J-Source Canadian Newsperson of the Year

The J-Source Canadian Newsperson of the Year award will honour a Canadian who has demonstrated excellence and had a positive impact on the quality of journalism in their community or across the country, perhaps innovating the way news is gathered and told, inspiring journalists, educators, and the Canadian public. 

Nomination guidelines:

The J-Source Canadian Newsperson of the Year award will honour a Canadian who has demonstrated excellence and had a positive impact on the quality of journalism in their community or across the country, perhaps innovating the way news is gathered and told, inspiring journalists, educators, and the Canadian public. 

Nomination guidelines:

  • We are honouring journalism during 2011, so the action, decision, advocacy, story, approach, judgement call etc. that provides the basis for the nomination must have occurred in the 2011 calendar year
  • If the basis for a nomination refers to an internal decision, the information must be verifiable
  • Please keep your nominations brief, as we will be posting the list below
  • Nominations must be received by 11:59 p.m. PST on January 16, 2012


A jury convened by The Canadian Journalism Project (CJP) will judge the nominees and announce the winner of the J-Source Canadian Newsperson of the Year award in January.



Nominees and reasons for nominations:
(Names of nominators are kept confidential)

1) Steve Buist (The Hamilton Spectator)

"Steve’s commitment to journalism is perhaps best embodied in the groundbreaking series Code Red that began in 2010 and continued in 2011. The series makes connections between health, wealth and poverty and provides powerful data for decision-makers. It’s the first time such data has been published and the stories are powerful and life-changing.
This year's journalism project was called BORN, a Code Red project and focused the connection between low income, poor education and birth outcomes. Steve relied upon exclusive access to 535,000 Ontario birth records to tell the multi-part series."

2) Anne Kingston (Maclean's)

"Restlessly following the CCSVI in Multiple Sclerosis issue. Digesting and presenting complex info very well, blasting through a haze of well funded contrarians with dodgy motives always politely. Realizing that this is a long-term issue and educating readers in a wholly responsible manner."

"Excellent coverage of the CCSVI story. Fair, balanced and insightful."

3) Bethany Horne (OpenFile)

"Bethany is young and recently did her first radio doc for the CBC, she is also a curator for Open File Halifax, she caused a stir with her stance on Unpaid Internships. The reason for I am nominating her though is for her work with Occupy Halifax. While most Canadian journos dismissed Occupy or seemed confused by it – Bethany embedded herself for extended periods in an effort to understand and created a space within the Occupy Halifax camp where journalists could live and work. A sample of her occupy work can be found here."

4) Andrea Houston (Xtra)

"Andrea has been at the forefront of journalism on women's rights and LGBT issues this year. She has also done an exceptional job of covering Toronto City Hall for Xtra. Most prominently though she has played a pivotal role in calling attention to the ban on Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) in Ontario's Catholic Schools. http://www.xtra.ca/public/Toronto"

"I would like to second Andrea's nomination as Newsperson of the Year. In addition to her excellent work covering the fight for Gay Straight Alliances in Catholic schools, she's also fearless, fair, and hardworking in her coverage of all the issues that matter to Xtra's community of readers. And her sense of justice is equalled by her sense of humour. She's a credit to Pink Triangle Press."

5) Craig Silverman (Regret the Error)

"For some years, Craig, the man behind Regret the Error and regrettheerror.com, has waged a war for accuracy and transparency, winning a place as an expert on corrections policy (in print and online) and respected advocate for higher standards. He became a feature on the Columbia Journalism Review site before moving to the Poynter Institute's site late in the year. He was also one of the leading thinkers behind the Canadian Association of Journalists' guidelines for online corrections issued this year."

6) Jayson Taylor (Halifax Chronicle Herald)

"Jayson Taylor has challenged the reporters and photojournalists to tell stories in innovative ways and with other mediums other than the printed page. And in response those who have worked with him have been rewarded by being 'creatively recharged'. With the ground-breaking http://thechronicleherald.ca/NovaScotiaBurning series of racism in Nova Scotia, Taylor has continued to inspire the the fellow members of his editorial team. In addition Jayson has been involved in mentoring other team members to try their hand at video and multimedia including: http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/43554-video-year-chronicle-herald-work-review."

