Journalists Robert Williams and Victoria Gibson have been selected as the two recipients of the 28th annual Hon. Edward Goff Penny Memorial Prizes for Young Canadian Journalists.
In the small market category, reporter Robert Williams won for his work with the Telegraph-Journal in Saint John, NB. His entry submissions included a variety of works: an exclusive piece on the struggle by some 800 Campobello Island residents to stay connected to mainland New Brunswick; an exclusive story of Lois Merritt’s fight with the federal government over workers’ benefits for employees on long-term leave; an in-depth look into the plight of international workers trying to enter New Brunswick’s labour force and a beautifully crafted story of a mother and her journey with cancer while building memories with her son.
Wendy Metcalfe, Editor-in-Chief of Brunswick News, said, "We are absolutely thrilled that Robert's work has been recognized with such an esteemed award as the Edward Goff Penny Memorial Prize for Young Journalists. Robert has served our readers well with his adept reporting, most notably with the high-profile change journalism at the heart of his submission.
"Breaking stories such as the controversy over Campobello Island residents staying connected to the mainland brought unknown issues to light, and ultimately spurred a review and became a much-debated election issue. The well-researched series, which garnered national attention, touched on international security, allegations of a constitutional crisis and a human rights scandal—all a result of Robert's tenacious reporting. The future of journalism is bright with journalists like Robert at the wheel."
In the large market category, reporter Victoria Gibson won for her work with The Globe and Mail and Toronto Star. Her entry submissions included: an explanatory piece of a ‘lobsterpreneur’ and his plan to ease rising bait prices in Atlantic Canada; the story of a family’s refusal to discontinue their daughter’s life support; a detailed and aching account of grief and confusion as told by the widow of one of Bruce McArthur’s victims and of the chapter of funerals, burials, cremations and closure for McArthur’s victims.
In his sponsoring letter, David Walmsley, editor-in-chief at The Globe and Mail, said, "The day Victoria Gibson arrived in The Globe and Mail newsroom as an academic intern, she exhausted her editor by noon. She swings easily from covering breaking news to in-depth contextual narratives that highlight her superb writing skills. Her work is always thoroughly reported and thoughtfully crafted. Gibson is an innate journalist who shows immense promise after a remarkably strong start in the business."
To view the winning works from these outstanding journalists, visit newsmediacanada.ca/goffpenny.
The Goff Penny Awards honour outstanding work published in daily newspapers by young Canadian journalists aged 20 to 25. News Media Canada thanks all of the young journalists and judges who participated in this year’s competition.