Ottawa, Apr. 30, 2020 – The Michener Awards Foundation today announced its 2020 Michener-Deacon Fellowships have been awarded to investigative journalists Laura Eggertson and Marie-Claude Lortie. As well, a new education fellowship, the Michener – L. Richard O’Hagan Fellowship, has been awarded to the J-Source/Canada Press Freedom Project.
The two investigative projects are:
LAURA EGGERTSON — for an in-depth series of print and online articles about aging out of foster care without a permanent family or a support network. Eggertson’s work will explore the social and economic consequences of the under-reported public policy issue of ‘aging out,’ as well as its effects on these young people.
MARIE-CLAUDE LORTIE — for a project on the use of pesticides in Canadian agriculture – its health impact on consumers, its environmental impact on farmland, and its economic impact on production and export markets. Lortie’s project will also examine the influence the pesticide industry, as well as farmer co-ops, exercises over regulatory agencies.
The new Michener-L. Richard O’Hagan Fellowship for Journalism Education goes to a project championed by Sonya Fatah, Christopher Waddell, H.G. Watson and Steph Wechsler. The J-Source/Canada Press Freedom Project will track examples where press freedom is threatened across the country, with the goal to create a database documenting violations of press freedom. At a time when this fundamental democratic value is under global attack, the Press Freedom project promises to provide a central hub of support and resources for Canadian journalists, teachers and journalism students.
Each of these fellowships is worth $40,000 plus $5,000 in expenses.
The 2020 Michener fellowship recipients are traditionally honoured at an annual Michener Awards ceremony at Rideau Hall, which for the past two years has been hosted by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor-General of Canada. This event unveils the winner of the Michener Award for public service journalism in Canada.
Due to current global health concerns, the Michener Awards have been postponed and will be celebrated at a later date. Finalists for the 2019 Michener Award will be announced next month.
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. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Michener Award.
The Michener-Deacon Investigative Journalism fellowship is supported by the Michener Awards Foundation and the family of the late Paul S. Deacon. 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 – L. Richard O’Hagan Fellowship for Journalism Education, supported by BMO Financial Group, is dedicated to the advancement and enrichment of the education of Canadian journalists and journalism students. It is named for the late L. Richard O’Hagan, distinguished press secretary to Prime Ministers Lester B. Pearson and Pierre Trudeau and longtime senior vice-president at Bank of Montreal. He began his career as a reporter at the former Toronto Telegram. Winning projects are designed to expand the knowledge of newsroom products, processes and practices.
Judges for the 2020 Michener-Deacon Fellowships:
Genevieve Rossier (chair), Editor and General manager, La Presse canadienne, French services; Connie Monk, Program head of broadcast and online journalism at BCIT, former journalist and producer at CBC; Raymond Brassard, former Executive Editor of the Montreal Gazette and Editorial Consultant at the National Newspaper Awards; and
Romayne Smith Fullerton, Associate professor, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario, and Ethics Editor at J-Source.
Margo Goodhand; Chief Judge, Michener Awards
Rideau Hall Press Office