7) Wilf Dinnick (OpenFile)

"Founder of OpenFile, he quit a promising career in TV news in the U.S. to come home and start something completely new: an online news service predicated on citizens' local-news interests but reliant on journalists' work. Many said his idea was doomed to founder on the rocks of financing. Instead, it has spread to several cities and, while young, it promises a new way to think about news and has brought paid work to many young journalists. Yes, a new thing under the sun."

8) Chad Skelton (Vancouver Sun)

"Chad is an award-winning journalist with the Vancouver Sun who has brought data journalism to the mainstream in a big way. His work on projects such as this (http://www.vancouversun.com/news/daycare-ratings/index.html) is important in pointing to new ways of more deeply informing the public."

9) Andrew Lundy (Global News)

"He has worked tirelessly to bring Global News to the forefront of innovative journalism in Canada. Launched just three years ago, Globalnews.ca is now the fastest growing news and information website in the country. Under Andrew's leadership, the website has pioneered data journalism and quietly given Canadians a strong alternative source for quality journalism from coast-to-coast."

10) Andrew Nikiforuk (The Tyee)

"Nikiforuk wrote surely one of the best Canadian books of the year, Empire of the Beetle, a multi-faceted investigation into beetle infestations killing forests in Canada and beyond that was nominated for the 2011 Governor General's Literary award…This year Nikiforuk also built upon his groundbreaking bestseller The Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of the Continent with 46 richly researched pieces about Energy & Equity, published by The Tyee, which challenge the assumption that Canada becoming a petro-state is inevitably good for Canadians' well-being. http://thetyee.ca/Bios/Andrew_Nikiforuk/"

11) Tim Petruk (Kamloops This Week)

"Tim's consistently excellent crime and court reporting could find a home in any newspaper in the country. He won the highest honour in B.C. journalism in 2009, was nominated in 2010, and will likely return next year for his excellent multipart story "28 Seconds" on a Kamloops man shot to death by police. His work might fly under the radar because of where it appears—in a community newspaper in the interior of British Columbia—but to do what Tim does with the scarce resources afforded small-town journalists is deserving of this honour."

12) Kenneth Jackson (freelancer)

"Kenneth Jackson, a former Ottawa Sun crime reporter, broke the biggest political story of the year. The Bruce Carson affair consumed the House of Commons in the two weeks leading up to the election. Jackson was the one who obtained emails written by Bruce Carson and a contract Carson witnessed giving his fiancee, an Ottawa escort named Michele McPherson, a cut of profits from the sale of water filters to First Nations suffering from dirty water."

13) Murray Brewster (The Canadian Press)

"Murray Brewster (CP miltary affairs correspondent) is an unsung hero of Canadian journalism. He is a quiet, immensely humble master of his craft who just published an important book, The Savage War; a mentor to dozens (at least) of young, often ill-trained, ill-prepared journalists sent abroad into hostile environments and shooting conflicts; a rare, deeply principled journalist who risks his life and sacrifices the comfort of home and family for as much as six months out of a year to uphold these principles."

14) Liam Casey (Toronto Star)

"I'd like to nominate Liam Casey for work that he began in late 2010, but has continued throughout 2011. In the winter 2010 issue of the Ryerson Review of Journalism, Casey wrote the cover story about suicide and the media's lack of coverage of it. He wrote about his own bout with suicide as a means to get into the story. It was a brave decision. He wrote numerous pieces for the Star, including this one about suicide myths vs. realities. In late 2011, the Star ran a series on teen suicide, which included pieces by Casey. See here. Casey is undoubtedly a great example of the bright future of Canadian journalism."

