The Excellence in Journalism award is not an award for specific coverage of one event. What makes the Foundation's Excellence Award different is its focus on the characteristics of journalistic organization that produces excellence. This year, the award recipient's submission explained in detail why professional development, diversity and courage are the hallmarks of the organization and the jury was impressed by this, noting that it was perhaps the best submission in the ten-year history of the award and deserved to win against competition from media heavyweights in both official languages.
This has been a difficult decade for medium-sized newspapers because of increased competition from print, television and new media. This year's Excellence in Journalism award recipient has demonstrated that it is still possible to reinvent the contemporary newspaper if the task is undertaken with commitment, idealism and enthusiasm.
The 2005 recipient of the Excellence in Journalism Award is The Hamilton Spectator.