Toronto Star's Heather Mallick named winner of The Landsberg Award

TORONTO, April 21, 2015 /CNW/ - Heather Mallick, a staff columnist with the Toronto Star, is the winner of The Landsberg Award for 2015.

Presented by The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) in association with the Canadian Women's Foundation, The Landsberg Award celebrates a journalist who gives greater profile to women's equality issues. Now in its second year, the award recognizes a working journalist doing exceptional research, analysis and writing through a gender lens about women's equality issues in Canada across print, broadcast or online news from the previous year.

Mallick's work in 2014 included "Prostitution: lessons from Europe's streets," a feature exploring the legal framework surrounding prostitution in other countries during Canada's debate over laws governing the sex trade. Other articles about the same subject matter included "It's 11 a.m. at the biggest brothel in Europe" and "The view from inside the Amsterdam sex window."

"Mallick's writing is extraordinary—by sheer force of originality and focused empathy, she makes the reader feel the story—and is oblique enough to leave some of the emotional work to the reader," says Michele Landsberg, the award's namesake and selection jury member. "Of the thousands of words written about the prostitution debate, hers were the only ones to mention the economic basis of the trade and situate it in our capitalist system. Her sharp perceptions and quirkiness of expression make the stories come alive and provoke thought."

Mallick, a staff columnist at the Toronto Star since 2010, has previously written for CBC.ca, The Globe and Mail and other media. She is the author of two books, Pearls in Vinegar and Cake or Death.

"Women's rights get mainstream attention, but the suffering of prostitutes has always been well below the radar," says Mallick. "After the Supreme Court told the federal government that prostitution laws must change, I wondered what other nations were doing to help, or hurt, these scorned women. After travelling to Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands, it became clear the story was as much about money as about sex. The high-volume sexual retail industry was eager to come to Canada, still is. The story was distressing—and astonishing."

Mallick will receive a $5,000 prize from the Canadian Women's Foundation, to be presented at the annual CJF Awards on June 3 in Toronto at The Fairmont Royal York.  The award is named after Landsberg—an award-winning Canadian journalist, author, social activist and feminist—to acknowledge the tremendous impact she has had as an advocate and role model for women.

"The large response to this year's Landsberg Award is good news for women and for journalism," says Sally Armstrong, chair of the jury. "We were very impressed by the impact the fearless columns and investigative features had on readers across the country. The analysis of power and inequality on everything from business and law to families and institutions showed a remarkable understanding of the issues facing women and girls in Canada."

Jury
Chair - Sally Armstrong, journalist, human rights activist and author
Wendy Freeman, president, CTV News
Matt Galloway, host, Metro Morning, CBC Radio One
Sheherazade Hirji, president and CEO, Canadian Women's Foundation
Tyler Hamilton, editor-in-chief, Corporate Knights magazine
Michele Landsberg, journalist, author, feminist and social justice advocate
Anne-Marie Mediwake, co-host, CBC News Toronto
Barb Williams, president, Shaw Media and executive vice-president, broadcasting

Twitter: #landsbergaward
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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 J-Source.ca (English) and ProjetJ.ca (French) and fosters opportunities for journalism education, training and research.

About the Canadian Women's Foundation
The Canadian Women's Foundation is Canada's public foundation for women and girls. We empower women and girls in Canada to move out of violence, out of poverty and into confidence. Since 1991, we've raised money and invested in over 1,300 community programs across Canada, and are now one of the ten largest women's foundations in the world. We take a positive approach to address root causes of the most critical issues facing women and girls. We study and share the best ways to create long-term change and bring community organizations together for training and to learn from each other. We carefully select and fund the programs with the strongest outcomes and regularly evaluate their work. We have a special focus on building a community of women helping other women. Helping women creates safer families and communities, and a more prosperous society for all of us. We invest in the strength of women and the dreams of girls. For more information please visit www.canadianwomen.org.

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SOURCE Canadian Journalism Foundation

Image with caption: "Heather Mallick, staff columnist with the Toronto Star, is the recipient of The Landsberg Award for 2015. (CNW Group/Canadian Journalism Foundation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150421_C2195_PHOTO_EN_14566.jpg

For further information: Natalie Turvey, Executive Director, The Canadian Journalism Foundation, 59 Adelaide St. E, 5th floor, Toronto, ON M5C 1K6, Phone: 416-955-0394 * Fax: 416-532-6879 * e-mail: nturvey@cjf-fjc.ca

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