Fellowship recipient to investigate aboriginal youth suicide as a significant health crisis in Canada.
Freelance writer Laura Eggertson is the recipient of the 2012 Michener-Deacon Fellowship for Investigative Journalism. The Fellowship was presented during the annual Michener Award ceremony held at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on June 12, 2012.
Ms Eggertson is an award-winning journalist who previously worked as a correspondent for The Canadian Press in Toronto and Washington, D.C., and as a reporter for the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star in Ottawa. She is a past recipient of a Nieman Fellowship.
She will use the Fellowship to investigate Aboriginal youth suicide as a significant health crisis in Canada. She plans to research and write a series of print and online articles, as well as to create a radio documentary, about Aboriginal communities dealing with youth suicide. The judges were impressed with Ms. Eggertson’s entire proposal, her clarity about her project and the strength of her references, in addition to her significant track record of 12 years of health, science and public policy reportage.
Read Ms Eggertson’s report on the results of her inverstigation.
In her acceptance speech she said that “aboriginal suicide touches far too many families. We sometimes hear about these deaths, especially if there are clusters of suicides. But unless these young people are our family members, we don’t know their stories. We don’t hear enough from young people about what they need to help them survive – to get through the pain”. (Her complete text)
While at Harvard University on her Nieman Fellowship, she studied the U.S. political system, leadership, economics, creative writing, medical ethics, liberation theology, and children’s literature. Among her many other achievements, she was the winner of the 2006 Canadian Association of Journalists’ Investigative Award and was a finalist for the 2004 and 2005 Michener Award.
She earned a Bachelor of Journalism degree at Carleton University in Ottawa and Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at Queen’s University in Kingston.
Rideau Hall – June 12, 2012
Judges for the 2012 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.