John H. McDonald Awards for Excellence in Student Journalism

  • Kate Black a three-time Johnnie winner in 2014 from The Gateway. (Juil Yoon/CUP)

    Kate Black a three-time Johnnie winner in 2014 from The Gateway. (Juil Yoon/CUP)

The John H. McDonald Awards (“the Johnnies”) are a series of student journalism awards originally launched in 2003.

These awards were envisioned to be similar in character to the National Newspaper Awards, started by the Toronto Press Club in 1949. The awards exist to celebrate and reward the excellence that can be found in so many publications at universities and colleges across the country

The awards are open to any students whose work has been published in a CUP student publication at post-secondary institutions in Canada.

There will be one winner and two honourable mentions in each category. Shortlists will be released in January and the winner will be announced at the CUP National Conference during the JHM Gala. Additionally, winners’ names will be added to a plaque that will be stored in the CUP head office and brought to each annual conference for showcasing.



Previous years

The 9th annual Johnnies

The 9th annual Johnnies were handed out on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at the conclusion of the 75th CUP National Conference.

News Writing

Finalist: B.C. forests in dire need of restocking by Julie McIntosh, The Martlet
Finalist: Small town GGI: the Carré Rouge where there is no university by Colin Harris, The Link
Winner: A pioneering program for education in refugee camps by Arno Rosenfeld, The Ubyssey


French News
Presented by: Geraud Le Carduner
Finaliste: Les déboires des Partenariats Public-Privé par Nicolas Quiazua et Laurent Bastien, Le Délit
Finaliste: Le Doyen des Arts propose la révision du Code du Conduite de l’Étudiant par Camille Gris Roy, Le Délit
Gagnant: Mourir contre la peine de mort par Mathilde Michaud, Le Délit


Arts Writing
Sponsored by: Amber Webb-Bowerman Memorial Foundation
Finalist: Humour as defiance by Hillary Pasternak, The McGill Daily
Finalist: Superheroes, comics, and your childhood self by Kevin Hatch, The Cord
Winner: The psychobilly and the sitar by Colin Harris, The Link


French Arts
Presented by: Geraud Le Carduner
Finalist: Entre images et sons par Anne Pouzargues, Le Délit
Finalist: L’identité à fleur de peau par Mathilde Michaud, Le Délit
Gagnant: Les rues ont des oreilles par Anselme Le Texier, Le Délit


Sports Writing
Finalist: Confessions of an injured athlete by Madeleine Cummings, The McGill Daily
Finalist: Should fighting be allowed in CIS hockey? By Kaan Eraslan, The Ubyssey
Winner: When hits to the head hit close to home by Kevin Campbell, The Cord


Diversity Writing
Sponsored by: CWA/SCA Canada
Presented by: Dave Bosveld
Finalist: Controversial Art Creates Cultural Conversation by Taylor Rocca, The Omega
Finalist: Where are the gender-neutral bathrooms? By Oliver Leon, The Link
Winner: Fat happiness: is it wrong to be fat? By Ljudmila Petrovic, The Peak


Sponsored by: Spundge and The Walrus
Finalist: Homeless on Purpose by Kate McGillivray, The McGill Daily
Finalist: Travers Roy Wimble: 1928-2012 by Justin McElroy and Laura Rodgers, The Ubyssey
Winner: Taken for a ride by Riley Sparks, The Link


French Features
Sponsored by: CWA/SCA Canada
Presented by: Geraud Le Carduner
Gagnant: La dépression étudiante par Fanny Devaux, Le Délit


Labour Writing
Sponsored by: CWA/SCA Canada
Presented by: Katherine Lapointe
Finalist: Why high school students walking out gives me hope by Mick Sweetman, The Dialog
Finalist: This is all we have to give you by Riley Sparks, The Link
Winner: You’re an open (Face)book by Jeff Lagerquist and Sarah Del Giallo, The Eyeopener


Opinion Writing
Sponsored by:
Presented by: Michelle Gregus
Finalist: Elections are not a solution by Kevin Paul, The McGill Daily
Finalist: From quarks to quirk: a critical look at science journalism by Shannon Palus and Anqi Zhang, The McGill Daily
Winner: That transexual guy by Oliver Leon, The Link


Humour Writing
Sponsored by: The Albatross
Presented by: Ishmael Daro & John Morrison III
Finalist: Broad-based admissions should measure chillness, not quality of handshake by Bryce Warnes, The Ubyssey
Finalist: A university president responds to the World University Rankings by Jonny Wakefield, The Ubyssey
Winner: Dear Mother by Scott Moraes, The Capilano Courier


Sponsored by: Campus Plus
Presented by: Robert May
Finalist: Open Market by Ross Vincent, The Gateway
Finalist: Putting a Face to Homelessness by Lindsay Purchase, The Cord
Winner: Young, Fresh, Profesh by Kayla Watson, Interrobang


Sponsored by: Web Express
Presented by: Carl Turnbull & Byron Sheardown
Finalist: Showdown in the city: Can Anton or Robertson build a student-friendly Vancouver? By Indiana Joel, The Ubyssey
Finalist: The Quebec Question by Alex Manley and Paku Daoust-Cloutier, The Link
Winner: The Game of Laurier by Taylor Gayowsky, The Cord


Sponsored by: NPAC
Finalist: Tommy Gossland jumps by Geoff Lister, The Ubyssey
Finalist: World’s biggest dodgeball game by Matt Hirji, The Gateway
Winner: Tipping Point by Sam Slotnick, The Link