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Wilfrid Laurier University Laurier Brantford
December 3, 2016
Canadian Excellence



Laurier Brantford

Laurier Journalism grad receives three newspaper award nominations

Apr 13/11

Laurier Brantford journalism graduate Tara (Hagan) Jeffrey’s career is off to an award-winning start. Jeffrey has been nominated for a National Newspaper Award, and two Ontario Newspaper Awards for her work in 2010.

Jeffrey is no stranger to the Ontario Newspaper Awards (ONA). In 2008, she received the Rob Austin Memorial Award, given annually to the top student journalist in the province. And now, her work for the Sarnia Observer is being recognized nationally as well as provincially.

Jeffrey received a nomination for a National Newspaper Award (NNA) in the local reporting category for a series of stories about mental health and a spate of teen suicides in Sarnia-Lambton last year. (You can find an example online here). She is one of 72 finalists in 22 categories, selected from over 1,470 entries in this year's competition.

"To receive a nomination from the highly-respected National Newspaper Awards is a true reflection of the quality journalism produced at this newspaper every day," said Observer managing editor Rod Hilts. "Tara's suicide series opened the door on a subject that people don't want to acknowledge publicly. The compassionate writing and willingness to go beyond the communication walls put up by some people in our community resulted in a powerful series that hopefully helped some at-risk teens."

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa on May 13.

Jeffrey and the Observer also received two nominations for Ontario Newspaper Awards, including in the spot news reporting category for comprehensive coverage of the ferocious December blizzard that left 600 motorists stranded on area roads, and in the multimedia special projects category for a video blog series called “20 to Life.”

"The Observer has a remarkable history of success at the Ontario Newspaper Awards,” said senior news editor Jack Poirier in the Observer. “Being nominated by our industry peers for the excellence of our work is an honour and reflects the evolution of our news coverage."

The winners will be announced April 30 at a gala reception in Waterloo, Ont.

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