TORONTO, Aug. 10, 2015 /CNW/ - Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) is delighted to announce the dream team of Masai Ujiri, General Manager of the Toronto Raptors, Lisa LaFlamme, Chief Anchor and Senior Editor for CTV National News, Catherine Cano, Senior News Director and Head of News Programmes for CBC Radio-Canada, and Troy Reeb, Senior Vice-President, Global News and Station Operations, Shaw Media, who will host the annual Night for Rights Gala event as Honourary Co-Chairs.
On October 1, 2015, 350 of Canada's top journalists, media executives, business and political leaders will gather at the Arcadian Court in Toronto to recognize journalists from South Sudan to DR Congo, and illustrate the powerful social and development impact of their work.
Last year the event raised more than $100,000 for rights-based journalism programming, with more than 300 guests attending this powerful evening. This year, JHR targets raising $160,000.
"We need to focus on the good stories influencing the bad stories", said Ujiri, who was born and raised in Nigeria. "Africa is going to be one of the greatest continents in the world. We are working to make sure it happens in our lifetime." His speech last year, emphasizing the missing Nigerian schoolgirls and the growing need for human rights journalism on the continent of Africa, was one of the highlights of the night.
LaFlamme - winner of multiple RTDNA and Canadian Screen Awards - is a powerful advocate for providing voices to those who need their stories told. And she walks that talk, putting her passion for human rights journalism to good use while on mission with JHR.
"Having worked with JHR in Africa and having seen their accomplishments up close and for real, I can tell you it's a particular pleasure for me to co-chair this gala. All the journalists I met were smart and brave and it was an honour to be alongside them as JHR continues to advance the craft of journalism and see specific positive outcomes for decency, and democracy."
Cano has more than 30 years' experience in the journalism industry, which included working in the Middle East, Europe and Asia. She has been honoured as one of the top 100 most powerful women in 2012 by the Women's Executive Network, won two Geminis Awards, and is a recipient of the Michener-Deacon Fellowship. Her passion and commitment for human rights journalism is a big asset to JHR.
"In a world where journalists have become targets, where each year we need to fight harder to preserve the freedom of the press, it is imperative that collectively we continue to support the work of journalists who report on situations that threaten human rights and impact democracy," says Cano. "I am honored to be part of JHR, an organization whose mission is to protect those rights."
As head of Global News, Reeb oversees a team of 1,000 journalists and support staff across Canada and in bureaus overseas. A former political reporter and Washington Bureau Chief for Global, Reeb was promoted to the network's top news job in 2008 and assumed oversight of all station operations two years later. He is a recipient of the Alberta Centennial Medal, the Provincial Awards Celebrating Excellence and numerous industry honours. Troy currently serves on several boards including with Journalists for Human Rights.
"It's an honour to co-chair this year's Night for Rights gala" said Reeb, "which has grown quickly to become one of Canada's pre-eminent journalism fundraisers. As a small and nimble organization with connections worldwide, JHR punches significantly above its weight and those who attend Night for Rights will see the power of its mission in helping to foster independent journalism to support democracy and human rights."
JHR is gearing up for their biggest event yet. With the goal to raise more than $160,000 for human rights media programs, the gala will draw an elite crowd of journalists, lawyers, politicians and businessmen and women from around the world united by one cause – a stronger, freer press.
"Night 4 Rights is JHR's once-a-year opportunity to gather our dynamic community together in celebration of the extraordinary things that happen when courageous journalists tackle tough human rights stories," said Executive Director Rachel Pulfer. "With Masai, Lisa, Catherine and Troy as Honourary Co-Chairs, supported by an extraordinary team, we are anticipating our best night ever."
Free press is often taken for granted, but is a necessary platform for human rights. JHR recognizes this platform by training journalists to create a change towards freedom of expression and fair reporting.
About Journalists for Human Rights
Journalists for Human Rights is a Toronto-based organization that aims to empower journalists to provide objective and ethical reporting on human rights issues. JHR has operated in 21 countries and trained more than 12,500 journalists and journalism students on rights-based reporting, with more than 50 million people impacted by human rights stories from JHR-trained journalists. Night for Rights is their annual benefit gala to support these programs. More information about JHR can be found at: www.jhr.ca. Gala tickets can be purchased at: night4rights.com.
Our thanks to CNW Group for sponsoring this announcement.
SOURCE Journalists for Human Rights (JHR)
For further information: Media Inquiries: Rachel Pulfer, Executive Director, Journalists for Human Rights, Tel: 416-413-0240, E-mail: [email protected]