Press Photo Award Foundation, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the United Nations Environment Program. Stan’s photojournalistic “mic drop” was the photo of Kawhi Leonard’s “buzzer beater” that defined the Toronto Raptors’ 2019 championship season.

Phil Carpenter has worked as a photojournalist for more than 20 years, including 13 at the Montreal Gazette, and since 2017 has been a reporter and video journalist at Global News in Montreal. He has taught photojournalism and visual journalism at Concordia University for more than a decade, helping to develop the institution’s graduate diploma in visual journalism. In 2009, Phil spent a month in Rwanda teaching multimedia journalism as part of a program to train working journalists. He is the author of Breast Stories, a book that explores issues of femininity and female identity through the profiles of more than 50 women from across Canada who have had a mastectomy.

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. Shane has also produced work for various American newspapers and magazines.

Sustained News Coverage

David Gutnick recently retired from his job as a documentary producer at CBC Radio, where he worked for 36 years. His most recent book for children is Mr. Mergler, Beethoven, and Me. He lives in Montreal.

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.

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.

Journalist of the Year

Carolyn Abraham is an independent journalist and author. She covered medical research for The Globe and Mail for 14 years and has received three National Newspaper Awards. Her bestselling books, which include the bizarre story of the man who took Einstein’s brain and a memoir about untangling her mixed-race heritage with DNA tests, were both finalists for the Governor General’s Literary Award in Nonfiction. She continues to report on the human impact of advances in science and is writing and co-producing her first documentary.

An award-winning and committed journalist, Manon Cornellier was a parliamentary correspondent in Ottawa from 1985 to 2021. First a freelancer, she joined the Canadian Press French service in 1990 and then Le Devoir in 1996 where she was alternately parliamentary correspondent, political columnist and member of the editorial board until her retirement last June. She published a book on the Bloc Québécois in 1995 and now writes a fortnightly column for the daily Le Droit.

Satya Brata Das was a barrier-breaking Canadian journalist in the last quarter of the 20th century. He served as a national columnist, foreign correspondent, and editorialist. As a 21st-century strategic adviser, he assisted governments with more than 50 major files. Satya’s fourth work of literary non-fiction, the 2019 book Us, summons Gandhi’s philosophy to answer the challenges of our time.