Serge Chapleau and Stephanie Nolen win their eighth lifetime National Newspaper Awards; Randy Richmond named Journalist of the Year

TORONTO, May 1, 2020 – Serge Chapleau of La Presse and Stephanie Nolen of the Globe and Mail tied the record for lifetime wins when the 2019 National Newspaper Awards were announced today.

Chapleau won for the eighth time in the Editorial Cartooning category, while Nolen’s win (alongside two Globe and Mail colleagues) in the Business category was also the eighth of her career. Over the years Nolen has been a winner in four categories: Arts and Entertainment, Business, Explanatory Work and International. She has been a finalist 17 times while Chapleau has been a finalist 15 times.

Their eighth wins matched a record that had been held by Jacquie McNish, who won eight times between 1992 and 2015.

Randy Richmond of the London Free Press was named 2019 Journalist of the Year. That selection was made by a panel of three former NNA winners from among winning entries that had been submitted by one or two individuals.

Richmond also won the Local Reporting category, and was a finalist in the Investigations category, for “We are the cops,” a series of stories exposing how a police officer punched, kicked, stomped and choked a woman, how his fellow officers failed to stop the abuse, and how police spun it all into a misleading story about a dangerous suspect who had assaulted an officer.

Judges noted that extraordinary journalistic efforts over nearly two years were needed to bring the incident to light. They included a lengthy battle after the officer charged in the case sought an injunction prohibiting publication of key information. Richmond also overcame obstacles to track down the victim’s lawyer for an important interview conducted as the man was in palliative care, facing death because of a brain tumour.

Here is some of what the Journalist of the Year judges had to say about Richmond’s work:

  • This represents a clear public service, with the journalist as watchdog, dedicated to a long battle with the police despite the implications of such a fight for a local newspaper in a mid-sized community. His writing is self-consciously minimalist, hardboiled like a post-war crime novel. Old-fashioned sweat and persistence made this a tribute to the way journalism should be conducted. 
  • “We are the cops.” Those words, chilling in their context, encapsulate the moral power of this series, which held to account the police, the Crown and the entire administration of justice in London. With painstaking fairness and profound empathy, Mr. Richmond not only brings to light a police cover-up, he draws compassionate portraits of the addicted young woman who was victimized, of the flamboyant lawyer who fights her case even as he fights for his own life, and finally, of the police officer charged with the assault. This isn’t just a worthy investigation of alleged police brutality. It’s a lesson in moral nuance, a news feature that reads like a movie screenplay.

Geoffrey York, winner of two previous NNAs, was the only individual to win two awards this year. York won the Norman Webster Award for International Reporting and (along with Nolen and Globe colleague Matthew McClearn) the Business category.

The Globe and Mail won eight of the 21 category awards. La Presse and the Ottawa Citizen each won three, while Le Devoir and the Toronto Star won two apiece. Other awards were won by the Winnipeg Free Press, London Free Press and (with its first-ever win) the Athletic.


Other individual highlights:

  • Julie Oliver of the Ottawa Citizen won for the third time. All of her wins have come in the Feature Photo category (1998, 2014 and 2019).
  • Renata D’Aliesio of the Globe and Mail won her third NNA, this time as part of a four-person team in the Breaking News category. D’Aliesio was previously a winner in Investigations (2015) and Business (2018).
  • The four Globe and Mail journalists who teamed up to win the John Wesley Dafoe award for Politics are all multiple winners. Sean Fine and Daniel Leblanc each won their third NNA, while Steven Chase and Robert Fife won for the second year in a row in Politics.
  • Melissa Martin became a two-time winner in the Columns category. She also won the category in 2016.
  • Andrew Duffy of the Ottawa Citizen won for a second time, this time winning the William Southam award for Long Feature. Duffy was previously part of a winning entry in the Investigations category in 1996.

There were 63 finalists from 19 organizations in 21 categories. Finalists were selected by three-judge panels in each category from 774 entries submitted for work published in 2019.

