Media Advisory - Canadian Journalism Foundation Announces Award Winners

The Toronto Star and Metroland Durham Region Take Top Prizes

TORONTO, June 10 /CNW/ - The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) handed out its major awards tonight at a gala dinner at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto.

The Toronto Star won the Excellence in Journalism Award in the large or national media category, sponsored by the Jackman Foundation and the Canadian Journalism Foundation. "Its commitment to accuracy, social responsibility, accountability and overall excellence more than met our criteria," said Michael Benedict, Chair of CJF's Excellence Award jury. "Its renewed support for investigative journalism demonstrates its courage at a time when other media are reluctant to make that sort of investment."

Metroland Durham Region won the Excellence in Journalism Award in the small, medium or local market category. The newspaper's submission both wowed and educated the jury since several of its members were unfamiliar with the publication. "This is a paper hitting well above its weight, not afraid to take on large government institutions and the justice system in the pursuit of full disclosure and the public's right to know," said John Macfarlane, Chair of the Canadian Journalism Foundation.

The Greg Clark Award, sponsored by CTV and the Toronto Star, went to Arielle Godbout, a reporter with the Winnipeg Free Press. Godbout broke a story about a football scholarship student in North Dakota caught smuggling 22 guns into his hometown of Winnipeg. When local authorities rebuffed her efforts to track the guns, the story stalled. This award will enable Godbout to pick up where she left off -- she will travel to Ottawa to conduct off-the-record interviews with national weapons enforcement specialists to gain a better understanding of the issues surrounding gun smuggling.

The Canadian Journalism Fellowships for a year of post-secondary study are awarded annually by Massey College in the University of Toronto. Elizabeth Church, who covers post-secondary education for The Globe and Mail, was awarded the inaugural Kierans Janigan Fellowship, funded through the generosity of former CJF chair Tom Kierans and his wife Mary Janigan in honour of one of Canada's greatest arts journalists, the late Val Ross of the Globe and Mail. Susan Mahoney, a Toronto-based producer with CBC Radio for 26 years, received the CBC/Radio-Canada Fellowship. Hugo Rodrigues, a reporter at the Sentinel-Review in Woodstock, Ontario, is the Gordon N. Fisher fellow, named after the late Gordon N. Fisher who, along with the late St. Clair Balfour of Southam Newspapers, created these fellowships in 1962. The Webster/McConnell Fellowship, named after two Montreal foundations, was awarded to Jeff Warren, a Toronto-based freelance broadcaster, writer and public speaker.

The Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy, worth up to $100,000, is sponsored by the Atkinson Charitable Foundation, the Toronto Star and the Honderich family. The grant provides for a Canadian journalist to undertake a year-long research project on a topical public policy issue. The recipient of the fellowship this year is Ann Dowsett Johnston, a freelancer and five-time National Magazine Award winner. For her fellowship, she will take a hard look at a growing phenomenon: While women now outstrip their male peers in post-secondary achievement and match male participation in the workplace, they are also closing the gap in alcohol consumption.

As previously announced, one of the evening's highlights was the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Lise Bissonnette. Bissonnette began her journalistic career in 1974 at Montreal's daily newspaper Le Devoir, where she held various positions before ultimately becoming editor-in-chief from 1990 to 1998. In 1998, she was appointed president and general director of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, a position she held until her retirement in June 2009. "She is a superb journalist, scholar and administrator," says Geoffrey Stevens, chair of the jury. He points to her impressive CV as proof of her lifelong ambition and achievement. "She has been recognized with no fewer than eight honorary doctorates from universities in Canada and the United States."

Research In Motion co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis were acknowledged during a special Canadian Journalism Foundation tribute at this year's gala for their contribution in revolutionizing the technology of modern journalism. The BlackBerry has forever changed the way journalists tell their stories and consumers interact with the news.

An updated version of this press release including photos will be available later tonight at:

We would like to give special thanks to our gala sponsors:

    Sun Life Financial (Feature Sponsor)
    Labatt (Lead Sponsor)
    Walton International
    Thomson Reuters
    Waste Management
    Manulife Financial

About the Canadian Journalism Foundation

The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) is a not-for-profit organization that promotes excellence in journalism by celebrating outstanding journalistic achievement through an annual awards program; by operating journalism websites, (English) and (French), in cooperation with the country's leading journalism schools; and by organizing events that facilitate dialogue among journalists, business people, politicians, government officials and academics about the role of the media in Canadian society.

SOURCE News - Media

For further information: For further information: Media Contact information: Heather McCall, The Canadian Journalism Foundation, Phone: 416.955.0630, e-mail:,

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