Your Excellencies, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen.
On behalf of the Federation of Press Clubs of Canada, May I say we are honoured to participate in the fourth annual Michenar Awards for Journalism.
The Awards are in recognition of outstanding public service in journalism. I am happy to report to you, Sir, that since they were established after talks five years ago between the federation and your predecessor, The Right Honourable Roland Michener, they have become one of the top awards in Canadian journalism. I think this is a tribute to the foresight shown by Mr. Michener.
Judges for the competition covering projects completed during 1973 were Fraser MacDougall, Yves Jasmin, Sam Ross and William Boss. Mr. Boss was working for the Ottawa Journal at the same time as you, Sir, reported for Le Droit. We find it very fitting that a gentleman whose first profession was journalism is making the presentation today.
The judges said they studied coverage ranging from crime and violence to storm, slum and near-disaster. It was the near-disaster that brought the second honourable mention to two radio stations, CHRC-AM in Quebec City and CFCW-79 in Camrose. CHRC-AM kept the region functioning during an ice storm while CFCW-79 warned about the dangers in an oil well leak.
The first honourable mention went to the Dartmouth Free Press mainly for its courage in the face of a hoodlum invasion that threatened its staff and plant.
The Roland Michener Award for 1973 goes to the CTV Television Network for taking a series of facts, which were being reported by all the media at the time, and the judges said, probing beyond the surface using imagination and courage. The facts dealt with the invasion of privacy through electronic techniques and attempts by Parliament to legislate on the practise by drawing a line between banning them altogether and allowing them under certain conditions by authorized agencies. The judges said CTV made its point by bugging one of the most secret types of gathering in Parliament itself, a party caucus. And then the program went on to illustrate the myriad other ways in which electronics enable the acquisition of vast amounts of information about individual citizens. The judges said this was an outstanding example of in-depth, reporting by a medium still discovering its own ability to dig with impact, instead of being content to skim superficially.
And now, Your Excellency, I would like to present the man who will accept the 1973 Michener award, Jack MoGaw, producer of the award-winning program.
Federation of Press Clubs of canada
May 16, 1974