Maher-McGregor team honoured with World Press Freedom Award

OTTAWA, May 2, 2013 /CNW/ - Stephen Maher of Postmedia News and Glen McGregor of The Ottawa Citizen will be the 15th recipients of the World Press Freedom Award, at the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom's  (CCWPF's) annual luncheon celebration at the Ottawa Convention Centre.

Maher and McGregor were selected for the Award for a series of stories they co-wrote on the so-called 'Robocalls" affair exposing fraud in the federal election of 2011. This not only touched off a political firestorm but subjected the two writers to a campaign of smear tactics and vilification.

An Honourable Mention will be accorded to Margaret Munro, science writer at Postmedia News for her story on the muzzling of scientists by the federal government, squarely placing the issue of freedom of expression for the science community on the national agenda.

May 3, celebrated around the world as 'World Press Freedom Day,' serves as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom. It is also a day of reflection among media workers about issues of freedom expression and a time to develop initiatives to defend and promote free speech.

The Ottawa event will draw friends and supporters of the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom and hundreds of delegates from two national journalism organizations in the city, Newspapers Canada and the Canadian Association of Journalists in town for their own conferences.

Keynote speaker Charles Sennott, an award-winning, Boston-based journalist and media entrepreneur, will address the gathering on "Ground Truth in a Digital Age." After a uniquely dangerous year for international reporting, Sennott will explain why journalists must renew their commitment to on-the-ground reporting.

Don Newman, former host with CBC TV will moderate the event.

The Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom Award includes a cash prize of $2,000 and a certificate of honour from the CCWPF and the Canadian Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The 13th annual International Editorial Cartoon Competition, also hosted by the CCWPF, invited cartoons on the theme: "Hard Times and Free Speech" and drew responses from around the world.  "When journalists and cartoonists face economic uncertainty or threats to their employment there is great pressure to give up on tackling tough stories, give in to self-censorship or give attention to sensationalist journalism in the service of commercial survival," said contest co-coordinator Guy Badeaux.

The first prize of $1,500 will be awarded to Leslie Ricciardi of Uruguay. The second and third prize winners, to Dale Cummings of Canada ($750), Peter Chmela of Slovakia ($500) will be honoured as well.

The winning cartoons may be viewed (and reproduced under certain conditions) at: http://www.ccwpf-cclpm.ca/cartoons-2013/cartoons-2013-winners

The CCWPF is a not-for-profit organization run by a volunteer Board. The CCWPF acknowledges the generous cash and in-kind contributions from its many sponsors, which include the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, Newspapers Canada, the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ), iPolitics, The Ottawa Citizen, Le Droit, the Hill Times and Embassy newspapers, the National Press Club Foundation, St. Joseph's, Prospectus Associations, Rx & D and many more.

SOURCE: Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom

For further information:

Media Contacts:
Susan Korah 613-241-4967 
Guy Badeaux 613-562-7506     
See also: http://www.ccwpf-cclpm.ca


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