Hamilton Spectator picks up 12 prizes at Ontario Newspaper Awards

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The Hamilton Spectator, sister paper to the Toronto Star, picked up 12 of the 34 prizes handed out at an Ontario Newspaper Awards gala Saturday night.

The paper’s winning haul included the prestigious awards for journalist and photojournalist of the year.

The London Free Press and Windsor Star received five prizes apiece during a Hamilton ceremony marking the awards’ 63rd year.

Spectator photographer Barry Gray claimed the Richard Sutton Award for Photojournalist of the Year, while the paper’s Joanna Frketich won the Martha Blackburn Award for Journalist of the Year.

Frketich also won the prize for education reporting.

The awards are open to all daily newspapers in the province outside of Toronto.

“Fake news is pervasive and dangerous, and for this reason quality journalism matters more than ever,” awards chair Howard Elliott said in a press release.

“Consumers of news can rely on and trust what they read in Ontario newspapers. There is nothing alternative about the facts gathered by the professional journalists who work for these organizations. They are committed to uncovering truths, and in this way Ontario’s journalists are supporting democracy.”

About 250 journalists, representing 32 newspapers, attended the Sheraton Hotel ceremony.

The Niagara Falls Review, Sudbury Star and Woodstock Sentinel Review each picked up two awards, while the Barrie Examiner, Belleville Intelligencer, Owen Sound Sun Times, St. Catharines Standard and Brantford Expositor each claimed a single award.

The Guelph Mercury, a former Torstar paper that closed last year, picked up an award for design and graphics.

The Spectator — also owned by Torstar, which publishes the Star — won additional awards in the lifestyle, enterprise, business, humour, general news feature, municipal affairs, multimedia and multimedia special project categories.