Ottawa, June 11, 2014 – The Governor General of Canada, David Johnston, presented the ‘Michener-Baxter Special Award’ to Tim Kotcheff and Alain Guilbert during the 2013 Michener Awards ceremony held at Government House in Ottawa.
Tim Kotcheff is a former vice-president of news for both the CTV and CBC television networks, during a long and distinguished career in broadcast journalism. Alain Guilbert served as editor-in-chief of Le Soleil and Vice-President of Canada Post during a successful career in journalism and communications.
Fourteen years ago, Tim Kotcheff persuaded the board of the Michener Awards Foundation that it needed a website. Now, after countless thousands of volunteer hours put in by Mr. Kotcheff, michenerawards.ca is the dominant focus and celebratory billboard of public interest journalism in Canada. Mr. Kotcheff has not only chronicled the work of the Foundation since 2000, but has also created a lively legacy of illustrated archives dating from the first Michener awards in 1970. Every information gap, every missing picture was a personal challenge. Mr. Kotcheff relentlessly combed historical files at Rideau Hall and at Library and Archives Canada. He nurtured a partnership with fellow director Alain Guilbert to produce a seamless French-language version of the site.
The development of the Michener Awards Foundation’s website would not have been possible without the team effort of Alain Guilbert and Tim Kotcheff. Countless hours of research, design, programming and adaptation have made the michenerawards.ca site an indispensable resource for public service journalism in Canada. Alain Guilbert’s contribution to the French version of the Foundation’s website, dating back to the early 2000s, has resulted in a faithful and free adaptation, the expression of what is called “the genius of the language.” Alan Guilbert’s vast experience and extensive network in the Canadian journalism and communication community were of great help in completing this significant project.
In announcing the Award, Russell Mills, President of the Michener Awards Foundation said that Tim Kotcheff and Alain Guilbert “have played a large role in encouraging public service journalism through the Michener Award.”
Rideau Hall – June 11, 2014
The Michener-Baxter Special Award
The annual Michener Award is presented to news organizations, rather than to individuals.
In 1983, the Michener Awards Foundation established the Special Award to be presented on occasion, and at the discretion of the Board of Directors, to an individual whose achievement exemplifies the best in public service journalism. In 2010, this award was renamed the ‘Michener-Baxter Special Award’ in honour of the late Clive Baxter. Mr. Baxter accepted the very first Michener Award on behalf of the Financial Post in 1971. He and his family have been generous supporters of the Michener Awards Foundation.
The award was crafted in 1983 by sculptor John Matthews.