Six union members nominated for prestigious
journalism award, another wins fellowship
Six members of CWA Canada are in the running
to claim the country's most prestigious award in journalism.
The Victoria Times
Colonist and The
Gazette in Montreal are two of the six news media finalists
for the 2009 Michener Award for meritorious public service
journalism. The winner will be announced on May 27 in a
ceremony at Rideau Hall hosted by Governor General Michaëlle
Julie Ireton, who has already been declared the winner of
the Michener-Deacon Fellowship, is the business and technology
reporter in the CBC Parliamentary Bureau and a member of
the union's largest Local, the Canadian Media Guild. The
fellowship will enable Ireton to pursue an investigation
entitled, The Federal Public Service: Middle-men, Double-Dipping
Reporter Linda Gyulai, a member of
the Montreal Newspaper Guild, earned the Gazette's nomination
with her series of articles examining the city’s $355.8-million water-meter
project, the largest contract in its history. Gyulai determined
that major elements of the project were altered against the
city’s interest days before the contract was closed.
After the auditor general confirmed the Gazette’s findings,
the contract was killed and two top city officials were fired.
In Victoria, a February 2009 series of stories and photos
depicting the deplorable condition of aboriginal housing
on Vancouver Island revealed overcrowding, shoddy construction
and threats to health on reserves. Following the publication
of the articles, the federal government pledged $50 million
for native housing. B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell also announced
that the province would take action to connect reserves with
off-reserve water and sewage systems.
A team of newsroom staff, including reporters Judith Lavoie
and Lindsay Kines, and photographers Debra Brash, Adrian
Lam and Bruce Stotesbury, who are members of the Victoria-Vancouver
Island Newspaper Guild, worked on the week-long series which
examined how government policies, poor construction and a
lack of oversight have contributed to the sorry state of
“For a small newsroom like ours, the nomination is
particularly welcome,” said Lucinda Chodan, editor-in-chief
of the Times Colonist. “It validates the high-quality
work our journalists do every day.”
The series was also a finalist for the 2009 Jack Webster
Awards, which honour the best in B.C. journalism.
The Michener Award was founded in 1970 by the late Roland
Michener, former governor general.