The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) handed out its major awards on June 9 at a gala event in Toronto.
The Winnipeg Free Press won the Excellence in Journalism Award in the large or national media category, sponsored by the Jackman Foundation and the Canadian Journalism Foundation. “The jury found the Winnipeg Free Press presentation dazzling,” said Michael Benedict, Chair of CJF’s Excellence Award jury. “It exceeded all our criteria for excellence. It is gratifying that in a time when so many papers are in survival mode, that the Free Press remains journalistically ambitious and strives to achieve even greater heights.”
The Tyee won the Excellence in Journalism Award in the small, medium or local market category. “The Tyee is a beacon for those seeking new models in a media landscape that is undergoing seismic shifts,” said John Macfarlane, Chair of the Canadian Journalism Foundation. “It is gaining attention because while it employs new methodologies it still adheres to time-honoured journalistic standards—and always with the aim of achieving excellence.”
The Greg Clark Award, sponsored by CTV and the Toronto Star, went to Mary-Catherine McIntosh, a reporter with CBC Radio in Calgary. Mary-Catherine has taken an interest in the plight of temporary foreign workers, having dealt with it in a number of stories. This award will enable her to spend some time with Pura Velasco, a Toronto-based advocate for temporary foreign workers and caregivers and a key figure in the national community, to learn more about her work with this marginalized group.
The Canadian Journalism Fellowships are awarded annually by Massey College in the University of Toronto. Kevin Robertson, a producer with CBC Radio, received the CBC/Radio-Canada Fellowship. Marina Jimenez, senior feature writer for the the Globe and Mail, was 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. Eric Lemus of La Pagina.com, El Salvador received the new Scotiabank/CJFE fellowship. The Webster/McConnell fellowship, named after two Montreal foundations, was awarded to Rachel Pulfer, the U.S. correspondent for Canadian Business. In addition, this year an Associate Journalism Fellowship was awarded to the Dunlap Institute Journalist-in-Residence at University of Toronto, Ivan Semeniuk, formerly the U.S. bureau chief at New Scientist magazine.
The Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellowship was also presented at the Gala. This famous fellowship was established at Harvard University and includes a year of study at the school. This year’s winner is Jana Juginovic, director of news and programming, CTV News Channel and executive producer, CTV News Specials, who will study the impact of 24-hour news on public policy.
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 Kate Taylor, an arts columnist at the Globe and Mail. For her fellowship, she will address Canada’s prospects for cultural sovereignty in the Internet era.
As previously announced, one of the evening’s highlights was the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Joe Schlesinger by Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada. For four decades, Schlesinger has reported for CBC Television News from every part of the world. “I can’t imagine a better job,” he said in an interview for J-Source. Geoffrey Stevens, chair of CJF’s Lifetime Achievement Award jury, said “I have been a Joe Schlesinger fan for years. He is always intelligent, fair and accurate — a model for all young journalists.” The Governor General has a report of the event at her site as well, which includes some photos and her speech transcript. You can also listen to an interview with Schlesinger on The Current (Part 3) and view a highlights reel of Schlesinger’s most memorable reports that was featured on The National.
Veteran broadcast journalist Morley Safer was also welcomed back to his native Toronto for a special Canadian Journalism Foundation tribute at this year’s gala, presented by Peter Mansbridge. With a body of work spanning six decades and a host of awards to his credit, Safer is one of North America’s most celebrated journalists. While he’s best known for his nearly 40 years as a correspondent on the CBS News show 60 Minutes, his broadcast career began in Canada with the CBC. Safer was interviewed on Canada AM and reassured audiences he wasn’t planning on retiring any time soon. He also spoke with Jian Gomeshi on Q and discussed the importance of having an international POV as a (sometimes) foreign correspondent.
To view the videos presented at the gala, go to the CJF’s gala video page.
(Photographer: Kaz Ehara)