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Thalidomide victim Bernadette Bainbridge poses for a photo at her home on November 9, 2014 in Whitby, Ontario.

Michelle Siu

The Globe and Mail took top honours at the National Newspaper Awards, winning five prizes, including project of the year for its coverage of the tragic legacy of thalidomide.

No other media organization won more than two categories. The Globe also led all Canadian media organizations with 16 entries on the list of finalists. It's at least the third consecutive year that The Globe won the most NNAs or tied for that honour.

"The winners speak to what journalism at The Globe and Mail stands for. Brave, independent work that challenges conventional narrative," Editor-in-Chief David Walmsley said. "The work of our nominees and award winners at this year's NNAs showcases our role in society."

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The Globe's winners were:

The thalidomide project, undertaken by a Globe team including Ingrid Peritz, chronicled the physical, mental and financial toll of thalidomide, a drug approved by the federal government in the 1960s as a "safe" sedative for pregnant women suffering from nausea and insomnia.

But it had horrible side effects. More than 100 babies were born in Canada with extreme disabilities, including missing limbs, internal organ damage, deafness and blindness. Now in their early 50s, they increasingly face crushing pain and financial hardship.

A 1991 federal compensation package had given more than 100 victims lump-sum payments of as much as $82,000. But surviving victims said that money had long since gone and that they need sustained, lifelong support.

Thalidomide victims began lobbying for compensation from Ottawa early last year, but they were ignored until The Globe turned a spotlight on their lives. After the project appeared, federal members of Parliament last December voted unanimously to ensure that survivors receive adequate support.

"Of course there is particular satisfaction in winning project of the year for our coverage of thalidomide," Mr. Walmsley said. "This award comes on the day the government brought a settlement to Canada's thalidomide survivors. Readers of The Globe will know that settlement would not have happened without our journalism."

Among other winners, editorial cartoonist Bruce MacKinnon of The Halifax Chronicle Herald was named the first-ever NNA Journalist of the Year, chosen from among 22 winners announced Friday night at a gala dinner in Toronto.

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Six other organizations won two awards each: The Canadian Press, The Hamilton Spectator, The Moncton Times & Transcript, The Ottawa Citizen, The Toronto Star and The Vancouver Sun.

The Edmonton Journal, The Halifax Chronicle Herald, The National Post, The Toronto Sun and the Winnipeg Free Press also won awards.

MacKinnon, of the Halifax Chronicle Herald, won in Editorial Cartooning for a portfolio that included a powerful image of a Canadian veteran stepping down from the National War Memorial to claim the fallen body of Corporal Nathan Cirillo. The cartoon became the iconic image representing the shooting on Parliament Hill last October, after it was picked up and published around the world.

It was MacKinnon's fourth NNA win for Editorial Cartooning. He has had eight nominations in the category.

This is the first year the National Newspaper Awards have designated a Journalist of the Year. MacKinnon was chosen from among the 22 category winners, with the decision made by a panel of previous NNA laureates.

All category winners received cheques for $1,000 and a certificate of award. Other finalists received citations of merit. The Journalist of the Year is awarded $2,500.

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The National Newspaper Awards are open to daily newspapers, news agencies and online news sites approved for entry by the NNA Board of Governors. Seventy-one finalists were nominated in the 22 categories, selected from 1,297 entries published in 2014. Of 63 newspapers and online news sites to submit entries, 24 organizations had nominations in the 66th year of the prestigious awards.

In all, the NNA Awards office announced Wednesday a total of 71 finalists in 22 categories, selected from 1,297 entries.

