Ottawa, May 13, 2016 – The Michener Awards Foundation today announced the 2016 Michener-Deacon Fellowships will be awarded to journalists Patti Sonntag and Paul Webster.
The Michener-Deacon Fellowship for Journalism Education is awarded to Patti Sonntag for her proposal to lead a class on an investigation into resource extraction companies. She will guide students in using the Corporate Mapping Project’s database and network visualization tool, which tracks the fossil fuel sector’s influence on our country’s economy and policies. Ms. Sonntag said that she hopes this will lay the foundation for a new data journalism certificate program at Concordia University. Ms. Sonntag is currently managing editor in the New York Times’ News Services division and is looking forward to returning home to Montreal to take up this challenge.
The Michener-Deacon Fellowship for Investigative Reporting is awarded to Paul Webster for his proposal on the secretive world of prison healthcare, specifically Hepatitis C among inmates which is at least ten times higher than in the general Canadian population. Mr. Webster will look into whether our policies and practices are indeed allowing thousands of people to die of entirely preventable causes. Mr. Webster is an award winning freelance print journalist who has written on health issues in many major Canadian publications.
The Investigative Journalism fellowship is supported by the BMO Financial Group. It allows a journalist to devote up to four months for a reporting project. Applicants are required to undertake a project that aspires to the criteria of the annual Michener Award for journalism with its emphasis on making an impact for the public good.
The Michener-Deacon Fellowship for Journalism Education is supported by CN, the Michener Awards Foundation and the family of the late Paul S. Deacon. It is dedicated to the advancement of the education of Canadian journalists. The winner will spend time at a Canadian university journalism school, teaching or mentoring students, and also pursue personal education interests.
His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will host the Michener Awards ceremony at Rideau Hall on June 17 where the Michener-Deacon Fellowships will be presented and the winner of the 2015 Michener Award will be announced.
The Michener Award, founded in 1970 by the late Roland Michener, then governor-general, honours excellence in public-service journalism. The judges’ decisions are heavily influenced by the degree of public benefit generated by the print, broadcast and online entries submitted for consideration.
Judges for the 2016 Michener-Deacon Fellowships:
Susan Mitton (chair), former Regional Director, CBC Maritimes; Michael Goldbloom, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Bishop’s University, Lennoxville, Quebec, and former Publisher of The Gazette and the Toronto Star; Sylvain Lafrance, Professor of Business at Haute Etudes Commercial in Montreal, and former Vice President of Radio Canada; Donna Logan, Professor Emerita and Founding Director of the School of Journalism at the University of British Columbia and former Vice President of Regional Broadcasting for the CBC; and Ivor Shapiro, Chair, Ryerson School of Journalism, Toronto.
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