Thanks to donations from sponsors, seven of the 21 category awards are now named after important figures in the news industry. They are:

  • George Brown Award for Investigations (sponsored by the Globe and Mail)
  • John Wesley Dafoe Award for Politics (sponsored by Ron Stern)
  • Cora Hind Award for Beat Reporting (sponsored by the Nellie McClung Heritage Site)
  • Bob Levin Award for Short Feature (sponsored by the Globe and Mail)
  • Claude Ryan Award for Editorial Writing (sponsored by the Ryan family)
  • William Southam Award for Long Feature (sponsored by the Southam family)
  • Norman Webster Award for International Reporting (sponsored by the Webster family)

This is the 71st year for the awards program, and the 31st 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 daily 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: Marsha Lederman, Globe and Mail, for a meditation on art and climate change, and a feature about Margaret Atwood’s frenzied activity after the death of her life partner.

Finalists: Erin Lebar, Winnipeg Free Press, for a revealing portrait of Begonia, an emerging artist from the city’s music scene; Kevin Mitchell, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, for a two-part series on the joys and tribulations of being a vinyl record collector.


Beat Reporting (E. Cora Hind Award)

Winner: Kelly Grant, Globe and Mail, for reporting she did on pharmacare and medically assisted dying as part of her health beat coverage.

Finalists: Ariane Lacoursière, La Presse, for exclusive and in-depth stories related to the health-care system; Alanna Smith, Calgary Herald, for a package of stories showcasing her work covering domestic violence.


Breaking News

Winner: Renata D’Aliesio, Melissa Tait, Ian Bailey and Andrea Woo, Globe and Mail, for coverage of the sudden end to a weeks-long search for two teenagers suspected of killing three individuals in British Columbia.

Finalists: A team of Ottawa Citizen journalists for coverage of the crash of a double-decker bus packed with commuters into a steel awning at a transit station, killing three passengers and injuring 23 others; Thomas Dufour, Audrey Ruel-Manseau and Ariane Lacoursière, La Presse, for reporting on the death of a runner in a marathon race, the lengthy wait before emergency services arrived, and the race-planning problems that contributed to the death.


Breaking News Photo

Winner: Wayne Cuddington, Ottawa Citizen, for a photo of a distraught woman being attended to by a police officer after a man was gunned down in the city’s Byward Market.

Finalists: Derek Ruttan, London Free Press, for a photograph showing police officers confronting a man armed with a large hunting knife; Melissa Tait, Globe and Mail, for capturing the image of a casket, carrying the body of a young man who had been the subject of a weeks-long search, as it was loaded into an RCMP plane in rural Manitoba.



Winner: Geoffrey York, Matthew McClearn and Stephanie Nolen, Globe and Mail, for an in-depth investigation into the lending practices and other activities of Export Development Canada.

Finalists: Danielle Bochove, Bloomberg News, for stories about the changing nature of automotive work and the way climate change stands to unlock vast natural resources in Canada’s far North; Jesse McLean and David Bruser, Toronto Star, and Marie-Eve Fournier, Katia Gagnon and Stéphanie Grammond, La Presse, for a joint investigation revealing that one in five Canadians who file for bankruptcy are doing it for at least the second time.



Winner: Melissa Martin, Winnipeg Free Press, for two columns related to missing and murdered indigenous women, and a deeply personal reflection that emerged from a horrifying experience of turbulence while flying home from Japan.

Finalists: Isabelle Hachey, La Presse, for columns about a controversial doctor/politician, the misfortunes of a traditional village storyteller, and the injustice caused by the reform of an immigration program; Edward Keenan, Toronto Star, for columns about life, and politics, in Canada’s biggest city.


