National Newspaper Awards welcomes two new governors and approves two new award sponsorships

The Board of Governors of the National Newspaper Awards has unanimously approved the appointment of two new members: George Abraham and Andrea Houston.

George Abraham is founder and publisher of New Canadian Media, a non-profit news portal that showcases immigrant journalism and amplifies the work of journalists from various immigrant and ethnic backgrounds. Abraham began his journalism career more than 35 years ago with The Times of India in Mumbai, followed by stints at the Khaleej Times in Dubai and as managing editor of The Peninsula in Qatar. He won a Nieman scholarship at Harvard University.

Andrea Houston is managing editor of Ricochet Media, a multiplatform news outlet that seeks to illuminate cultural and political diversity within Canada. A leading advocate for LGBTQ2S+ issues, she served as managing editor of Torontoist and developed the “Queer Media” course at Ryerson University’s School of Journalism. In 2017, Houston was named role model of the year by the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity.

At its spring meeting on May 10, 2022, the Board also approved naming two more awards after prominent individuals connected to the news business.

The Stuart M. Robertson Award for Breaking News is being named in honour of the longtime secretary-treasurer and legal counsel of the National Newspaper Awards. While the program dates back to 1949, its current structure was established in 1989. Many of the founding documents of the “modern” incarnation of the NNAs were written and signed by Stuart, who was passionate about the program’s mission of honouring Canada’s finest journalism. He died in March at the age of 74.

The Stuart M. Robertson Award for Breaking News will be sponsored by Lauraine and Paul Woods, both of whom worked closely with Stuart in administering and operating the awards program.

The Beat Reporting award will be named after Joan Hollobon. As the Globe and Mail’s medical reporter from 1959 to 1985, Joan set the standard for what beat reporting should be. She developed expertise that allowed her to tackle breaking news, investigative pieces and explanatory articles with equal ease, and earned the (sometimes grudging) respect of the physicians, scientists and politicians she covered. As one of the first women on the medical beat, she also blazed a trail for generations that would follow. Joan is 102, lives in Toronto and was recently awarded the Order of Canada.

The Joan Hollobon Award for Beat Reporting will be sponsored by her longtime employer, the Globe and Mail.

The Beat Reporting award had previously been named after E. Cora Hind. Effective with the 2022 contest year, the Local Reporting award will be named after Hind, one of the first women to work as a journalist in Canada. She was also instrumental in the suffrage movement and a strong advocate for giving women the right to vote.