Canadian Journalism Foundation names Greg Clark Award winner

TORONTO, April 13, 2016 /CNW/ - The Canadian Journalism Foundation is pleased to announce Jayme Poisson, an investigative reporter for the Toronto Star, as this year's winner of the Greg Clark Award for early-career journalists, based on her proposal to better understand the access-to-information process.

The Greg Clark Award, unique in Canadian journalism, offers working journalists a $5,000 stipend to spend a week gaining insight, gathering strategic information and meeting key decision-makers on a specific issue or beat. Poisson proposed splitting her time between the Information and Privacy Commissioner Office of Ontario and the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada to explore how these offices deal with access-to-information requests.

"Jayme Poisson's proposal is innovative—instead of simply pushing deeper on a particular story, she's pushing deeper into the craft of what she does," says Marissa Nelson, a Greg Clark jury member and the CBC's Ontario Region senior managing director. "Access to Information is an area that isn't well understood and exploring the information offices at provincial and federal levels will strengthen her investigative reporting."

With this opportunity, Poisson plans to learn how to better communicate with access-to-information officers when drafting and amending requests, how to make compelling arguments to release information that is in the public interest and how best to file appeals when that information is denied.

"Freedom of Information requests can be an exceptional tool for journalists to access the unvarnished, un-spun truth," says Poisson. "The information we obtain through this process allows the public to scrutinize how government is performing and how policy decisions are really made."

Poisson has been part of two award-winning teams at the Star, for reporting on sexual assault in Canada and on former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and to hopefully pass on that knowledge to colleagues and to my students," says Poisson, who teaches a course on investigative reporting at Humber College.

This award was created in memory of Greg Clark, one of Canada's greatest journalists - a war correspondent, an avid outdoorsman, a humorist and a great reporter who excelled at storytelling.

Poisson will be honoured at the CJF Awards (#CJFawards), to be held at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto on June 16.

The CJF would like to thank Shaw Communications and the Toronto Star for their generous support of this award.

About The Canadian Journalism Foundation
Established in 1990, The Canadian Journalism Foundation promotes excellence in journalism by celebrating outstanding journalistic achievement. Our signature events include an annual awards program featuring a must-attend industry gala where Canada's top newsmakers meet Canada's top news people. Through J-Talks, our popular speakers' series, we facilitate dialogue among journalists, business people, academics and students about the role of the media in Canadian society and the ongoing challenges for media in the digital era. The foundation also supports journalism websites (English) and (French) and fosters opportunities for journalism education, training and research.

SOURCE Canadian Journalism Foundation

Image with caption: "As the winner of this year's Greg Clark Award, Jayme Poisson, an investigative reporter with the Toronto Star, plans to spend time with the information offices at provincial and federal levels to better understand the access-to-information process. (CNW Group/Canadian Journalism Foundation)". Image available at:

For further information: Wendy Kan, The Canadian Journalism Foundation, 416-955-0975,


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