Editorial Cartooning (portfolio of five cartoons)

Winner: Serge Chapleau, La Presse

Finalists: Brian Gable, Globe and Mail; Bruce MacKinnon, Halifax Chronicle Herald


Editorials (Claude Ryan Award)

Winner: Marie-Andrée Chouinard, Le Devoir, for editorials about the École Polytechnique tragedy, a massacre in Christchurch, N.Z., and an author who openly advocated pedophilia.

Finalists: Paul Journet, La Presse, for editorials on federal election spending promises, the pragmatic way young people view environmental issues, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “blackface” scandal; Peter Scowen, Globe and Mail, for editorials about the fire at Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral, the need for healthy and sustained diversity, and pending changes to the law on medically assisted death.


Explanatory Work

Winner: Daphné Cameron et Martin Tremblay, La Presse, for revealing how science, policy and agricultural practice work together to boost pesticides to dangerous levels, and why regulations about this aren’t enforced.

Finalists: Renata D’Aliesio and Melissa Tait, Globe and Mail, for reporting that showed how close the RCMP came to pulling out of the area around Gillam, Man., without finding two fugitives, and the essential role a Cree trapper played in ending the search; Grant Robertson and Matthew McClearn, Globe and Mail, for explaining why unexploded ordnance – bombs, mortars and other munitions used during training exercises, and never detonated – has become one of the biggest financial concerns hanging over the Department of National Defence.


Feature Photo

Winner: Julie Oliver, Ottawa Citizen, for a photo of three campers braving chilly summer weather to take a dip at a nudist colony.

Finalists: Darryl Dyck, Canadian Press, for the image of a young boy silhouetted while swimming in a glass bottom pool 60 metres above street level at a condo tower in Vancouver; Dan Riedlhuber, St. Albert Gazette, for an image of a seven-year-old crashing into a curb and spinning during a soapbox derby.


General News Photo

Winner: Jacques Nadeau, Le Devoir, for his photo of a man being apprehended during a climate protest.

Finalists: Francisco Proner, Globe and Mail, for an image, shot by drone, showing a car trapped in a sea of mud and mining detritus after a dam burst in Brazil; Andrew Vaughan, Canadian Press, for a picture of a man watching the impact of Hurricane Dorian along the Halifax harbour.


International (Norman Webster Award)

Winner: Geoffrey York, Globe and Mail, for stories exposing the realities of Sudan, a heavily militarized dictatorship and one of the world’s most difficult countries to penetrate and understand.

Finalists: Nathan VanderKlippe, Globe and Mail, for travelling across Asia to uncover deeply personal accounts of persecution faced by Uyghurs, Kashmiris and Rohingya; Geoffrey York, Globe and Mail, for stories on the emerging conflicts between China and the United States playing out in the African country of Djibouti.


Investigations (George Brown Award)

Winner: Team, La Presse, for a shocking exposé of medical errors that caused the deaths of 200 elderly or vulnerable Quebecers.

Finalists: Randy Richmond, London Free Press, for a series exposing how a police officer punched, kicked, stomped and choked a woman, how his fellow officers failed to stop the abuse, and how police spun it all into a misleading story about a dangerous suspect who had assaulted an officer; Kathy Tomlinson, Globe and Mail, for revealing astonishing and brazen exploitation in the immigration industry that has allowed unscrupulous recruiters, consultants and employers to make fortunes off newcomers while governments and regulators look the other way.


Local Reporting

Winner: Randy Richmond, London Free Press, for a series exposing how a police officer punched, kicked, stomped and choked a woman, how his fellow officers failed to stop the abuse, and how police spun it all into a misleading story about a dangerous suspect who had assaulted an officer.

Finalists: Aaron Beswick, Halifax Chronicle Herald, for a series that addressed the environmental, economic and political considerations facing the Nova Scotia government in deciding whether to shut down a pulp mill that had been polluting for decades but gave well-paid jobs to hundreds of people; Nick Dunne, Cornwall Standard-Freeholder, for digging into the mostly untold story of code talkers’ assistance for the allies in the Second World War, an effort that evolved into a broader consideration of the Mohawk language.


