TORONTO, Oct. 9, 2018 /CNW/ - Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), is pleased to present the JHR Award in Extraordinary Achievement in Human Rights Reporting to Jayme Poisson and David Bruser, from the Toronto Star. At JHR's annual gala, Night for Rights, on October 1st, the two journalists were recognized for their investigation into mercury contamination in Grassy Narrows First Nation.
The award celebrates journalists who have made a significant contribution to human rights journalism. JHR defines human rights journalism as coverage that directs attention to key human rights issues, in a way that triggers significant positive impact.
In January 2017, Poisson and Bruser traveled to Grassy Narrows where they dug holes on the mill property uncovering hard evidence. Their reporting eventually led to the provincial government announce a historic $85 million river clean-up and the federal government announcing it will help build a new $5 million care home for those suffering from mercury poisoning.
Accepting the JHR Award at Night for Rights 2018, Poisson and Bruser said they will keep following the affected communities and the impact the announced policies will have on them.
JHR Executive Director Rachel Pulfer: "Winning stories have to forefront human rights concerns, prioritize those who have historically been left out of important public conversations about issues that affect them, they have to have had their concerns heard; and positive change has to have been brought about by the coverage."
The jury, consisting of JHR Ambassador Lisa LaFlamme and Board members Troy Reeb and Catherine Cano, noted
- In particular, the powerful policy impact of the winners' stories that led to meaningful change for the people of Grassy Narrows First Nation.
- Our winners put a major human rights issue on the agenda, treated it with sensitivity, and helped make better a terrible situation that had endured for decades.
Paula Simons of the Edmonton Journal receives an Honourable Mention for her work reporting on the life and death of Serenity, a six-year-old Cree child who died after suffering horrific abuse in "kinship" foster care in 2016. Simons went beyond reporting on the initial incident, creating a relationship of trust with Serenity's mother and documenting her fight for justice. In October 2017, a charge was finally laid against Serenity's two legal guardians.
- Our thanks to CNW Group for sponsoring this announcement
Journalists for Human Rights
Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) is Canada's leading media development organization. We train journalists to report on human rights and governance issues in their communities. When the media puts a spotlight on human rights, people start talking about the issues and demanding change. A strong, independent media is a referee between governments and citizens. When human rights are protected, governments are more accountable and people's lives improve.
SOURCE Journalists for Human Rights (JHR)
For further information: please contact Janine deVries at 416 413 0240 x 210 or Janine@jhr.ca