Spectator reporter joins elite club for Canadian journalists

Hamilton reporter Molly Hayes has joined an elite club in Canadian journalism. The 24-year-old Hamilton Spectator reporter brought home the 23rd Goff Penny Memorial Prize, awarded to journalists between 20 and 25 years old for excellence in news reporting. The award was presented in Charlottetown at the May 28-30 INK + Beyond conference organized by Newspapers Canada, a joint initiative of the Canadian Newspaper Association and the Canadian Community Newspapers Association. Also present was fellow Hamilton Spectator reporter, Jon Wells, a finalist for the Long Features category for the National Newspaper Awards. Hayes is the first reporter from the Hamilton Spectator receiving the Goff Penny award.

Molly Hayes at PEI (Photo culled from Twitter @Jimatthespec)

Molly Hayes at PEI (Photo culled from Twitter @Jimatthespec)

“It was very cool. I have been to the Ontario Newspaper Awards three times but have never been to the national awards. It’s really cool to see reporters that I read about and look up to,” said Hayes.

Previous winners of the prize include City Hall reporters Daniel Dale and Jennifer Pagliaro, both of the Toronto Star. Hayes was thrilled when she learned that Michelle Shepherd, Toronto Star’s national security reporter, once won the award.

“It was very flattering and humbling. I am in such good company, with the past recipients,” said Hayes, who admires Shepherd’s work.


Molly and Cheryl-small

Hayes and Spectator’s editor of Business magazine, Cheryl Stepan enjoying wine at the National Newspaper Awards gala (Photo supplied by: Cheryl Stepan)

Hayes’ submission package to the awards committee included articles on the Tim Bosma murder case, an original e-book titled The Penniless Millionaire and a profile of a family whose son took his life. The story shed light on mental illness and prompted discussion on the significance of the issue, said Hayes The murder mystery started a year ago, when Ancaster’s Tim Bosma took two strangers for a test drive in a truck he was trying to sell. He never returned. Instead, his burned remains were found. Two men, Dellen Millard, 28, and Mark Smich, 26, have been charged with first degree murder.


Hayes’ second e-book “The Vilest Form of Evil: Tim Bosma’s Murder One Year Later.”

A year since the tragedy, Hayes published her second e-book titled The Vilest Form of Evil: Tim Bosma’s Murder One Year LaterReleased shortly after the awards, the book revisits the tragedy, looking at Bosma’s childhood, relationship with his partner Sharlene and how his loved ones are coping with the loss.

You can meet Hayes at Hamilton Media Guild’s first Media Mixer on Thursday, June 5 at 7 p.m., George Hamilton (152 King Street West). Hear about her experiences as a reporter over drinks and appetizers. Tell us you are coming on HMG’s Facebook page.

More about Canada’s top young journalist in HMG Chair Sherry Mousavi’s article.

Alyssa Lai

A Southeast Asian born tan but without the Ray-Bans, Alyssa is a public relations professional working to advance nonprofits. She’s a communications and theatre graduate with a keen eye for design and a knack for digital storytelling. An aspiring media professor, she sees the trees for the forest in the path to academia. Her curiosity has led her down the rabbit hole, where she explores news-reporting, graphic design, photography, web development and more. Learn more at www.alyssaglai.com

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