The Michener Awards Foundation is offering three fellowships in 2020 to support and encourage meritorious public service journalism.

Alan Allnutt, president of the foundation, said the new MichenerL. Richard O’Hagan Fellowship for Journalism Education will allow the foundation to fulfill its mandate to advance and enrich journalism education more effectively. The foundation will continue to offer two Michener-Deacon Fellowships for Investigative Reporting.

The education fellowship, supported by BMO Financial Group, honours 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.

“Dick understood and valued deeply the critical role journalists play in our democracy,” said Hon. Brian Tobin, Vice-Chair of BMO Financial Group, who knew Dick O’Hagan in his roles both as a public servant and as a bank executive.  “BMO is very pleased to honour Dick’s life-long contribution to the public discourse, by supporting the establishment of the Michener – L. Richard O’Hagan Fellowship for Journalism Education.”

“Richard O’Hagan had a lifelong love of Canadian journalism, and our family is very grateful to Bank of Montreal for generously supporting this important fellowship in his memory,” Mrs Wanda O’Hagan said.

Criteria for all three fellowships are available on the foundation’s website at  Deadline for applications is February 21, 2020.

February 21 is also the deadline for entries for the 2019 Michener Award.

Mr. Allnutt said entries are welcomed from all print, radio, television and online organizations, regardless of size.  “Successful entries must have achieved results for the public good,” he said. “This is the distinguishing feature of the Michener Awards.”

The late Right Honourable Roland Michener, Governor General of Canada, established the Award in 1970. It has become Canada’s most coveted honour for public service journalism. Judges are required to take into account the resources available to the news organization to produce the reportage. As a result media organizations large and small, including weeklies and periodicals, have won awards and citations.

The Michener-Deacon Fellowships for Investigative Reporting are Canada’s premier awards to encourage excellence in journalism that serves the public interest through improvements in public policy, ethical standards, corporate governance or the lives of Canadians.

The Michener Award is presented annually by the Governor-General of Canada at a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. Fellowship winners are honoured at the same ceremony.