Long Feature (William Southam Award)

Winner: Andrew Duffy, Ottawa Citizen, for “Six on a Bus,” a gripping narrative about the harrowing experience of passengers on a city bus that smashed into an awning in a crash that left three people dead and 23 injured.

Finalists: Sammy Hudes, Calgary Herald, for a feature recounting the complicated journey to recovery experienced by a hockey player left paralyzed after the deadly crash of the Humboldt Broncos’ team bus; Ryan Thorpe, Winnipeg Free Press, for documenting the sorrow and despair largely hidden from most Winnipeggers who speed past a neighbourhood that appears to be ground zero for the city’s street drugs and gang violence.


Politics (John Wesley Dafoe Award)

Winner: Robert Fife, Steven Chase, Sean Fine and Daniel Leblanc, Globe and Mail, for breaking the news that the Prime Minister’s Office had pressured the justice minister to abandon prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, and a series of followup reports as the ensuing scandal grew.

Finalists: A Globe and Mail team for reports from across the country that exposed how private entities exploit loopholes in election spending laws; Steve Buist, Matthew Van Dongen, Teviah Moro and Andrew Dreschel, Hamilton Spectator, for stories revealing that 24 billion litres of untreated sewage had escaped into a sensitive wetland area over four years, and that city councillors had chosen to keep it all a secret.



Winner: Cameron Tulk, Nathan Pilla, McKenna Deighton, Andres Plana and Tania Pereira, Toronto Star, for a presentation that helped readers experience the significant, sometimes terrifying effects of a changing climate.

Finalists: Laura Blenkinsop and Christopher Manza, Globe and Mail, for a deeply interactive presentation intended to help readers understand the dangers of distracted driving; Maxime Jean, La Presse, for a creative look back at the first moon landing 50 years ago, specially formatted for immersive interaction on iPads.


Project of the Year

Winner: Globe and Mail for a year-long project to identify key gaps in the way data are gathered and analyzed in Canada, and to investigate why the data-collection system is so fragmented and inaccessible.

Finalists: London Free Press for “Face It,” a project that explored a multitude of issues faced by those living on the margins in London, from drug-related diseases to a shortage of affordable housing to a scarcity of jobs; Toronto Star for “Operation Transparency,” the culmination of a five-year effort to discover how much individual doctors bill the provincial health plan, and to create searchable databases allowing readers to access that information.


Short Feature (Bob Levin Award)

Winner: Marcus Gee of the Globe and Mail, for his story about a mother’s struggle with her son’s opioid addiction.

Finalists: Louise Dickson, Victoria Times Colonist, for a rollicking tale about the adventures and final journey of Biker Bob’s ashes, which were tossed into the ocean but kept washing ashore; Josh Rubin, Toronto Star, for the story of a Canadian food truck whose owners found themselves unexpectedly caught in the middle of the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba.



Winner: Dan Robson, the Athletic, for long-form features about the sudden death of former hockey star Ray Emery, the sometimes-troubled journey of the only Inuk to make it to the NHL, and the possibility that head-related injuries from their hockey careers had contributed to the deaths of two retired players.

Finalists: Bruce Arthur, Toronto Star, for three columns about the Toronto Raptors’ journey to the NBA championship; Alexandre Pratt, La Presse, for a story about a Black player who was subjected to racist abuse during a semi-professional hockey game, and the ensuing fallout.


Sports Photo

Winner: Rick Madonik, Toronto Star, for a photo of the Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry, surrounded by the hands of teammates and opponents.

Finalists: Stan Behal, Toronto Sun, for a picture of a series-winning basket by Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors, captured in the split-second before the ball fell through the hoop; Jason Franson, Canadian Press, for a graphic image of eye-gouging action in mixed martial arts.


All finalist entries can be viewed at the NNA website (

For more information, contact:

Paul Woods
Executive Director
National Newspaper Awards