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For some journalists, it entailed rising at 4:30 a.m. for teleconferences on the other side of the world; for others, it involved digging through archives. One reporter happened to be in an Ontario town on the right day; another stayed in a Haitian city for the better part of five months. The Globe's journalists went to great lengths to get the stories and visuals that earned the paper 11 National Newspaper Award nominations this year; while the finished product is seen by millions, the stories of how they came about are rarely told outside of the newsroom.

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To get to Jacmel after Haiti's earthquake, reporter Jessica Leeder and photographer Deborah Baic met a Canadian naval ship in Jamaica that took them part of the way, connected via helicopter to another ship anchored offshore. Over the next five months, they produced features, videos and photo galleries.

"The aim was to document the politics and personalities that would shape the rebuilding process - the bricks and mortar, the economy and the society that makes Haiti so vibrant despite its poverty," Ms. Leeder says.


The paper earned three business nominations, including one for coverage of Australian mining giant BHP Billiton's attempted takeover of Potash Corp., by reporters Brenda Bouw, Boyd Erman, Andy Hoffman, Jacquie McNish and Eric Reguly.

Mining reporter Ms. Bouw rose before dawn for news conferences in London, and stayed up late to find out which companies were angling to buy Potash. Ms. Bouw, Rome correspondent Mr. Reguly and Ms. McNish in Toronto also discovered how BHP mistakes helped sink the deal.

A conversation with a former mining executive tipped Mr. Hoffman to the fact that companies had made previously disregarded commitments to takeover targets.

"The mountain of evidence that showed there is no way to hold companies to account for their commitments changed the tone of the national debate regarding the Potash bid," Mr. Hoffman says. "[Saskatchewan Premier Brad] Wall ... cited the story in his now famous speech explaining why his government was against Ottawa allowing the hostile bid."

Also, Grant Robertson and Tara Perkins are nominated for exposing how life insurance companies use perks and for questioning the ability of regulations to compel payouts.

Ms. McNish and fellow reporter Janet McFarland received a nod for detailing how leading businesswomen climbed the ladder.

Breaking news

When the head of Canada's largest air force base was arrested for the sex slayings of two women, Steve Ladurantaye was in Belleville lecturing at Loyalist College. He rushed to the courthouse to catch Russell Williams' first hearing.

Greg McArthur dug through University of Toronto archives for leads on Mr. Williams's past, while crime reporter Timothy Appleby and columnist Christie Blatchford worked sources, uncovering the now-famous confession video.

International reporting

To give readers a sense of how maternal deaths were playing out in the developing world, Africa bureau chief Geoffrey York described the operation of a back-alley abortionist in Tanzania and the ordeal of an Ethiopian woman trying to find help during a complicated birth.

"The toughest thing about researching the maternal health series was the authoritarian political climate in Ethiopia, where journalists are heavily restricted. To get into the country, I had to use a tourist visa - and then try to persuade the Ethiopian government to let me travel," he says.


In one of designer Jason Chiu's front pages, a large blank space sits at the top of the Saturday Globe, a stark representation of hackers' abilities to take down the websites of companies that tried to cut off WikiLeaks's cash flow.

"These are many ways you can illustrate a story on WikiLeaks or Julian Assange, and we've all seen them," Mr. Chiu says. "This was bringing electronic display to print."

Another cover uses a banana, marked with passport stamps, to represent the international food industry, and the yellow motif is carried throughout the page; another uses a single, stark number to reinforce the point that, contrary to popular belief, it is possible to get better health care in Canada if you open your pocketbook.

Short features

Ingrid Peritz discovered in an information package on a Holocaust Education Series that a Quebec filmmaker had spent years tracking down female inmates from the Auschwitz concentration camp who created a heart-shaped booklet for a friend's 20th birthday.

"She survived the camp and ended up emigrating to Canada, bringing the tiny booklet with her. Having lost her entire family, it was all she had. In that tiny heart and her survival I found symbols of dignity and the strength of the human spirit," she says.


During the Vancouver Olympics, reporters often told the story of how skier Alexandre Bilodeau, who won Canada a gold medal, was inspired by his disabled brother, Fréderic. But feature writer Ian Brown went a step further, interviewing Fréderic, who has cerebral palsy, and describing his life and those of his brother, sister and parents during the Olympics in a portrait of the family of an athlete and the bond between two brothers.


Health reporter André Picard has been nominated for columns arguing that doctors must obtain consent to perform pelvic exams, linking federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq's failure to attend a doctors' conference to what he sees as the government's neglect of health care and advocating a dementia strategy.

"I try to find issues that I think are of interest to the public," he says. "Hopefully, the columns resonate with readers."

Editorial cartooning

Cartoonist Brian Gable has received his 11th NNA nomination for his sketches on everything from economic sovereignty to the Tea Party to Toronto's mayoral race.

The winners will be announced May 13 in Ottawa.

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