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The full list of winners:

Arts and Entertainment

WINNER: Vinay Menon, Toronto Star, for a profile of CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge, a look at the Beatles' 1964 visit to Toronto, and Jeopardy! as a pop culture phenomenon

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FINALISTS:

Simon Houpt, Globe and Mail, for his examination of parasitic enterprises, content thieves, and the online efforts of a former radio shock jock

Kate Taylor, Globe and Mail, for a profile of prison book clubs, the effects of the arts on the human brain, and boosting Canadian production with profits from sales of spectrum rights

Beat Reporting

WINNER: Kim Bolan, Vancouver Sun, for coverage of crime

FINALISTS:

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San Grewal, Toronto Star, for coverage of urban affairs

Nick Martin, Winnipeg Free Press, for coverage of education

Jane Sims, London Free Press, for coverage of justice and the courts

Breaking News

WINNER: Canadian Press team for coverage of the shooting on Parliament Hill

FINALISTS:

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Globe and Mail (Josh Wingrove, Steven Chase, Ann Hui, Joe Friesen and Ian Brown) for capturing the drama of the shooting on Parliament Hill

Moncton Times & Transcript team for coverage of the shooting rampage that left three RCMP officers dead and two wounded

Montreal La Presse team for coverage of the deliberate ramming of two Canadian Forces soldiers in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu

Business

WINNER: Grant Robertson, Globe and Mail, for his series on the government's effort to move marijuana sales from the back alley to the capital markets

FINALISTS:

Tavia Grant, Globe and Mail, for her investigation into asbestos, the single-biggest workplace killer in Canada

Martin Regg Cohn, Toronto Star, for his coverage of The Beer Store and its retail monopoly in Canada's biggest province

Columns

WINNER: Pete McMartin, Vancouver Sun, for columns on marriage, playing catch, and weddings

FINALISTS:

Russell Wangersky, St. John's Telegram, for columns on violent assault, memory, and journalism today

Konrad Yakabuski, Globe and Mail, for columns on assisted suicide, the loonie, and Tim Cook.
 

Editorial Cartooning

WINNER: Bruce MacKinnon, Halifax Chronicle Herald

FINALISTS:

Michael de Adder, Halifax Chronicle Herald

Brian Gable, Globe and Mail

Editorials

WINNER: Sarah O'Donnell, Edmonton Journal

FINALISTS:

André Pratte, Montreal La Presse

John Roe, Waterloo Region Record

Explanatory Work

WINNER: Kevin Rollason, Winnipeg Free Press, for his study of bed shortages, clogged emergency rooms and the role racism plays in Manitoba hospitals

FINALISTS:

Marie-Claude Malboeuf, Montreal La Presse, for her examination of the hidden marketplace within the web, often called "the deep web"

Josh Wingrove and Chris Hannay, Globe and Mail, for their explanation of Bill C-23, the Fair Elections Act, which changes the rules for voters, candidates, parties and the people whose job it is to make sure elections are fair

Feature Photo

WINNER: Julie Oliver, Ottawa Citizen, for an image that tells the story of a young boy's struggle with skin disease

FINALISTS:

John Lehmann, Globe and Mail, for a photo of staff and students watching a spectacular Aurora Borealis

Lucas Oleniuk, Toronto Star, for capturing a dove landing and returning to its loft

International

WINNER: Mark MacKinnon, Globe and Mail, for coverage of the conflict in Ukraine and the angry resurgence of Vladimir Putin's Russia

FINALISTS:

Scott Simmie, Toronto Star, for stories on the experience of migrants fleeing North Africa

Jennifer Wells, Toronto Star, for revisiting the horror of Bhopal, site of the world's worst industrial accident

Investigations

WINNER: Jon Wells, Hamilton Spectator, for "Remorseless," a look into how a brutal murderer was created, and what led to his implosion and conviction

FINALISTS:

Kevin Donovan, Jesse Brown and Jacques Gallant, Toronto Star, for their investigation of allegations of sexual assault by CBC Host Jian Ghomeshi

Katia Gagnon, Montreal La Presse, for her investigation into the permissiveness on the part of general practitioners and pharmacists in dispensing morphine

Jennifer O'Brien, Kate Dubinski, Randy Richmond, Derek Ruttan and Jonathan Sher, London Free Press for peeling back the layers of a group home fire story to reveal a shocking neglect of mentally ill residents in Ontario

Local Reporting

WINNER: Moncton Times & Transcript team, for coverage of a shooting rampage that left three RCMP officers dead and two wounded

FINALISTS:

Tim Smith, Brandon Sun, for an intimate story of a family struggling with cancer

Christine Morris, New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal, for a three-part series on Lyme disease in New Brunswick

Long Feature

WINNER: Patrick White, Globe and Mail, for "Solitary: A Death Sentence," revealing a corrections system out of step with much of the developed world

FINALISTS:

Christopher Curtis, Montreal Gazette, for "On Patrol in Opitciwan," shadowing a First Nation police force as it confronts poverty, substance abuse and crowded living conditions

Sandra Martin, Globe and Mail, for "Kim's Choice," the story of a hardworking Ontario family beset by Huntington's Disease

Barb Pacholik, Regina Leader Post, for "Betrayal: What do you do when you discover your friend is a pedophile?"

