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Toronto Star earns four CAJ award nominations

Top left to right: Alyshah Hasham, Wendy Gillis and Amy Dempsey. Middle left to right: Jennifer Yang, Rachel Mendleson and Brendan Kennedy. Bottom left to right: Kenyon Wallace, Ed Tubb and Andrew Bailey.

The Toronto Star earned award nominations in four categories in the 2021 Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) awards program for reporting on COVID-19 and community news.

Nine reporters secured the spots as finalists in the data journalism, freedom of Information journalism, daily excellence and written feature categories. There were 522 entries for awards this year.

Toronto Star reporters Kenyon Wallace, Ed Tubb and Brendan Kennedy earned a finalist spot in the data journalism category for analyzing how COVID-19 affects long-term-care homes in Ontario.

Rachel Mendleson, Andrew Bailey and Jennifer Yang are finalists in the freedom of information category, for securing internal government documents about Ontario’s COVID-19 health guidelines in schools.

Alyshah Hasham and Wendy Gillis are finalists in the daily excellence category, for capturing an “outpouring of grief” after a Muslim family was killed in London, Ont.

Amy Dempsey is a finalist for her written feature reporting how the Kensington Gardens long-term-care home fought COVID-19’s second wave.

“These nominations show the range of strength in storytelling that brings audiences to the Star from throughout Canada and beyond — from deep-dive data analysis to freedom of information searches to industry-leading breaking news and features, the Star does it all,” Star Editor Anne Marie Owens said.

Finalists for the CAJ’s award for the best “scoop,” breaking news of significant or national importance, will be announced “in the coming days” according to a tweet by the association.

The CAJ is a national organization of Canadian journalists that promotes investigative journalism and press freedoms.

The winners will be announced May 28, at the 2022 CAJ conference in Montréal.

Isaac Phan Nay is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Reach him via email: iphannay@thestar.ca

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