Massey College honoured for its contributions to Canadian journalism

OTTAWA, May 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Massey College, an interdisciplinary graduate college within the University of Toronto, is the recipient of this year's Canadian Association of Journalists' President Award for its significant contributions to Canadian journalism.

The president's award was created and is awarded at the president's discretion to any individuals or organizations that have made exemplary contributions to Canadian journalism. Massey College, home to the William Southam Journalism Fellowships, was selected as this year's recipient by CAJ president Hugo Rodrigues. The award was received by college administrator Anna Luengo at the CAJ's annual conference banquet and awards gala held at the Westin Hotel Ottawa.

Rodrigues honoured the vision of fellowship program founders St. Clair Balfour and Gordon N. Fisher, of the former Southam Newspaper Group, who in 1961 dreamed of a program that would be as prestigious and worthy as the well-known Nieman Fellowships at Harvard University. That program began in 1962, a year before the college it has called its home since was opened to its first group of graduate students.

Massey College is in the midst of its 50th anniversary celebrations and Rodrigues said there could be no more fitting opportunity to recognize its role.

The William Southam fellowships program, thanks to its healthy roster of funders and supporters, allows journalists to benefit from an eight-month, paid, sabbatical from professional work to imbibe in all that a graduate interdisciplinary college has to offer. Southam fellows have access to the wonderful facilities of the college itself, the inspiring graduate students, senior fellows and residents who give it life and through Massey, the entire world of the University of Toronto.

"Every journalist alumnus of this program has had their lives changed by the fellowship experience, spreading its impact into their careers and amongst their own newsrooms," said Rodrigues, who had the honour of being the 2010-11 Gordon N. Fisher fellow. "Massey College saves journalists and by extension provides an invaluable contribution to the journalistic community in Canada."

The President's Award is given under circumstances of exceptional merit to those people or organizations that have made a significant contribution to Canadian journalism. Previous recipients include the Canadian Journalism Project, the now-defunct independent Carleton Free Press weekly newspaper from Woodstock, N.B., murdered photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, crime writer Michel Auger, journalist Tara Singh Hayer and Canada's media lawyers.

The Canadian Association of Journalists is a professional organization with over 500 members across Canada. The CAJ's primary roles are public-interest advocacy work and professional development for its members.

SOURCE: Canadian Association of Journalists

For further information:

Hugo Rodrigues, CAJ president, 519-756-2020 ext. 2226, 519-535-8680 cell,

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