RNAO celebrates the best in health-care journalism with its annual Media Awards

June 16, 2021

Throughout 2020, journalists worked extremely hard to bring us compelling stories of nurses and other health providers who have been fighting the COVID-19 pandemic from the front lines. In celebration of their outstanding reporting, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is delighted to announce the winners of this year’s annual Media Awards.

Journalists from national television networks and radio programs led the way in this year’s competition with CTV W5, CTV National News, Global News, Global News Radio and CBC each winning an award. Their work put a spotlight on Ontario’s long-term care sector, what it is like to work in a COVID-19 ICU, and the health inequities affecting Black communities in Toronto. Other notable news outlets honoured this year include The Ottawa Citizen and Queen’s Park Briefing for stories that explore the challenges faced by dedicated nurses and personal support workers in a nursing home in Almonte, Ont., and the alarming number of postponed surgeries due to COVID-19, respectively.

"Just like the work of nurses, the work of the media has been intense and challenging: covering the pandemic from different viewpoints and shedding light on what needed urgent action,” says RNAO President Morgan Hoffarth. “RNAO values the work of all journalists keeping Ontarians informed and engaged. We thank the judging panel for their work and congratulate this year’s winners.”

This year, RNAO is handing out seven Media Awards for print, radio, television and online stories.

"These winning journalists provide nurses and other health-care professionals with a platform to share their experiences about the ongoing understaffing in long-term care, the excruciating burnout and fatigue they feel, and the anti-Black racism we know exists, but was exposed for all to see during the pandemic," says RNAO CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun. "Their impressive work showcases the impact COVID-19 has had on everyone, and in particular on nurses and our colleagues on the front lines. Congratulations to this year's outstanding winners."

Entries were judged by a panel of nurses and journalists. Awards will be handed out at RNAO's virtual 96th Annual General Meeting on June 25.

Here is the full list of winners:

Elizabeth Payne
The Ottawa Citizen
Daily newspaper – Best in-depth feature or series

Sneh Duggal
Queen’s Park Briefing
Community newspaper – Best in-depth feature or series

Jason Chapman, Scott Monich, Briana Carnegie, Shiona Thompson, Dave Woodard, Sandy Salerno, Sheba Siddiqui, Lisa Polewski, Andrew Graham and Rick Zamperin
Global News Radio

Radio – Best in-depth feature or series

Avis Favaro and Elizabeth St. Philip
CTV National News
Television – Best news coverage

Avery Haines, Paul Haber, Brett Mitchell, Jerry Vienneau and André Lapalme

Television – Best in-depth feature or series

Olivia Bowden and Patrick Cain
Global News
Online Best story

Lauren Pelley
CBC News
Online — Best in-depth feature or series

RNAO is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners and nursing students in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve. For more information about RNAO, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


Contact info

Victoria Alarcon
Communications Officer/Writer
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO)