February 3, 2022, OTTAWA – World Press Freedom Canada (WPFC) is pleased to announce nominations for its 2022 Press Freedom Award are now open. The award honours a journalist or media worker for making an outstanding contribution to press freedom in Canada during 2021.
The award is given to nominees who demonstrate that their public-interest work was frustrated by a cloak of secrecy, legal manoeuvres, political intimidation, or tactics that put their safety or career at risk.
WPFC is also seeking nominations for our Spencer Moore award, which honours a person who, throughout their career, has displayed a determined pursuit of press freedom and freedom of information.
“Press freedom is fragile. We’ve seen the evidence with the recent arrests of Canadian journalists at Fairy Creek who were doing their jobs, the crackdowns on news outlets in Hong Kong and the increased use of disinformation globally. In December, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to journalists for the first time since 1935, highlighting the role a free press plays in protecting democracy,” said WPFC President Heather Bakken. “For these reasons, WPFC is honoured to award journalists who continue to confront secrecy, defy intimidation, and overcome dangerous obstacles in their pursuit of truth. Without them, stories that reveal the facts shaping our shared 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.
The deadline for both nominations is March 15.
Support for the awards is provided by World Press Freedom Canada’s major sponsor, the Canadian Bankers Association and our partner, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.
The 2021 Press Freedom Award was given jointly to The Narwhal’s Sarah Cox for her work uncovering secret and critical analysis of flaws at the Site C dam in B.C.; and to Nathan VanderKlippe, The Globe and Mail’s former China correspondent who reported on China’s Uyghur detention camps.
Among other winners in the award’s 19-year history:
Kenneth Jackson (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network); Michael Robinson (Telegraph-Journal); Katherine Gannon (Associated Press); Michelle Lang, posthumously (Calgary Herald); Stephen Maher and Glen McGregor (Postmedia); Daniel Leblanc (Globe and Mail); Gilles Toupin and Joël Denis Bellavance (La Presse); Tarek Fatah (author and columnist); Juliet O’Neill (Ottawa Citizen); Andrew McIntosh (National Post); and Kim Bolan (Vancouver Sun).
Nomination details and requirements can be found here.