Multimedia Feature

WINNER: Teri Pecoskie, Hamilton Spectator, for a five-part series uncovering the connections between standardized test scores and a range of social and economic factors

FINALISTS:

Gabrielle Duchaine and Caroline Touzin, Montreal La Presse, for a three-part interactive look at crime in all its facets in Quebec and Montreal

Toronto Star team, for coverage commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, including a walk of the Western Front

News Feature Photo

WINNER: Andrew Vaughan, Canadian Press, for a photo of the funeral procession for three RCMP officers killed in the line of duty in Moncton

FINALISTS:

Peter Power, Canadian Press, for his photo of the son of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo waving a flag at the funeral of his father

Peter Power, Canadian Press, for his image depicting two dogs peering out from beneath the fence at Cpl. Nathan Cirillo's house

News Photo

WINNER: Viktor Pivovarov, Moncton Times & Transcript, for a dramatic image of the shooter in Moncton

FINALISTS:

Tony Caldwell, Ottawa Sun, for a photo of a topless protester confronting the archbishop of Quebec

Wayne Cuddington, Ottawa Citizen, for capturing the willingness of strangers to help a fallen soldier

Politics

WINNER: Sean Fine, Globe and Mail, for digging deep to describe the selection process for Supreme Court justices

FINALISTS:

Gloria Galloway, Globe and Mail, for looking into the dispersal of $200 million dealing with veterans' mental health issues

Vincent Marissal, Montreal La Presse, for describing how the Parti Québecois came to adopt a radical Charter of Quebec Values

Presentation

WINNER: National Post team

FINALISTS:

Jason Chiu, Globe and Mail

Raina Toomey and Gayle Grin, Postmedia Central Hub

Project of the Year

WINNER: Globe and Mail team for chronicling the physical, mental and financial toll of thalidomide, a Canadian public-health disaster that had faded from the public's memory

FINALISTS:

Susan Zielinski and Myles Fish, Red Deer Advocate, for a project on the Michener Centre, one of Canada's last large institutional homes for the mentally challenged

Jessica Barrett, Calgary Herald, for a five-part series examining how the way our relationship to work in Canada is fundamentally changing

Toronto Star team for creating an in-depth discussion with the citizens of Toronto to identify the civic issues they cared about most

Short Feature

WINNER: Shelley Page, Ottawa Citizen, for a reappraisal of what it was like to be a woman reporting on the Polytechnique massacre

FINALISTS:

Michèle Ouimet, Montreal La Presse, for an intimate portrait of a former municipal politician stricken with cancer

Michelle Shephard, Toronto Star, for shedding light on the ongoing tragedy that is Somalia

Sports

WINNER: Jim Coyle, Steve Russell, Paul Hunter and Jim Rankin, Toronto Star, for stories that provided an up-close look at two local hockey teams and how the game is lived by the players and experienced by the communities in which they play

FINALISTS:

Gabriel Béland, Montreal La Presse, for stories on the consequences of a concussion on a minor league hockey player, a triple-A midget team opening its locker room to seven First Nation players, and how a soldier wounded in Afghanistan kept a hold on life through hockey

Joe O'Connor, National Post, for his coverage of an African-American inner-city high school football team and its white coach, a story about race relations in America that needed to be heard above the roar of Ferguson

Sports Photo

WINNER: Stan Behal, Toronto Sun, for a photo capturing the desperation of a tennis player trying to get the ball over the net

FINALISTS:

Ric Ernst, The Province/Vancouver Sun, for a photo showing how Canucks fans feel about fighting in hockey

Frank Gunn, Canadian Press, for capturing the exertion and tension of a split-second play

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