The first Michener Award ceremony was held at Rideau Hall on the morning of November 8, 1971.
His Excellency the Right Honourable Roland Michener, Governor General of Canada 1967-74, made the inaugural presentation of the Michener award for meritorious public service journalism to CBC-TV and the Financial Post. The award was accepted by Clive Baxter, representing the Financial Post and producer Alan Erlich, representing CBC Television.
CBC-TV and the Financial Post were jointly honoured for “The Charter Revolution,” their collaborative study of the air charter business. A four-page section in the Post was tied in with a CBC television special and gave public exposure of the dangerous developments in the air charter revolution and the impact on the travel industry. In choosing the two news organizations, the judges noted the very effective combined use of television and the printed media and said “the research was excellent and the presentation very striking.”
Two other news organizations were given honourable mention: The Windsor Star was recognized for its campaign on the ownership and control of station CKLW-TV. And station CKLG, Vancouver, received the citation for a series of public service programs called “The Understanding Series” which presented useful material in ways particularly appropriate for young people and to promote understanding between generations.
The award was for news projects completed in 1970, and the judges were:
- Davidson Dunton, President of Carleton University;
- George Ferguson, Editor Emeritus of The Montreal Star;
- Yves Gagnon, Director of Communications at Laval University; and
- Sam Ross, retired radio reporter