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Kyra Christmas, 23, a member of Canada's national women's water polo team, practices in a pool made out of straw bales because she could not train in pool with her team due to COVID-19. Photo taken May 9, 2020.Leah Hennel/The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail has been awarded 10 National Newspaper Awards for coverage that included an in-depth investigation into racial bias in Canada’s corrections system and reporting on repression in the Chinese region of Xinjiang.

The Globe was the most decorated publication this year by the NNAs, Canada’s most prestigious journalism prizes for text-based reporting. Awards went to departments across The Globe’s newsroom: politics, arts, sports, health, columns, design, features and investigations.

Globe journalists’ probe of the WE organization and the scandal that centred around it, as well as a moving essay of a long-term care worker’s efforts to comfort COVID-19-stricken residents were also honoured.

The Globe’s Tom Cardoso won in the Investigations category and was also named Journalist of the Year for his work.


Read Tom Cardoso’s work

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David Walmsley, editor-in-chief of The Globe, said: “This year ranks as the most special when one considers the disadvantages the industry has faced. Working away from our beloved newsrooms and our cherished colleagues, we nevertheless maintained our covenant with the audience – to deliver the news.

“The range of winners is testament to the efforts of deeply committed professionals working in sometimes dangerous and often isolating conditions. The pride we all feel for those both named tonight and those behind the scenes is inestimable.”

Three awards each went to La Presse and The Canadian Press and two each went to Le Devoir and the Toronto Star. The Kenora Miner and News and the Saskatoon StarPhoenix each picked up one award. There were 66 finalists from 20 news organizations in 22 categories. There were 926 entries. The NNAs were established in 1949.

Mr. Cardoso was among 15 category winners considered for Journalist of the Year. His reporting was based on hard-to-access data that proved “beyond an iota of doubt” that evaluations used to determine the likelihood of prisoners being rehabilitated are profoundly and clearly biased against people from racialized backgrounds, the NNA judges found. The assessments make the difference in whether prisoners receive access to programming and better living conditions.

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Psychological Intake Assessment of Nick Nootchtai, photographed at his home in Toronto, Sunday, August 9, 2020.Galit Rodan/The Globe and Mail

Mr. Cardoso created sophisticated programs to analyze the data and found compelling stories about the people reflected in the numbers.

The work resonated “like thunder” and took place amid a growing focus on racial bias within policing, the judges noted.

Globe and Mail reporters won as a group for their coverage of the devastation inside Canada’s long-term care homes from the pandemic. This is the first year for the Sustained News Coverage award.

In fact, 10 of the 22 winning entries were for pandemic-related submissions.

The Globe’s health columnist, André Picard, won in the Columns category. His work on long-term care and Canada’s pandemic response has become required reading for Canadians trying to understand these unprecedented times.

Globe feature writer Erin Anderssen won the Short Feature award for her moving account of a long-term care worker who offered comfort to residents with COVID-19 so that they didn’t have to spend their last moments alone.

Globe reporters were also honoured for work that was not pandemic-related. China correspondent Nathan VanderKlippe was awarded the International Reporting award for his coverage of repression in the Chinese region of Xinjiang.

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A man plays basketball in a Hotan facility previously used for forced political indoctrination and skills training. China says all people have "graduated" from such centres, which are also sometimes called re-education camps.Nathan VanderKlippe/The Globe and Mail

Globe Ottawa reporters Bill Curry, Marieke Walsh, London correspondent Paul Waldie, Africa correspondent Geoffrey York and Report on Business reporter Jaren Kerr combined for coverage of the WE scandal and the public-policy questions raised by that organization. They won in the Politics category.

Leah Hennel won her third NNA, this time in the Sports Photo category for her photo included in a visual essay about Canadian national women’s water polo athlete Kyra Christmas training at homemade pool during the pandemic.

Designers Laura Blenkinsop, Jeremy Agius and Timothy Moore won for an interactive approach that helped bring readers close to the experience thousands of Mexican families have had searching for loved ones who disappeared since the start of Mexico’s “war on drugs” 15 years ago.

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A small altar with Catholic images, candles and the photo of Jonattan Rosales, was placed in his honour inside his mother's home in Veracruz, Mexico. January 17, 2020.Felix Marquez/The Globe and Mail

In Sports, Globe reporter Michael Doyle was awarded for exposing sexual, psychological and physical abuse and manipulation of elite athletes by the most powerful person in Canadian track and field.

In Arts and Entertainment, Johanna Schneller won for her Globe columns tackling gender identity and gender politics in the arts world.

Paul Samyn, chair of the board of governors of the NNAs and editor of the Winnipeg Free Press, issued a statement during the ceremony acknowledging that neither the NNA board nor its list of winners and finalists represents diversity in Canada.

He said that after the North American focus on race last summer in the wake of the death of George Floyd, the NNA organization took “a long, overdue look in the mirror.”

“Canadian newsrooms had to come face to face with reckoning about our own role in perpetuating and failing to combat racial injustice,” he said.

He added that the NNAs would take “concrete steps” to ensure voices that should have been heard before are now heard.

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