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The Globe and Mail wins The Canadian Journalism Foundation "Excellence in Journalism" Award

TORONTO, June 3, 2015 /CNW/ - The Globe and Mail is this year's Excellence in Journalism Award in the large media category at the Canadian Journalism Foundation Awards. The Globe won for its series "Thalidomide," which spurred a positive government financial response that helped ease the plight of survivors and their families.

"This is what journalism should be: telling stories that matter," says Shauna Snow-Capparelli, a member of the Excellence Jury and chair of the journalism program at Mount Royal University. "In gripping detail, the Globe painted a vivid picture of the lives affected and the terrible pain they face every day. The photos, as well, were brilliant: shocking, yet not gratuitous.

"The time and care devoted to this enterprise is to be commended, and all the more so because it's so rare in these times of dwindling resources. This is a testament to why such investment of resources must be vigorously defended. This is why journalism matters."

The annual award honours an organization that embodies exemplary journalistic standards and practices with a resulting impact on the community it serves. It was announced, during a special tribute to CJF founder Eric Jackman, that the award will be renamed The Jackman Excellence in Journalism Award in his honour. Other Excellence in Journalism Award finalists in the large media category included L'actualité, Globalnews.ca, the Toronto Star and the Winnipeg Free Press

In the small media category, Halifax's The Coast won the Excellence in Journalism Award for stories about two women who were relentlessly harassed and the failure of the justice system.

The inaugural CJF Innovation Award went to Emergent, recognizing the website's breakthrough impact in advancing the quality of journalism. Craig Silverman founded Emergent to tackle the challenge of assessing the huge volume of social media information by checking the veracity of stories, rumours and viral claims. Finalists for this award included CBC News (CBC News app for iOS) and La Presse (La Presse+ Digital Editon for Tablets).

More than 600 journalists, media executives and business leaders from across the country gathered at The Fairmont Royal York for the annual celebration of excellence in journalism. This year's sold-out event celebrated the CJF's 25th anniversary. Peter Mansbridge, chief correspondent of CBC News and anchor of The National, was the host.  

Among the evening's other awards:

  • The CJF Aboriginal Journalism Fellowships allows two early-career Aboriginal journalists to explore an issue of interest to First Nations, Métis or Inuit peoples while being hosted by CBC News for one month at its Aboriginal Centre in Winnipeg. This year's fellows are Wawmeesh G. Hamilton, a student at the UBC Graduate School of Journalism, who will investigate how elderly Aboriginal sex offenders are reintegrated into their communities, and Nikki Wiart, a producer with Global News Edmonton, who will explore the long-term effects of foster care on Aboriginal children. The fellowships are presented in partnership with CBC News and supported by the RBC Foundation, CN, Rosemary Speirs and Trina McQueen, CJF honorary governors, and Isabel Bassett, former chair and CEO of TVO.

  • The Landsberg Award, presented in association with the Canadian Women's Foundation, celebrates a journalist giving greater profile to women's equality issues. Named after noted journalist and social activist Michele Landsberg, the award comes with a $5,000 prize. This year's recipient is Heather Mallick, a staff columnist with the Toronto Star, who explored the legal framework for prostitution in other countries during Canada's debate over laws governing the sex trade.

  • The Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy provides a seasoned Canadian journalist with $100,000 and an opportunity to pursue a year-long investigation into a current policy issue. It is sponsored by the Atkinson Foundation, the Toronto Star and the Honderich family. This year's recipient is Michelle Shephard, national security reporter for the Toronto Star, author and filmmaker. For her fellowship, she plans to produce character-driven pieces on the effectiveness of Canada's public policies related to national security.

  • The Greg Clark Award, sponsored by Shaw Communications and the Toronto Star, provides the opportunity to an early-career journalist to explore an issue in depth for one week. Winner Laura Stone, a political reporter with Globalnews.ca, will shadow the RCMP's National Division to learn about the nature of police work on sensitive cases.

  • The Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award, presented with The Canadian Press and supported by Nikon, went to Marta Iwanek, a freelance photographer on contract with the Toronto Star. This provides an early-career photojournalist with the opportunity to spend six weeks with The Canadian Press head office in Toronto.

  • The Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, funded by The Martin Wise Goodman Trust, went to Stephen Maher, national columnist and investigative journalist with Postmedia News. Maher will study the use of surveillance by the countries comprising the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, examining abuses and privacy violations that take place in the absence of effective civilian oversight. This fellowship is awarded biennially.

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

    • Mustapha Dumbuya, a human rights journalist and community media trainer/mentor with BBC Media Alert in Freetown, Sierra Leone, 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;
    • Luiz Hidalgo Nunes, Jr., a freelance journalist in São Paolo, Brazil, who is the recipient of the Scotiabank/CJFE Fellowship;
    • Emily Mathieu, an investigative reporter with the Toronto Star, who received the St. Clair Balfour Fellowship;
    • Jennifer Moroz, executive producer of The Current on CBC Radio, who received the CBC/Radio-Canada Fellowship;
    • Elizabeth Renzetti, national columnist for The Globe and Mail, who received the Kierans-Janigan Fellowship, funded through the generosity of former CJF chair Tom Kierans and his wife, former longtime journalist Mary Janigan, in honour of one of Canada's greatest arts journalists, the late Val Ross of The Globe and Mail.

The previously announced Lifetime Achievement Award went to Michel Auger, former veteran crime reporter for Le Journal de Montréal who also worked for CBC/Radio-Canada. Best known for his exposés of organized crime, Auger's coverage of the long and violent rivalry among motorcycle gangs in Quebec in the 1990s is credited with helping to establish a provincial task force that eventually led to the end of the war and the jailing of many of its key figures. His reporting was informed by his underworld connections as well as police sources. In 2000, he was shot six times in the back during an attack by an unknown assailant, but went on to write a best-selling memoir (one of several books), The Biker Who Shot Me.

The annual CJF Tribute honoured Malcolm Gladwell, staff writer for The New Yorker and author of books such as The Tipping Point and Blink, for his pioneering work as journalist and author.

The CJF thanks the following organizations for their support of its annual Awards event: RBC, BMO Financial Group, Labatt Breweries of Canada, Postmedia, Accenture, Medtronic, Scotiabank, CTV News, Manulife Financial, Rogers, Barrick Gold Corporation, Canadian Bankers Association, Sun Life Financial, and Tom Kierans and Mary Janigan.

Thank you also to Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Maclean's, Metro, BlackBerry, CBC News, CNW, CTV News, Global News and Porter for their in-kind support of the event.

#CJFawards

About The Canadian Journalism Foundation
Established in 1990, The Canadian Journalism Foundation promotes excellence in journalism by celebrating outstanding journalistic achievement. Our signature events include an annual awards program featuring a must-attend industry gala where Canada's top newsmakers meet Canada's top news people. Through J-Talks, our popular speakers' series, we facilitate dialogue among journalists, business people, academics and students about the role of the media in Canadian society and the ongoing challenges for media in the digital era. The foundation also supports journalism websites J-Source.ca (English) and ProjetJ.ca (French) and fosters opportunities for journalism education, training and research.

SOURCE Canadian Journalism Foundation

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