Zak Vescera wins Hon. Edward Goff Penny Memorial Prize in large market category

Zak Vescera has been selected as the recipient of the 31st annual Hon. Edward Goff Penny Memorial Prizes for Young Canadian Journalists in the large market category for his work published in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix.

Vescera’s entry submission included two stories from a multi-part series, “Trapped,” which examined the growing and deadly effects of addiction; an enterprise story that showed a fourth wave of COVID cases was not only a possibility but was expected if public health rules were relaxed; and a detailed look at the long-term effect of cancelled surgeries in Saskatchewan.

Vescera is a reporter at the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, where he mostly covers health care. He cares deeply about reporting on substance use, infectious disease, and homelessness. He got his start at The Ubyssey, an independent student-run newspaper at the University of British Columbia. This is his second Goff Penny Award, having also won for his work in 2019.

Said Russell Wangersky, Managing Editor of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix:

“Zak is an excellent example of the combination of curiosity, work ethic, thoroughness and attention to detail that makes the best of reporters. His reporting has brought significant issues to light and has shown how media can be a force for change. And believe me, he’s only getting started.”

Samples of his work can be read here, here, here, and here.