15) Sean Holman (formerly Public Eye)

"Unattached to any major media, Sean has consistently held the B.C. provincial government's toes to the fire, breaking stories constantly that other media do not discover. He's always ahead of them on matters that affect the average person. The fact he has done this without the accoutrements of a media outlet speaks volumes for his abilities and his commitment to our profession." 

"Sean Holman regrettably closed Public Eye Online http://www.publiceyeonline.com/archives/006355.html late last year because it was not financially viable – but not only did great work producing over 6,000 stories in 8 years, he broke major exclusive stories in 2011. Among those: finding two firms with provincial Liberal connections were awarded secret, no-bid contracts worth over $250,000 for work promoting the Harmonized Sales Tax http://www.publiceyeonline.com/archives/006249.html"

16) Michelle Shephard (Toronto Star)

"Unbeatably fierce as a reporter, unmatchably kind as a mentor to other journalists, Michelle Shephard had an extraordinary year. Beginning with her on-the-ground, bullet-dodging reports from Yemen as one of the few Western journalists to document that country's role in the Arab Uprising, to her unwavering determination to report on the famine in Somalia from Mogadishu, Shephard's work was a rarity: mature intelligent and world-class. It became clear that in this, her 10th year as the Star's terrorism and security reporter, Shephard has set the standard for Canadian journalism in this field, a role reinforced on the international stage with the fall publication of Decade of Fear, her highly praised analysis of 9/11."

17) Lindsay Kines (Victoria Times Colonist)

"Reporter Lindsay Kines diligently pursued the effects of budget constraints at the BC agency dedicated to caring for the disabled throughout 2011. He was one of the first reporters in the province to recognize the importance of the story and for months was alone in demanding answers from government officials into cutbacks, wait lists and service problems for the disabled. His focused, meticulous reporting turned it into one of B.C.'s most significant political stories in 2011. The growing attention contributed to the shuffle of the cabinet minister responsible, the departure of the CEO, an interim funding boost and a number of reviews still underway."

18) Pat Healey (Enfield Weekly Press/The Laker)

"Pat Healey from The Laker newspaper in Fall River is, by far the most dedicated journalist imaginable! He is everywhere in the community, anytime something is happening, Pat is there getting the story and taking photos. He helps our community so much by covering community events and keeping people informed on current events."

"Pat not only dedicates endless hours reporting the latest news but he shares the positive news so that we can be proud of our community. From the eyes and ears of a small child to adult to senior citizen, Pat has coverage that keeps all of us reading. He has dedicated readers who are forever grateful for the work he does broadcasting what's going on in the community."

19) Joanna Smith (Toronto Star)

"Joanna has covered a number of challenging and in-depth stories over the past year, from the passing of Jack Layton to the difficult trial of Russell Williams. She is a strong, detail-oriented and captivating writer who gets her facts straight and profiles the who's who in federal politics and covers timely and important stories in an innovative fashion from live-tweeting to writing concise briefs and colourful features."

20) Jana Pruden (Edmonton Journal)

"Outstanding coverage of Edmonton crime including the record-setting year of homicides with the five-part series looking back at the murders. Ms. Pruden also had the series detailing the history of capital punishment hangings in Canada. Moreover, she had outstanding and exclusive coverage of the country's largest urban fire in history that occured in Slave Lake during May of 2011."


21) James Baxter (iPolitics)

"James Baxter (founder) had a bold vision for a new kind of Canadian political news, just 2 years ago, and in that time made it a reality. With large readership and a powerhouse newsroom of young eager journalists and well known names to the Hill, iPolitics is quickly becoming a staple in any political required reading. www.ipolitics.ca"

"James Baxter created iPolitics at a time of disappearing budgets, resources and news holes. Better than that, he created a newsroom where Press Gallery veterans work alongside newcomers to the Hill in a spirit of collaboration…and a shared belief that Canadians deserve to know a whole lot more about the dynamics at play on Parliament Hill. While the work of iPolitics is just getting started, it's already a go-to source for politicians, political junkies and most anyone who demands to know the stories behind the story. And while it's probably no surprise that there's a newsroom of people who believe in Baxter, the best and bonus part is that a loyal and growing audience believes in him too."

