The Winnipeg Free Press wins The Canadian Journalism Foundation Excellence in Journalism Award

TORONTO, June 14, 2013 /CNW/ - The Winnipeg Free Press has won the Excellence in Journalism Award in the large-media category at the 16th Annual Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) Awards. This is the second time it has won the award.

The Tyee won in the small-media category, also for the second time. Both news organizations won in 2009.

"This award is for the reporters, photographers and the editors who have made our newsroom the best in Canada," said Paul Samyn, editor of the Winnipeg Free Press, upon accepting the award. "They have boundless imagination, energy, and commitment. What the CJF recognized is the way we practise our craft, the way we have answered the calling to care and dare to make a difference and the courage needed in pursuit of truth."

Other Excellence in Journalism Award finalists in the large-media category included CBC News: Special Investigations Unit, The Current - CBC Radio one (last year's winner), Postmedia News, and past recipient Toronto Star.

"The Winnipeg Free Press is a leader in reaching out to its community," says Murray Campbell, a member of the CJF Excellence jury.  "This is shown in its story selection, its staffing decisions and through innovations such as the News Café, which seeks to connect the paper to its readers."

Finalists in the small-media category included CBC New Brunswick, CP24, Turtle Island News and last year's winner, the Vancouver Observer.

Michelle Hoar, director of publishing and advertising of The Tyee, accepted the award, calling it "an incredible honour."

Speaking about the Excellence in Journalism small-media winner, Campbell said: "The Tyee continues to set a superb example of strong, provocative journalism."

Top journalists, media executives and business leaders from across the country gathered at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel for the annual celebration of overall excellence in journalism, CJF's biggest event ever. The ceremony was hosted by Amanda Lang, senior business correspondent for CBC News and co-anchor of The Lang and O'Leary Exchange.

Among the evenings other awards:

  • The Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy provides $100,000 to a Canadian journalist to undertake a year-long research project on a topical public policy issue and is sponsored by the Atkinson Charitable Foundation, the Toronto Star and the Honderich family. This year's recipient is Peter Goodspeed, recently retired as a senior reporter of international affairs for the National Post. He is an award-winning journalist with almost four decades of experience, working as a foreign correspondent, war reporter, editor, manager, feature writer and political reporter. For his fellowship, Goodspeed will explore Canadian refugee policy.

  • The Greg Clark Award, sponsored by the Toronto Star and CNW Group, went to Ashleigh Gaul, online editor for Up Here magazine, who will spend her experience in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut exploring the influence of mining developments in the North.

  • The Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellowship provides a mid-career opportunity for a Canadian journalist to broaden their intellectual horizons at Harvard University and is funded by The Martin Wise Goodman Trust to the Nieman Foundation for Journalism. This year's recipient is Laura-Julie Perrault, a reporter with La Presse.

  • The William Southam Journalism Fellowships, which rewards mid-career journalists with a year to audit any courses in the discipline of their choice and participate fully in life at Massey College, are awarded annually by the University of Toronto and Massey College. This year's six winners are:

    • Kelly Crowe, a correspondent with CBC News: The National, who received the 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;
    • Jody Porter, a reporter with CBC Thunder Bay, who received the CBC/Radio-Canada Fellowship;
    • David Rider, urban affairs bureau chief with the Toronto Star, who received the St. Clair Balfour Fellowship;
    • Amara Bangura, a producer with BBC Media Action in Freetown, Sierra, who is the recipient of the Gordon N. Fisher/jhr Fellowship, awarded in partnership with Journalists for Human Rights and named after the late Gordon N. Fisher who, along with the late St. Clair Balfour of Southam Newspapers, created the fellowships in 1962;
    • José Peralta, a reporter with Búsqueda Weekly in Montevideo, Uruguay received the Scotiabank/CJFE Fellowship;
    • Véronique Morin, a freelance journalist specializing in science reporting, received the Webster McConnell Fellowship, named after two Montreal-based foundations.

The previously announced Lifetime Achievement Award went to Michael Maclear, a broadcast journalist, war correspondent, and independent filmmaker. He was the CBC's first Far East correspondent, reporting extensively from South Vietnam and, as CBC's London correspondent, was the only Western network journalist permitted to film in North Vietnam at the time. Maclear was also CTV's first foreign correspondent, based in London. For 35 years, Maclear worked as an independent writer-producer. During that time, he produced the definitive documentary Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War, a 26-part television series, together with a book of the same title. Maclear is currently writing a book on his experience in North Vietnam.

"Belatedly, I've come to realize the problem with journalism," said Maclear, upon accepting the award, of his nearly 60 years in journalism. "It's addictive.

The Honorary Tribute went to The New York Times, for the leading role they play in inspiring better journalism the world over. David Carr, business columnist and culture reporter for the Times, accepted the award on behalf of the editorial team.

"I feel like you guys are honouring a team that's won the Stanley Cup," said Carr. "The New York Times is an extraordinary product that emerges between ordinary people. Your recognition is important to us."

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; by organizing events that facilitate dialogue among journalists, business people, government officials, academics and students about the role of the media in Canadian society; and by fostering opportunities for journalism education, training and research.

SOURCE: Canadian Journalism Foundation

For further information:

Media Contact Information:
Wendy Kan
The Canadian Journalism Foundation
Phone: 416.955.0394 x502

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