Winner: Elliot Ferguson, Kingston Whig-Standard
In a series of stories focused on the Davis Tannery property, Ferguson skilfully reported on a complex City Hall issue that pitted environmental concerns against the city’s need for more housing. Whether explaining the financial value of a tree, the importance of protecting woodlands or simply the impact of 12,000 dump trucks removing contaminated soil using city streets, Ferguson demonstrated a strong ability to provide balanced coverage that was fair, factual, diligent and easy for the reader to grasp.
Runner-up: Mary Katherine Keown, Sudbury Star
A devastating fire left two families grieving and a community asking questions about the state of the city’s fire service, thanks to dogged reporting from Keown. Her range of storytelling and mastery of details — from the confusion over the safety of residents in the building where the blaze erupted to securing and maintaining a water supply — were as gripping as the obituary of the octogenarian couple who died.
Runner-up: Susan Gamble, Brantford Expositor
Gamble’s in-depth court coverage on a wide range of cases — the police cadet’s several offences; additional murder charges that had yet to be made public; and even the bigger payday for a pair of gamblers — using both modern and old-school reporting tools showed her expertise and talent for navigating complicated legal matters and translating them into easily digestible pieces for the public.