The Hamilton Spectator’s Nicole O’Reilly and the Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale win awards

Two young journalists, Daniel Dale and Nicole O'Reilly, were awarded Friday morning with the Hon. Edward Goff Penny Memorial Prize for Young Canadian Journalists.

The recipients were selected by a panel of senior editors with the Canadian Newspaper Association, and given their awards at the CNA's annual luncheon during the Ink + Beyond conference in Toronto.

Daniel Dale, the winner of the 25,000+ circulation category, is a general assignment reporter at the Toronto Star. Dale joined the Star in 2007 as a summer reporter after interning at the Guelph Mercury and in the Washington bureau of the Houston Chronicle.

His winning entry package included an in-depth look at Darcy Allan Sheppard, the bike courier who was killed after a collision with former attorney-general Michael Bryant. Dale was the first reporter to speak with an eyewitness to the collision, and went on to speak with numerous friends of the victim (after messaging every single contact on Sheppard's Facebook page).

After he received his award, Dale thanked his editors and coworkers at the Star. He also thanked his mother but admitted he has yet to send her a Mother's Day card.

The winner of the under 25,000 circulation category, Nicole O'Reilly, won for her work covering municipal affairs and environmental issues for the Guelph Mercury. O'Reilly has since gone on to her current position as crime and security reporter at The Hamilton Spectator. A graduate of Ryerson University's journalism program, O'Reilly interned at the Globe and Mail, Waterloo Region Record, before working at the Woodstock Sentinel-Review.

One of O'Reilly's winning entries for the Guelph Mercury was a story that looked at staffing levels and staff salaries in the City of Guelph, analyzing and comparing these numbers with population growth.

The award comes with a cash prize of $1,500 and is open to journalists between the ages of 20-25 who work for CNA-member newspapers. Both O'Reilly and Dale were 24 at the time their winning stories were written.