The Michener Awards Foundation today announced its Michener-Deacon Fellowship has been awarded to Ethan Cox and Erin Seatter, who will lead a Ricochet team investigation into police misconduct in Canada; and the Michener-L. Richard O’Hagan Fellowship goes to Allison Baker and Viviane Fairbank for a fact-checking project called In Defence of Truth.

Each of these fellowships is worth $40,000 plus $5,000 in expenses.

The Michener-Deacon investigative project will try to determine how deep a problem police misconduct is in Canada, and examine the role of public accountability structures around policing. The panel of judges was impressed with the team of independent-minded journalists Ricochet put together from all across Canada; the project’s original data-driven analysis; and the inclusion of victims’ point of view. The investigation’s results will find its home on the Ricochet web sites, both in English and in French. A podcast is also planned.

The Michener-L. Richard O’Hagan Fellowship for Journalism Education will support the creation of a book-length version of The Walrus Fact-Checking Guide, establishing guidelines and a common reporting and verification methodology to train journalists, academics and the public. It will teach people how news should be consumed, and also how news should be made. The project also aims to create a free and accessible curriculum for fact-checking education, hosted digitally by Carleton University. Submissions were particularly strong this year, judges noted. In the end, this project was chosen because it had the broadest appeal and the biggest potential impact.

The Michener fellowship recipients are traditionally honoured at an annual Michener Awards ceremony at Rideau Hall, hosted by the 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 and this year’s fellowship recipients will be honoured at a virtual celebration this June.

Finalists for the 2020 Michener Award will be announced next week.

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 is the Michener Award’s 50th year.

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 2021 Michener Fellowships:

About the Michener Awards

The Michener Awards honour, celebrate, and promote excellence in Canadian public service journalism. Established in 1970 by the late Right Honourable Roland Michener, Governor General of Canada from 1967 to 1974, the Michener Awards are Canada’s premier journalism award. This year marks the 50th anniversary of this prestigious prize. The Michener Awards Foundation’s voluntary Board of Directors administers the award, in partnership with the Rideau Hall Foundation. Learn more at

For further information:

Margo Goodhand – Chief Judge; Michener Awards
[email protected]

For media inquiries:

Jill Clark
Manager of Communications
Rideau Hall Foundation

[email protected]