Publisher Don Babick accepts the 1990 Michener Citation of Merit from Governor General Ray Hnatyshyn on behalf of the Edmonton Journal.
The Newspaper was honoured for “Wood Buffalo: A Park in Peril”, a graphic recitation of the conflict between commerce and environment in the world’s second largest national park. Journal reporters detailed the threat to the park from clear-cut logging, a British Columbia hydro dam, Alberta pulp mill pollution, and disease in the world’s biggest free-roaming bison herd. The herd was ear-marked for slaughter by Agriculture Canada. These threats to the park were covered in in 47 stories by the newspaper and the Journal’s impact was broad. The federal government subsequently had second thoughts about killing its diseased buffalo herd, logging operations are being curbed and talks are proceeding to halt further damage by B.C. Hydro to the Peace-Athabaska rivers delta.
The Citation was presented during a ceremony held at Rideau Hall on April 25, 1991.
The judging for the Michener Award goes beyond journalistic merit to consider what the project has accomplished, the absence of self-serving journalistic interest, and the resources available to entrants so that larger and smaller competitors are on a more equal basis.