OTTAWA – A deadline of March 15 for nominations for the 2021 World Press Freedom Canada award was announced today. The award honours a journalist or media organization for making an outstanding contribution last year to press freedom in Canada.
“We are thrilled to honour journalists who have confronted secrecy, defied intimidation and outwitted obstacles to uncover the truth,” said Shawn McCarthy, President of World Press Freedom Canada. “They tell important stories that might otherwise never be told. Their work shines a light on the treasure of press freedom in Canada and globally.”
World Press Freedom Canada is an Ottawa-based non-profit volunteer organization which promotes free expression and media rights and celebrates UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day in early May by honouring the award-winning journalists.
“We should never take freedom of expression and the practice of independent, timely and safe journalism for granted. They are cornerstones of our democracies and are instrumental to foster an informed citizenry. They remain core priorities for UNESCO and our Commission and this is why we have been a proud partner of World Press Freedom Canada for more than 20 years,’’ said Sébastien Goupil, Secretary-General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.
The annual award goes to a journalist or other media worker in Canadian print, digital or broadcasting who has made a significant contribution to freedom of expression, often by standing up to government or private interests that would thwart the reporting of events or stories of significant public interest, or by advancing press freedom through the subjects they report on. Organizations may also apply or be nominated.
Submissions are invited for nominees whose work in 2020 was frustrated by a cloak of secrecy over the public’s right to know, or by legal manoeuvres or political intimidation or other tactics which may have put their safety at risk.
The winner receives $2,000 from World Press Freedom Canada and a certificate from the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. The Canadian Bankers Association sponsors World Press Freedom Canada.
The 2020 Press Freedom Award winner was Kenneth Jackson, reporter/producer with the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) who relentlessly pursued critical information on the fate of Indigenous children who died in Ontario after being placed in care.
Among other winners in the award’s 19-year history: Michael Robinson (Telegraph-Journal); Katherine Gannon (Associated Press); Michelle Lang, posthumously (Calgary Herald); Stephen Maher and Glen McGregor (Postmedia); Daniel Leblanc (Globe and Mail); John Hoey and Anne Marie Todkill (Canadian Medical Association Journal); Gilles Toupin and Joël Denis Bellavance (La Presse); Tarek Fatah (author and columnist); Juliet O’Neill (Ottawa Citizen), Andrew McIntosh (National Post); Haroon Siddiqui (Toronto Star); and Kim Bolan (Vancouver Sun).
The Press Freedom Award nomination form is posted here: Nomination Form.
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