22) Steve Paikin (TVO)

"In spite of his relative youth, Steve Paikin seems to have been telling truth to and about power for a very long time. For the past 22 years he's hosted first class current affairs programs on TVO for Between the Lines, Fourth Reading, Studio 2, Diplomatic Immunity and The Agenda With Steve Paikin. Always, always, his perceptive questioning and search for the truth have distinguished his work and made him a preeminent Canadian interviewer. He was also the natural choice — eminently fair, intelligent, curious and prepared — to moderate two Canadian federal elections and two Ontario elections."

23) Barb Pacholik (Regina Leader-Post)

"Barb is a veteran journalist at the Regina Leader-Post, and is extremely well-respected by sources, readers, and colleagues as a top-notch journalist. She is a relentless investigator, a compassionate story teller, and a dogged journalist, who does not stop until the story is told. Barb is also a terrific mentor and colleague, always willing to share her experience and knowledge with those around her. In a changing business, Barb typifies the qualities that make a good newsperson in any age, and in any medium: A desire to find good and important stories, a commitment to telling them fairly and accurately, and a true love of journalism."

24) David Tait (Carleton University)

"I have had a number of excellent professors in my four years studying at Carleton University's School of Journalism, but Prof. David Tait stands above them all. Tait does more than just emphasize the importance of CP Style – he inspires a desire in his students to be journalists who truly serve the public good. His lectures on ethics and integrity form the foundation of my understanding of a journalist's duty. This year, as in the last four years I have known him, I believe he has had a positive and long-lasting impact by teaching the next generation of newspeople to guard against cynicism and strive for the highest quality of journalism."

25) Frieda Werden (WINGS)

"Frieda, series producer for WINGS (the Women's International News Gathering Service – http://www.wings.org/), and participant at CJSF in Burnaby, BC (http//www.cjsf.ca/) has worked tirelessly in an effort to heighten the role of women in broadcast radio media. Recognized at the 2011 NCRA (National Campus and Community Radio Association) National Campus and Community Radio Conference, (http://ncra.ca/projects-and-services/community-radio-awards) she has continued her work throughout the remainder of 2011 by ensuring that the community radio sphere in Canada and the world at large would be graced with a weekly radio show about, by, and for women, in an effort to bring light to a segment of the population often faced with inequality. quality of journalism."

26) Gretchen King (CKUT-FM, Montreal)

"Gretchen (CKUT, http://ckut.ca/homeless/) has continued to advocate for those unable to do so for themselves and to bring a voice to the voiceless. Gretchen has been coordinating the 'Homelessness Marathon,' a 14-hour national radio event heard on participating member-stations of the NCRA (National Campus and Community Radio Association) and having been recognized as being a 'legend' by the NCRA at the 2011 NCRC conference in Halifax, NS, (ncra.ca/projects-and-services/community-radio-awards) she has continued to bring to the forefront those often left behind by society. Her work in 2011 allowed participating stations to air the beliefs, experiences, and opinions of those of us less-fortunate, while also providing some suggested solutions to the problems these marginalized people face…she will again be coordinating this event for 2012."

27) Kevin Donovan (Toronto Star)
"He exposed corruption at ORNGE and effected changes to the public's great benefit."

28) Duncan McCue (CBC News)

"Duncan McCue is making a big difference in media coverage of Aboriginal issues in Canada. Duncan is back at The National, filing current affairs features (http://www.cbc.ca/thenational/about/correspondents/duncanmccue/), after spending the first half of 2011 on a Knight Fellowship at Stanford University, where he developed two ground-breaking projects: an open-source online educational guide for journalists who cover Indigenous communities (www.riic.ca) and a new course at the UBC School of Journalism called Reporting in Indigenous Communities (http://j-source.ca/article/five-questions-duncan-mccue) that kicked off this January.