London Free Press wins National Newspaper Award

Content of the article

Postmedia Network’s London Free Press has won a prestigious National Newspaper Award for its media coverage of a devastating attack on a Muslim family in June 2021.

Content of the article

Reporting on the hit-and-run that left four dead and one child injured across three generations of the same family was recognized for its “in-depth reporting and hard-hitting commentary”, the judges said.

The award was announced Friday during a webcast recognizing the best in Canadian journalism in 2021.

The Free Press pack of stories undid Globe and Mail coverage of a deadly heat wave in British Columbia and Winnipeg Free Press coverage of a nurse who was stabbed in a hospital. LFP journalists have been nominated for 15 National Newspaper Awards over the past 15 years.

Talat Afzaal, 74, his son, Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, and their daughter Yumnah, 15, were killed on June 6, 2021, when a truck jumped the sidewalk and hit them rammed. The couple’s nine-year-old son, Fayez, survived serious injuries in what police believe was a deliberate attack, with the family targeted because of their Muslim faith.

Content of the article

Gerry Nott, Postmedia’s acting senior vice president, editorial content, said he was “so proud” of The Free Press, a title that “always delivers.”

“The recognition of our journalists by ANI reinforces the level of reporting quality and expertise of all our titles,” Nott said in a statement.

The newspaper covered the immediate breaking news, as well as other allegedly hate-motivated attacks in Canada, and how the Muslim community in Ontario has been affected.

The paper’s award submissions included comments that asked if Islamophobia could be stopped via a national summit and reflected on a city grappling with tragedy.

Postmedia Newspapers won three more NNA nominations.

Sharon Kirkey, a longtime National Post health reporter, was nominated in the beat reporting category for her coverage of COVID-19. Améli Pineda and Magdaline Boutros of Quebec newspaper Le Devoir won the prize for their work on domestic violence in Quebec.

A Saskatoon StarPhoenix team was nominated in the local reporting category for a series exploring the overdose crisis; the winner in this category was a trio of journalists from RMO Today, for reporting on the accidental deaths of skiers and climbers in avalanches.

John Mackie of the Vancouver Sun/Province was nominated for a feature film about a collegiate relationship between political adversaries who are both quadriplegics. The Globe and Mail’s Marcus Gee won the Bob Levin Short Film Award for a story about a handmade memorial for those who died of drug overdoses.