The Hamilton Spectator and Waterloo Region Record and are among the big winners at the Ontario Newspaper Awards.
The southern Ontario papers each collected four honours at the annual gala, which celebrated the work of 26 newspapers outside Toronto.
Investigative journalist Grant LaFleche of the St. Catharines Standard was named journalist of the year for a series of political stories that triggered an investigation by the Ontario Ombudsman. He also collected an award for enterprise reporting.
Dax Melmer of the Windsor Star was named photojournalist of the year for his striking image of a six-year-old girl who had been mauled by a dog.
Staff at Melmer’s paper won two additional awards, and the Stratford Beacon Herald collected two. Other awards went to the Brantford Expositor, Sarnia Observer, Owen Sound Sun Times, London Free Press and Ottawa Sun.
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Other awards went to the Brantford Expositor, Sarnia Observer, Owen Sound Sun Times, London Free Press and Ottawa Sun.
Judges lauded LaFleche for his dogged determination in gaining the trust of confidential sources and digging deep into a cache of documents and files.
“This is the kind of reporting that is absolutely integral to democracy,” judges said. “It takes perseverance and troublemaking and wholesale commitment — all qualities we cannot afford to lose.”
More than 100 editors, journalists and photojournalists attended Saturday’s event in Toronto.
Here’s a look at the winners:
- Arts and Entertainment Writing — Greg Mercer, Waterloo Region Record
- Beat Reporting — Joanna Frketich, Hamilton Spectator
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- Column/Opinion writing — Rick Gibbons, Ottawa Sun
- Enterprise Reporting — Grant LaFleche, St. Catharines Standard
- Feature Photography (over) — Dax Melmer, Windsor Star
- Feature Photography (under) — Jonathan Juha, Stratford Beacon Herald
- Feature writing (over) — Jon Wells, Hamilton Spectator
- Feature writing (under) — Jonathan Juha, Stratford Beacon Herald
- General news feature — Jeff Outhit, Waterloo Region Record
- Special project — Susan Clairmont, David Crosbie, Hamilton Spectator
- Sports photography (over) — Dan Janisse, Windsor Star
- Sports photography (under) — Mark Malone, Sarnia Observer
- Sports writing — Jeff Hicks, Waterloo Region Record
- Spot News Photography (over) — Mathew McCarthy, Waterloo Region Record
- Spot News Photography (under) — Brian Thompson, Brantford Expositor
- Spot News Writing (under) — Scott Dunn, Owen Sound Sun Times
- Spot News Writing (over) — Joanna Frketich, Scott Radley, Teri Pecoskie, Jeremy Kemeny and Scott Gardner, Hamilton Spectator
- Video Production — Jennifer Bieman, Cheryl Chute, Robin Harvey and Patrick Maloney, London Free Press