Canadian Journalism Foundation honouree Robert MacNeil returns to PBS NewsHour for special autism series

TORONTO, April 12 /CNW/ - Award-winning television news anchor, author and journalist Robert MacNeil, co-creator of the legendary PBS show the MacNeil/Lehrer Report and recipient of this year's Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) Honorary Tribute, will return to PBS NewsHour to host a six-part series on autism beginning April 18. It will be the first time in 15 years that MacNeil has reported for the show.

The inspiration for the series and MacNeil's involvement was a personal connection to the issue: MacNeil's six-year-old grandson Nick is diagnosed with the disease. MacNeil spent the last year researching and preparing the stories, and travelled across the country with producer Caren Zucker, herself the mother of an autistic teen, to film the series. He says it's the first time he's become so personally involved in a story he's pursued.

"I've been a reporter on and off for 50 years, but I've never brought my family into a story … until Nick," MacNeil said, "because he moves me deeply."

MacNeil will also be honoured at the CJF's 14th Annual Awards Gala on June 7 in Toronto for his 40-year career in journalism. The gala is the industry's must-attend event, where Canada's top newsmakers meet Canada's top news people. Over 400 of the country's business and media luminaries will join together to celebrate excellence in journalism and honour those who've made significant contributions to journalism throughout their careers.

Other awards that will be presented at the event include the Excellence in Journalism Award - which will be awarded to winners in two categories: large media and small media - the Greg Clark Award, the Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award, the Canadian Journalism Fellowships, the Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy and the Martin Wise Goodman Nieman Fellowship.

For more information, visit http://cjfgala.ca or follow #cjfgala.

The Canadian Journalism Foundation thanks the following organizations for their support of the awards gala: Labatt; Waste Management Canada; Barrick; BMO Financial Group; Sunlife; Thomson Reuters; Medtronic of Canada. Thank you also to the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Le Devoir, CNW Group and CBC News for their in-kind donations.

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 operating journalism websites, J-Source.ca (English) and ProjetJ.ca (French), in cooperation with the country's leading journalism schools; and by organizing events that facilitate dialogue among journalists, business people, politicians, government officials and academics about the role of the media in Canadian society.

SOURCE News - Media

For further information:

To arrange interviews with Robert MacNeil contact:
Heather McCall, Program Manager
Phone: 416-955-0630 e-mail: hmccall@cjf-fjc.ca

To purchase a gala table or tickets, please contact:
Phone: 416-955-0934 e-mail: info@cjf-fjc.ca
The Canadian Journalism Foundation
59 Adelaide St. E Suite 500, Toronto, ON M5C 1K6


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