London Free Press news team wins national journalism honour

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A national journalism group has honored The London Free Press for its breaking news coverage of the Afzaal family tragedy in London last year.

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Four members of the Muslim family died after they were struck by a vehicle at an intersection June 6 in a collision police allege was deliberate, the family targeted because of its faith.

Only a fifth family member, a young boy, survived the crash that killed his parents, his teenage sister and his grandmother.

A Free Press news team shared in the Daily Excellence Award given by the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) for some of its earliest coverage of the unfolding national news story. The Toronto Star was a co-winner of the award, announced at a weekend ceremony in Montreal, for its reporting on the same tragedy.

Other finalists in the category included the Vancouver Sun and Ottawa Citizen, sister newspapers of The Free Press in the Postmedia chain.

The CAJ awards recognize the best in Canadian journalism, with a focus on investigative work.

Community events are planned in London later this week and next to honour the Afzaal family: Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, their daughter Yumnah, 15, and Salman Afzaal’s mother, Talat Afzaal, 74, all of whom died. The couple’s son, Fayez, was badly injured.

A London man is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one of attempted murder.

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