CJF award winners announced

LEFT: Norman Webster holds up his Lifetime Achievement Award, while presenter Vince Borg looks on.

RIGHT: Honoured guest Graydon Carter regales the audience with tales of celebrity coverage, 9/11 aftermath and Vanity Fair plans for the future.

The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) handed out its major awards tonight at The Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto.

The Hamilton Spectator won the Excellence in Journalism Award in the large or national media category, sponsored by the Jackman Foundation and the Canadian Journalism Foundation.  The Hamilton Spectator is the first ever two-time winner of this award. “This organization has taken considerable effort to maintain and exceed its already existing reputation for first-rate work. It is renowned in North America for showing courage and independence and is on an aggressive path to change industry norms,” said John Fraser, incoming Chair of The Canadian Journalism Foundation. “This organization is making valuable inroads into evolving its newsroom. Innovation and fairness are at the forefront of its mandate. The staff is dedicated to serving its community – volunteering, educating and playing an important role in social improvement.”

The Guelph Mercury won the Excellence in Journalism Award in the small, medium or local market category. “A feisty, intensely local paper demonstrates how quality journalism can be embraced in the smallest of newsrooms. Pound for pound, it is among the best in the country,” said Donna Logan, Chair of the Excellence in Journalism Award Selection Committee. “The jury was particularly impressed by the importance this paper attaches to accuracy and accountability. It has not only an advisory panel of readers but a panel of young readers to advise on coverage for the age group that has traditionally been the most elusive for newspapers.”

Honourable Mentions went to The Tyee in the small/local category and the Canadian Press in the large/national category.

The Greg Clark Award, sponsored by CTV and the Toronto Star, went to Megan Wennberg, writer for The Coast and drumsong communications in Halifax, NS. This award will enable her to spend some time with the newsmakers at Nunatsiaq News in Iqaluit, Nunavut, where she will gain insight into understanding the daily realities in Canada’s north and be better equipped to tell stories about a community that is playing an increasingly important role in Canada’s future.

The Canadian Journalism Fellowships are awarded annually by Massey College in the University of Toronto.  Jeffrey Brown, Senior Assignment Producer with CBC Radio National News, is this year’s CBC/Radio-Canada Fellow. Liane Faulder, feature writer for the Edmonton Journal, is awarded the St. Clair Balfour Fellow, named after the late St. Clair Balfour who, along with the late Gordon N. Fisher of Southam Newspapers, created these fellowships in 1962.  Sheree-Lee Olson, Style Editor at the Globe and Mail, is the Webster/McConnell Fellow, named after two Montreal foundations. And, finally, this year’s Gordon N. Fisher Commonwealth Fellowship went to Andrew Teyie, senior political writer at The Standard in Kenya. 

The Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellowship was also presented at the Gala. This famous fellowship was established at Harvard University.  James Baxter, editorial writer with the Edmonton Journal, was named the Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellow. He will enjoy a one-year sabbatical at Harvard University. 

The Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy, worth up to $100,000, is sponsored by the Atkinson Charitable Foundation, the Toronto Star and the Honderich family. The grant provides for a Canadian journalist to undertake a year-long research project on a topical public policy issue.  The recipient of the fellowship this year is Judy Steed, feature writer at the Toronto Star.  For her fellowship, she will be working on a project entitled: Aging: The Myths, the New Research, the Hidden Poverty, Transformative Models and Public Policy Innovations.

As previously announced, one of the evening’s highlights was the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Norman Webster in honour of his renowned journalistic career as an editor, foreign correspondent, columnist and reporter. “Norman Webster’s name has been synonymous with quality journalism for four decades,” said Geoffrey Stevens, Board member of The Canadian Journalism Foundation and former colleague of Norman Webster.