James Travers, executive managing editor, accepts the 1997 Citation of Merit from Chief Justice Antonio Lamer on behalf of the Toronto Star.
The newspaper received the award for a weeklong series entitled – 1,000 Voices, Lives On Hold – focusing on youth unemployment in Canada. It examined the lives of young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 and the hardships they face to secure employment. The series was prepared by reporters Jonathan Ferguson, Tanya Talaga and Vinay Menon who interviewed young adults, university and college presidents, researchers and government officials. Finance Minister Paul Martin said the series influenced the contents of his 1998 budget, which included several measures to help youth make the transition from school to work.
The award was presented during a ceremony held at Rideau Hall, April 28, 1998.
Launched in 1970 under the auspices of Canada’s third Canadian governor general, the late Roland Michener, the award focuses on the degree of public benefit generated by media projects, both large and small, in print and broadcast. The annual award is open to daily and weekly newspapers, news agencies, radio and television stations and networks, as well as periodicals. The winners are chosen on the basis of hard-hitting impact, journalistic professionalism, and the resources available for the project.