For the second consecutive year, The Hamilon Spectator has taken home the top award at the Canadian Association of Journalists annual gala and banquet. 


(Emcee Dawna Friesen kicks off the annual CAJ Awards gala at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. Photo: Belinda Alzner)

For the second consecutive year, The Hamilon Spectator has taken home the top award at the Canadian Association of Journalists annual gala and banquet.

Steve Buist and Teri Pecoskie won the Don McGillivray Award for their series titled “BORN: A Code Red Project,” which examined over 500,000 Ontario birth records to show the relationship between low income and poor education and the health of both mother and child. The winner of the Don McGillivray Award was voted on by the winners of various other awards that were given out that evening.

Dawna Friesen, anchor and executive editor of Global National, emceed the gala, where 16 other awards were given out to honour excellence in journalism and investigative reporting.

Other highlights included Huffington Post Canada’s Rachel Mendleson taking home the inaugural award in labour reporting presented in partnership with CWA for her original piece, Canada Income Inequality and the Decline of Unions. It was a piece that was part of a larger original-reporting series called Mind the Gap, which focused more broadly on income inequality in Canada and was edited by Daniel Tencer. HuffPo Canada is a new voice in Canada's media scene—it will celebrate its first birthday north of the border in May. 


As well, the inaugural award for human rights reporting, given in partnership with Journalists for Human Rights, was given to CBC’s Alison Crawford for her piece, The Eyes of Rosa and Antonio. It was a win for CBC Radio One’s Dispatches, which was among the programming cut by the broadcaster earlier this month in the wake of the federal budget.

The Vancouver Sun's Kim Bolan won the award for daily excellence for her piece, Bacon brother shot dead in Kelowna. Her dedication was exemplified in her acceptance speech, in which she admitted she had to rush back to her table to work on a breaking story.

J-Source and ProjetJ were awarded the CAJ President’s Award for their contributions to Canadian journalism.

For a full list of the award-winners from the evening—which included pieces from most of the major players (CBC, Toronto Star, Postmedia, QMI) as well as smaller outfits such as APTN and Maisonneuve Magazine—check out the CAJ’s website.

A liveblog of the gala—including photos of the winners and other dressed-up journalists—can be found here.