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In recognition of an extraordinary career as a reporter, editor, producer and journalism trailblazer—in both print and broadcast—Jean Pelletier, currently senior director of television current affairs and documentaries for Radio-Canada, was honoured with The Canadian Journalism Foundation’s (CJF) Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual CJF Awards on June 8 in Toronto.

“It is not everyone who can make a difference every step of the way in a media career,” says Chantal Hébert, jury member and a political columnist for the Toronto Star, le Devoir, l'actualité, CBC and Radio-Canada. “Jean Pelletier did it on the ground at home and abroad as a journalist and behind the scenes as a current affairs editor and producer. He pioneered shows such as Enquête at a time when investigative journalism was hard to finance and he produced reports that led to a major exercise in introspection in Quebec over ethics, corruption and collusion—and brought down the mayors of two of the province's major cities.”
Pelletier began his journalism career at Le Devoir, then moved to La Presse in 1976 where he served as its Parliament Hill correspondent. A year later, he was named the paper’s first permanent correspondent in Washington, D.C.  It was in that role that he uncovered the story of the 1980 dramatic escape from Iran of six U.S. diplomats who had been hidden by Canadian embassy staff during the hostage crisis in Tehran. 
From field reporting, he transitioned to editor-in-chief of Radio-Canada’s TV public affairs program Le Point and served in the same role at the flagship news show Téléjournal before becoming head of news at Radio-Canada (television). He was promoted to senior director of public affairs and documentaries and in 2012, took on the role of senior director of television current affairs and documentaries.
Together with CBC’s Mark Starowicz, Pelletier headed a CBC/Radio-Canada cross-cultural programming initiative from 2003 to 2010 that resulted in a major documentary series covering different strands of Canada’s history. In 2007, he created the investigative journalism program Enquête, which was the first to shed light on corruption and collusion in Quebec’s construction industry, revelations that eventually led to the creation of the Charbonneau Commission in 2011. Enquête also broke the story of alleged police abuse of Indigenous women in Val d’Or, Que.

About the Lifetime Achievement Award

The annual Canadian Journalism Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding lifetime contribution to journalism in Canada.

Individuals who have worked in any type of media (print, broadcast, digital) and in any journalism category (news, business, politics, cartoon, arts, etc.) are eligible for consideration. The recipient will have demonstrated, throughout his/her career, a commitment to the highest journalistic standards and ideals. His/her work and contribution to the field and society should serve as a model that inspires excellence in others.

Criteria for the Lifetime Achievement Award:
Among the items to be considered are:

  • Body of journalistic work during career
  • Contribution to society through outstanding journalism
  • Recognition and respect from peers and community

The winner was selected by a jury and presented at the annual CJF Awards on June 8, 2017.


Past Recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award

2016 Lloyd Robertson
2015 Michel Auger
2014 Peter Bregg
2013 Michael Maclear
2012 Jack Sigvaldason
2011 Patrick Brown
2010 Lise Bissonnette
2009 Joe Schlesinger
2008 Sally Armstrong
2007 Norman Webster


2006 Knowlton Nash
2005 Pierre Berton (posthumous)
2004 June Callwood
2003 Doris Anderson
2002 Trina McQueen
2001 Doug Creighton
2000 Mark Starowicz
1999 Bernard Derome
1998 Peter C. Newman
1997 Peter Gzowski
1996 Robert Fulford



The 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Lloyd Robertson, the longtime anchor of CTV National News, was honoured with The Canadian Journalism Foundation's (CJF) Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual CJF Awards on June 16 in Toronto. Robertson's broadcasting career spans more than five decades. Currently host and chief correspondent for W5, CTV's investigative news program, Robertson joined CTV in 1976. He held the title of chief anchor and senior editor with CTV National News for 35 years. View the video tribute and his acceptance speech (below).