Newspapers Canada

Newspapers Canada

April 16, 2015 11:00 ET

Young Reporters from Guelph Mercury and Toronto Star Win 24th Annual Goff Penny Awards

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 16, 2015) - Alex Migdal from the Guelph Mercury and Eric Andrew-Gee from the Toronto Star have been selected as the two recipients of the 24th annual Hon. Edward Goff Penny Memorial Prizes for Young Canadian Journalists.

In the over 25,000 circulation class, sponsoring editor Irene Gentle praised 24-year-old Toronto Star reporter Eric Andrew-Gee for frequently generating story ideas that are fresh, unusual and executed with style and rigor. He is particularly adept at finding angles that others overlook or that a reader might not expect. Andrew-Gee impressed the judges with his with well-researched and unique feature on the video of the highly publicized Sammy Yatim death by police shooting. His unique angle of creating a biography of the video coupled with interviewing the major parties involved enabled him to demonstrate the importance of the video to the case. His submission package also included a piece titled "TTC in 18,000 crashes since 2009" which shed light on the alarming number of crashes involving Toronto Transit Commission buses, streetcars and Wheel-Trans vehicles from 2009 and 2013.

Judges selected 22-year-old Alex Migdal as the winner in the 25,000 and under circulation category. The accomplished reporter submitted an impressive portfolio of work which he produced while working at the Guelph Mercury. Migdal earned the judges' praises for his health-lifestyle reporting piece titled "Guelph doctor goes against the grain with low-carb diet." In his story he captures Dr. Anna Issakoff-Meller's mission and her passion to help change the way the community eats by encouraging a low-carb diet. Other stories submitted included a piece on the 20th anniversary of the fatal Guelph car crash that sparked the creation of Ontario's graduated licensing program.

The Goff Penny Awards honour outstanding work published in daily newspapers by young Canadian journalists aged 20-25. Entries were evaluated by a panel of three senior industry representatives: Carl Fleming, managing editor at the Cape Breton Post, Clint Harris, publisher and general manager at The Chronicle-Journal, and Margo Goodhand, editor in chief at The Edmonton Journal.

Newspapers Canada would like to thank all of the young journalists and judges who participated in this year's competition. Awards will be presented to Andrew-Gee and Migdal at a luncheon on Friday, May 22, during the Newspapers Canada National Conference in Toronto.

About the Hon. Edward Goff Penny Memorial Prizes for Young Canadian Journalists:

The Hon. Edward Goff Penny (1820-1881) rose from the position of reporter at the Montreal Herald in the late 1800s to editor and publisher. He was the first president of the Parliamentary Press Gallery in Ottawa and in 1874 became the first newspaperman to be appointed to the Senate. The awards in his name were established in 1991 at the bequest of the estate of the late Arthur Guy Penny, another newspaper editor and Quebec civil servant who was Edward Goff Penny's grandson.

The awards program is administered annually by Newspapers Canada and provides for cash prizes of $1,500 to winners in two circulation categories: Over 25,000 and 25,000 and under. The competition is open to journalists between the ages of 20 to 25 working for CNA-member daily newspapers.

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