Michener-Deacon Fellowship recipient will examine the impact of Canada’s aid programs in Afghanistan.
Toronto freelance writer Jane Armstrong is the recipient of the 2011 Michener-Deacon Fellowship. The Fellowship was presented during the annual Michener Award ceremony held at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on June 14, 2011.
Jane Armstrong’s career in journalism includes 20 years as a national and international reporter with the Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail.
Ms Armstrong will use the Fellowship to examine the impact of Canada’s aid programs in Afghanistan over the past decade and explore the future of those projects when Canada’s military role winds down this summer. The judges said that given her strong reportage and clear-eyed analysis of the topic in the past, they felt confident Ms. Armstrong would deliver stories that focused on both the issues and the people affected by events in Afghanistan. (Update: Jane Armstrong’s fellowship report and links to her stories can be accessed here)
In her acceptance speech she said: “I’ll be returning to Afghanistan in a couple of weeks to find out what our aid money has accomplished and what it has failed to accomplish. I don’t think this evaluation will be easy….this accounting is crucial if we are ever to understand our legacy in Afghanistan”. (the complete text)
While she is now based in Toronto, Ms Armstrong spent much of her print career as a national correspondent for the Globe and Mail on the West Coast. Her first assignment in Afghanistan was in 2006, where she was embedded with Canadian Forces in Kandahar province. Later, she was the Globe’s interim Moscow bureau chief (2007-08), where she also covered conflicts and social change in Chechnya, Georgia and Ukraine.
She returned to Afghanistan in early 2009 for the Globe and Mail.
Ms Armstrong also spent a decade reporting for the Toronto Star, where she won a National Newspaper Award with two colleagues for a series on how Ontario’s courts deal with domestic assault. That series was part of a larger package that was awarded the Michener prize in 1996. (See 1996 Michener Award)
In 2000, Ms. Armstrong was awarded the John S. Knight journalism fellowship at Stanford University. She has a history degree from Trent University and studied journalism at Carleton University
Rideau Hall – June 14, 2011
Judges for the 2011 Michener-Deacon Fellowship:
Lindsay Crysler (chair), former managing editor of The Gazette, Montreal, former director, journalism department, Concordia University, Montreal; Clinton Archibald, associate professor, professor of public ethics, St. Paul University, Ottawa; Michael Goldbloom, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Bishops University, Sherbrooke, Quebec, and former publisher of The Gazette and the Toronto Star; Lynne Van Luven, associate professor of journalism and creative non-fiction, University of Victoria; Erin Steuter, chair of the sociology department, Mount Allison University, Sackville, NB.
The fellowship of the Michener Awards Foundation, introduced in 1987, is known today as the Michener-Deacon Fellowship (named after the late Roland Michener and the late Paul Deacon, a senior media executive and Michener Awards Foundation president). The fellowship is to encourage excellence in investigative print and broadcast journalism that serves the public interest through values that benefit the community. Mature journalists are invited to submit written outlines for studies over four months that will strengthen their competence.