Toronto Star wins The Canadian Journalism Foundation Excellence in Journalism Award

TORONTO, June 4, 2014 /CNW/ - The Toronto Star has won the Excellence in Journalism Award in the large/national media category at the largest-ever 17th Annual Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) Awards.

"In the finest traditions of investigative journalism, the Toronto Star fearlessly committed its journalistic resources to uncovering one of the most important ethical stories in recent political leadership, despite economic cost and some politically motivated criticism," says Hershell Ezrin, a member of the jury. "But these principles and commitment to telling the whole story were also demonstrated in developing other major stories of the year and how they impacted Canadians." The Vancouver Observer won in the local/regional media category and L'Echo de Frontenac received an Honourable Mention. The award honours an organization that embodies exemplary journalistic standards and practices with a resulting impact on the community it serves.

Other Excellence in Journalism Award finalists in the large/national category included the CP Picture Service, CTV News, Globalnews.ca and the Winnipeg Free Press. Finalists in the local/regional media category included CBC Edmonton, CBC New Brunswick and Global Calgary.

More than 500 journalists, media executives and business leaders from across the country gathered at The Fairmont Royal York for the annual celebration of excellence in journalism. The sold-out event was hosted by Lisa LaFlamme, chief anchor and senior editor of CTV National News.

Among the evening's other awards:

  • The inaugural CJF Aboriginal Journalism Fellowship, presented in partnership with CBC News and supported by RBC Foundation, CN and Rosemary Speirs, allows an Aboriginal journalist early in his or her career the opportunity to explore an issue of interest to First Nations, Métis or Inuit peoples while being hosted by CBC News for one month at its new Aboriginal centre in Winnipeg. This year's fellow is Chantelle Bellrichard, an associate producer at CBC Vancouver and a web developer at the UBC Graduate School of Journalism. She will use this opportunity to explore the newly implemented First Nations health governance model in British Columbia.
  • The inaugural Landsberg Award, in association with the Canadian Women's Foundation, celebrates a journalist giving greater profile to women's equality issues. Named after Michele Landsberg, journalist, author, social activist and feminist, the award comes with a $5,000 prize. This year's recipient is Janet McFarland, a business reporter with The Globe and Mail whose reporting raised the issue of gender inequality on corporate boards.
  • The Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy provides a seasoned Canadian journalist with $100,000 and an opportunity to pursue a year-long investigation into a current policy issue and is sponsored by the Atkinson Foundation, the Toronto Star and the Honderich family. This year's recipient is Gillian Steward, a columnist for the Toronto Star and teacher at Mount Royal University who is completing her PhD in Communication studies with a focus on journalism. For her fellowship, she will investigate the approval processes for oil sands and pipelines.
  • The Greg Clark Award, sponsored by the Toronto Star and CNW Group, went to Katie May, a digital copy editor with the Winnipeg Free Press, who will spend her experience in a Rankin Inlet, Nunavut birthing centre to observe how its particular approach might help solve the maternal health crisis among First Nations women in remote northern Manitoba.
  • The Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award, presented with The Canadian Press and supported by Nikon, went to Hannah Yoon, a freelance photographer and recent graduate of Loyalist College.
  • The William Southam Journalism Fellowships, which reward mid-career journalists with an academic year to audit any courses in the discipline of their choice and to participate fully in life at Massey College, are awarded annually by the University of Toronto and Massey College. This year's five winners are:
    • Samuel Awami, a journalist with The Citizen in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, who is the recipient of the Gordon N. Fisher/jhr Fellowship, awarded in partnership with Journalists for Human Rights and named after the late Gordon N. Fisher who, along with the late St. Clair Balfour of Southam Newspapers, created the fellowships in 1962;
    • Sarah Lazarovic, a freelance visual journalist, who received the Kierans-Janigan Fellowship, funded through the generosity of former CJF chair Tom Kierans and his wife Mary Janigan in honour of one of Canada's greatest arts journalists, the late Val Ross of The Globe and Mail;
    • Lisa Godfrey, a senior producer with Q on CBC Radio, who received the CBC/Radio-Canada Fellowship;
    • Catherine Solyom, a feature writer, reporter and assignment editor with The Montreal Gazette, received the Webster McConnell Fellowship, named after two Montreal-based foundations;
    • Angela Sterritt, a reporter and editor with CBC North, who received the St. Clair Balfour Fellowship.

The previously announced Lifetime Achievement Award went to Peter Bregg, for a remarkable career capturing images at home and abroad. Bregg was chief photographer at Maclean's for 17 years; has worked as a photographer and photo editor with The Canadian Press and the Associated Press in Ottawa, Boston, London, New York and Washington, D.C.; and was the official photographer to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in 1984-85. Bregg is a member of PhotoSensitive, a photo collective that uses photography to support charitable causes, and he continues to take freelance commissions while teaching photojournalism at Toronto's Ryerson University School of Journalism.

This year, the CJF Tribute honoured a remarkable year of investigative journalism by recognizing reporting from across the country:

"Fatal Care"
In this joint investigation, the Edmonton Journal and the Calgary Herald revealed that 145 children died in provincial care over 14 years, triple the amount reported to the public.
Darcy Henton, Calgary Herald and Karen Kleiss, Edmonton Journal

"SNC-Lavalin: Service secret"
Anne Panasuk and Luc Tremblay
Enquête, Radio-Canada

"Mike Duffy Made Secret Deal with Harper's Chief Of Staff During Audit" and "Wright Worked with Two Conservative Senators to Reach Duffy Deal, Emails Show"
Robert Fife
CTV News

"Canadians in Algerian Gas Plant Attack Identified"
Adrienne Arsenault
The National, CBC News

"Lac-Mégantic: An Investigation into the Disaster and its Causes"
Jacquie McNish and Grant Robertson, on behalf of the investigative team
The Globe and Mail

"Rob Ford in 'crack cocaine' video scandal"
Kevin Donovan and Robyn Doolittle
Toronto Star

The Canadian Journalism Foundation thanks the following organizations for their support: BMO Financial Group, Labatt Breweries of Canada, Postmedia Network Inc., Accenture, Waste Management of Canada, Scotiabank, Medtronic, Jackman Foundation and RBC. Thank you also to CBC News, CNW, Maclean's, Metro, The Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star and Porter for their in-kind support.

About The Canadian Journalism Foundation
The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) is a not-for-profit organization that promotes excellence in journalism by celebrating outstanding journalistic achievement through an annual awards program; by organizing events that facilitate dialogue among journalists, business people, government officials, academics and students about the role of the media in Canadian society; by supporting journalism websites, J-Source.ca English and ProjetJ.ca (French); and by fostering opportunities for journalism education, training and research.

SOURCE Canadian Journalism Foundation

For further information:

Media Contact Information:
Wendy Kan
The Canadian Journalism Foundation
Phone: 416.955.0394 x502
e-mail:wkan@cjf-fjc.ca
www.cjf-fjc.ca