TORONTO, April 20, 2017 /CNW/ - In recognition of an extraordinary career as a reporter, editor, producer and journalism trailblazer—in both print and broadcast—Jean Pelletier, currently senior director of television current affairs and documentaries for Radio-Canada, will be honoured with The Canadian Journalism Foundation's (CJF) Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual CJF Awards on June 8 in Toronto.
"It is not everyone who can make a difference every step of the way in a media career," says Chantal Hébert, jury member and a political columnist for the Toronto Star, le Devoir, l'actualité, CBC and Radio-Canada. "Jean Pelletier did it on the ground at home and abroad as a journalist and behind the scenes as a current affairs editor and producer. He pioneered shows such as Enquête at a time when investigative journalism was hard to finance and he produced reports that led to a major exercise in introspection in Quebec over ethics, corruption and collusion—and brought down the mayors of two of the province's major cities."
Pelletier began his journalism career at Le Devoir, then moved to La Presse in 1976 where he served as its Parliament Hill correspondent. A year later, he was named the paper's first permanent correspondent in Washington, D.C. It was in that role that he uncovered the story of the 1980 dramatic escape from Iran of six U.S. diplomats who had been hidden by Canadian embassy staff during the hostage crisis in Tehran.
From field reporting, he transitioned to editor-in-chief of Radio-Canada's TV public affairs program Le Point and served in the same role at the flagship news show Téléjournal before becoming head of news at Radio-Canada (television). He was promoted to senior director of public affairs and documentaries and in 2012, took on the role of senior director of television current affairs and documentaries.
Together with CBC's Mark Starowicz, Pelletier headed a CBC/Radio-Canada cross-cultural programming initiative from 2003 to 2010 that resulted in a major documentary series covering different strands of Canada's history. In 2007, he created the investigative journalism program Enquête, which was the first to shed light on corruption and collusion in Quebec's construction industry, revelations that eventually led to the creation of the Charbonneau Commission in 2011. Enquête also broke the story of alleged police abuse of Indigenous women in Val d'Or, Que.
Pelletier joins a distinguished group of CJF Lifetime Achievement Award winners. Past recipients include: Lloyd Robertson, Michel Auger, Peter Bregg, Michael Maclear, Jack Sigvaldason, Lise Bissonnette, Joe Schlesinger, Sally Armstrong, Norman Webster, Knowlton Nash, June Callwood, Doris Anderson, Trina McQueen, Doug Creighton, Mark Starowicz, Bernard Derome, Peter Gzowski and Robert Fulford, among others. View our video gallery of past recipients.
The Lifetime Achievement Award jury members are:
Chair – Anthony Wilson-Smith, president and CEO, Historica Canada
Michel Cormier, executive director, news and current affairs, Radio-Canada
John Fraser, president and CEO, National NewsMedia Council
Chantal Hébert, political columnist, Toronto Star, le Devoir, l'Actualité, CBC, Radio-Canada
Sylvia Stead, public editor, The Globe and Mail
Jane Taber, vice-president of public affairs, National Public Relations
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 fosters opportunities for journalism education, training and research.
SOURCE Canadian Journalism Foundation
For further information: Natalie Turvey, Executive Director, The Canadian Journalism Foundation, [email protected], 416-955-0396