Spectator wins top honours at the Ontario Newspaper Awards
The Hamilton Spectator took home top honours at the Ontario Newspaper Awards Saturday night, winning in both the Journalist and Photojournalist of the Year categories and taking home the most awards of any newsroom.
Spectator health reporter Joanna Frketich was named Journalist of the Year for her fivepart series“Danger Zone” on vaccination rates at Hamilton schools.
Judges commended The Spectator and Frketich for an 18-month fight to access the data, which showed a “lurking threat in communities from declining vaccination rates in area schools.” She also won in the education reporting category for the series.
Spectator photographer Barry Gray was named Photojournalist of the Year for his portfolio of work. Judges noted: “His ability to capture a sympathetic side to life’s daily events was aided by his keen compositional eye to create a series of photos that captures the top spot.”
“It was a big night for The Spec, and we’re very proud of all the winners and nominees,” said editor-in-chief Paul Berton. “It’s a testament to the entire newsroom team, and the excellent work they produce every day.”
The Spectator won 12 awards, which honour excellence at daily newspapers in Ontario, outside Toronto.
The London Free Press and Windsor Star each took home five awards. The Sudbury Star, Woodstock Sentinel-Review and Niagara Falls Review each took home two awards.
The Sun Times (Owen Sound), Bellville Intelligencer, St. Catharines Standard, Barrie Examiner, Brantford Expositor and former Guelph Mercury each took home one award.
Spectator columnist Susan Clairmont won in the investigative/enterprise reporting category for “Intersect,” about a hunting accident in which former NHL player Stan Jonathan killed a young father on Six Nations.
Natalie Paddon and Steve Buist won for business writing for their coverage of the collapse of CHCH-TV.
Buist also won in the health and lifestyle category for his series looking at the new cancer treatment.
Jon Wells won in municipal affairs for stories on a neighbourhood following a fatal fire, a profile on Burlington’s mayor and the life of Geraldine Copps.
Mark McNeil won multimedia journalism for his work on the 70th anniversary of the infamous Evelyn Dick murder.
Drew Edwards won for online multimedia special project for his 3downnation.com project.
Molly Hayes won in the general news feature category for her story on the murder of Tim Bosma.
Teri Pecoskie won in the sports writing category for her series “Pay to Play.”
Paul Benedetti won for humour writing.