COVID-19 Writing


This category contained poignant storytelling and the journalism done here forms a historical record for this strange and heartbreaking period of history. The effort and commitment shown in delivering this kind of in-depth and beautifully executed work needs to be honoured for every entrant. Thank you for serving your communities in this way.

The three finalists went the furthest, in this judge’s estimation, in helping readers understand the pandemic and the effects on their lives. In this confusing, overwhelming time, this is vitally important:

Winner: Jeff Outhit, Waterloo Region Record

Outhit used robust data journalism to unpack COVID-19 in communities and schools and offered next-level analysis to explore how social inequities fed the crisis. The stories also contained a wide variety of human voices that brought the data to life. Useful and impactful, the entry also displays clear writing and investigative work that sets it apart in a strong field.

Runners-up: Joanna Frketich, Maria Iqbal and Steve Buist, Hamilton Spectator

Many newsrooms covered the tragic outcomes of long-term care homes, but this team dug in to discover the weaknesses in the system that allowed the disaster to take place. Both the writing and reporting is exceptional in the three stories that made up the entry.

Runners-up: Grant LaFleche and Karena Walter, St. Catharines Standard

Together, these reporters wove together many stories of the COVID-19 experience into one narrative, offering new insights into how lives were affected and disrupted. Filled with evocative detail and emotion, the three-part series is effectively executed.


Return to full list of winners.

2021 ONAs: COVID-19 Writing