Ottawa, November 8, 1971. His Excellency, the Right Honourable Roland Michener, Governor General of Canada, made the inaugural presentation of the Michener award for meritorious public service journalism to CBC-TV and the Financial Post. The two media organizations were honoured during a morning ceremony held at Government House in Ottawa. The award was accepted by Clive Baxter, representing the Financial Post and producer Alan Erlich, representing CBC Television.
The new award is to be presented annually to deserving news organizations for outstanding performance in public service through the use of its journalistic resources. The Governor General’s name will be permanently attached to the award. In a brief address to assembled guests, His Excellency praised the Federation of Press Clubs for taking the initiative in launching the award and said he was delighted to lend his name to it. (full text of his comments)
CBC-TV and the Financial Post were honoured for ‘The Charter Revolution’, their collaborative study of the air charter business. A four-page section in the Post was tied in with a CBC television special and gave public exposure of the dangerous developments in the air charter revolution and the impact on the travel industry. In choosing the two news organizations, the judges noted the very effective combined use of television and the printed media and said “the research was excellent and the presentation very striking.”
Two news organizations were given honourable mention. The Windsor Star was recognized for its campaign on the ownership and control of station CKLW-TV. And station CKLG, Vancouver, received the citation for a series of public service programs called “The Understanding Series” which presented useful material in ways particularly appropriate for young people and to promote understanding between generations.
The Michener Award will be administered by the Federation of Press Clubs of Canada. Ken MacGray, President of the Federation, expressed appreciation to the Governor General for his enthusiastic support and sponsorship of the new program adding that “the Michener Award is an important adornment to Canadian journalism and you are to be warmly congratulated for such an initiative.” (full text)
His Excellency Roland Michener commissioned sculptor John Matthews of Perth, Ontario, to create the award trophy which consists of a bronze plaque mounted on a marble base. The inscription of the award, in both official languages, is engraved on one side of the plaque with an inserted circle and communication symbols on the reverse side. All media are eligible for the award including radio, television stations, newspapers, periodicals, and news syndication services. The award is presented to a news organization rather than individual journalists.
Judges for the 1970 Michener Award:
Davidson Dunton, President of Carleton University; George Ferguson, Editor Emeritus of The Montreal Star; Yves Gagnon, Director of Communications at Laval University; and Sam Ross, veteran radio newsman, now retired in Vancouver.
Lead up to the Establishment of the Michener Award:
The Michener Award judges’ decisions are heavily influenced by the degree of public benefit generated by the print and broadcast projects submitted for consideration.