Each year on World Press Freedom Day, May 3, World Press Freedom Canada (WPFC) recognizes a journalist or media worker for making an outstanding contribution to press freedom in Canada during the previous year.

The award is given to nominees who demonstrate that their public-interest work was frustrated by a cloak of secrecy, legal maneuvers, political intimidation, or tactics that put their safety or career at risk.

WPFC also presents the Spencer Moore Award, which recognizes a person who, throughout their career, has displayed a determined pursuit of press freedom and freedom of information.

The Spencer Moore Award for Lifetime Achievement is named in honour of the late Spencer Moore, founding member of the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom, who helped build the Committee and launch the annual luncheon.
WPFC is honoured to award journalists who continually confront secrecy, defy intimidation, and overcome dangerous obstacles in their pursuit of truth. Without them, stories that reveal the facts and uncover the evidence shaping our collective reality may not be told.

The winner of the Press Freedom Award receives a $2,000 prize from World Press Freedom Canada and a certificate from the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

The Spencer Moore prize winner is awarded $1,000.

Nominations for the Press Freedom Award and the Spencer Moore Award are now open!

Nominate yourself or someone today! Apply by March 22 here.

Congratulations to 2022 Press Freedom Award Co-Winners Fatima Syed and Tai Huynh

Fatima Syed is a MIssissauga-based journalist who joined The Narwhal’s Ontario bureau in the latter part of 2021. She is also host of Canadaland’s The Backbench podcast.

As a local journalist with a keen eye on her city, Fatima saw the appalling toll that Covid was taking on Peel residents due to high infection rates and low vaccination rollout. As a freelancer for The Local, she produced three groundbreaking articles that gave voice to an often-marginalized population of immigrants and front-line workers.

Fatima is National Magazine Award nominee, a Digital Publishing Award winner, and has contributed chapters to two anthologies published by Coach House Books—Subdivided: City-Building in an Age of Hyper-Diversity and House Divided. She is also the vice-president of the Canadian Association of Journalists, and completed her Masters in journalism from X University, formerly called Ryerson.

Tai Huynh is editor in chief and founder of The Local, an online magazine that covers Toronto and has recently expanded to Peel. The Local specializes in data-driven but peoplefocused approach on pressing issues facing the cities.

The Local initiated Fatima Syed’s Peel series after noting data showing huge infection rates in the region and poor vaccination efforts. With a heavy immigrant and radicalized population, Peel is often overlooked by mainstream media. The Local was able to secure a grant from the Vohra Miller Foundation which allowed it to uncover a great disparity in Ontario’s vaccination strategy.

Tai has a BSc from the University of Toronto, an MBA from the Schulich School at York University, and a Master of Design from OCAD University. Prior to starting The Local, he had a successful career in the healthcare sector.

Certificate of Merit, Press Freedom Prize: Kathleen Martens

Kathleen Martens is a Winnipeg-based senior digital news reporter for Aboriginal Peoples Television News’ APTNnews.ca. She specializes in stories about property, women’s rights and community.

Kathleen has spent several years pursuing stories of sexual harassment and assault in the Indigenous communities in Canada. She has persevered despite fierce opposition and insults from defenders of the accused men.

Her 2021 articles on allegations of sexual assault against traditional healer in Saskatchewan recently resulted in a guilty plea and conviction.

Kathleen is a veteran of Brandon Sun, Sun Media, CBC and APTN Investigates. She twice won awards for investigative journalism from the Canadian Association of Journalists. Kathleen has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Winnipeg.

Spencer Moore Award for Lifetime Achievement: Stephanie Nolen

Stephanie Nolen served as bureau chief for The Globe and Mail in South Asia, Africa and Latin America before joining the New York Times as a global health reporter in 2021.

Stephanie has demonstrated a stellar mix of courage and compassion along with a knack for innovative storytelling in her career as a foreign correspondent. She has inspired a generation of young journalists, especially women. She has covered war and civil unpheaval; AIDS and Zika epidemics, and mass murder and political cover-ups.

Stephanie is an eight-time winner of Canada’s National Newspaper Award and a seven-time winner of the Amnesty International Media Award for her coverage. She is the author of 28 Stories of AIDS in Africa, which won the PEN Courage Prize, and of Shakespeare’s Face and Promised the Moon: The Untold Story of the First Women in the Space Race.

Previous Press Freedom Award winners

Nathan VanderKlippe, The Globe and Mail;
Sarah Cox, The Narwhal
Certificates of Merit:
Kevin Donovan, The Toronto Star
Meghan Potkins & Madeline Smith, The Calgary Herald

Kenneth Jackson of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN)
Hon. Mention: Michael de Adder, cartoonist, N.B. and N.S. and Joan Baxter, journalist and author, N.S.
Michael Robinson of The Telegraph Journal in Saint John, N.B.
Hon. Mention: Marie-Maude Denis, of Radio-Canada’s Enquete

Justin Brake, The Independent of Newfoundland and Labrador
Hon. Mention: Mike de Souza of The National Observer
Hon. Mention: Charles Rusnell, Jennie Russell and Gary Cunliffe of CBC Edmonton

Patrick Lagacé, La Presse
Paul Dornstauder and Geoff Leo, CBC Saskatchewan
Hon. Mention: Paula Simons, Edmonton Journal

Ben Makuch, VICE News
Hon. Mention: Josée Dupuis, Emmanuel Marchand, Radio-Canada
Hon. Mention: Linda Gyulai, Montreal Gazette

Mohamed Fahmy, Al Jazeera English

Katherine Gannon, Associated Press

Stephen Maher and Glen McGregor, Postmedia

Canadian Science Writers’ Association

Citizen Lab, Toronto

Michelle Lang, Calgary Herald (posthumously)

Daniel Leblanc, Globe and Mail

Gilles Toupin and Joël-Denis Bellavance, La Presse

Tarek Fatah (author and columnist)

Dr. John Hoey and Anne Marie Todkill, Canadian Medical Association Journal

Juliet O’Neill, Ottawa Citizen

Andrew McIntosh, National Post

International Freedom of Information Exchange (IFEX)

Haroon Siddiqui, Toronto Star

Corinna Shuller, National Post

Robert Tripp, Kingston Whig-Standard

Kim Bolan, Vancouver Sun

Previous Spencer Moore For Lifetime Achievement Award winners

Kim Bolan, The Vancouver Sun
David Pugliese, The Ottawa Citizen
Ken Rubin, Freelance researcher
Charles Morrow, The Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom (Posthumously)
Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press

Suzanne Legault, Information Commissioner of Canada

Bob Carty, CBC (Posthumously)

Arnold Amber, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression