CBC Edmonton wins national award for exposing NorQuest College scandal

CBC Edmonton wins national award for exposing NorQuest College scandal

CBC Edmonton investigative reporters Charles Rusnell and Jennie Russell have won the 2016 Canadian Association of University Teachers award for journalistic excellence in post-secondary coverage.

The pair won for a series of stories that exposed a massive unreported security breach and fraud at NorQuest College, as well as the generous salary and sabbatical provided to college president Jodi Abbott.

After the stories appeared, college executives were called before the Alberta legislature's all-party public accounts committee to explain why it had not publicly disclosed the privacy breach and fraud committed by Clarence Orleski, its former information technology manager.

Alberta's privacy commissioner also launched an investigation into a privacy complaint from a NorQuest employee.

The award is based on relevance, originality, the quality of investigation and research, the potential impact on policy makers, and meeting professional standards of journalism.

The award will be presented at the association's conference in Ottawa May 5.

This is the 15th award won by Rusnell and Russell since they began working together nearly five years ago.

In 2014, they won the Canadian Association of Journalists best overall investigative report for stories that exposed the abuse of public resources by former premier Alison Redford.