2019-2020 William Southam Journalists Announced – And the Power of a Gala

On the evening of Thursday, June 13, at the Canadian Journalism Foundation Gala, CTV’s Anne-Marie Mediwake announced the recipients of the 2019-2020 William Southam Journalism Fellowships.

Congratulations to:

Joey Coleman, St. Clair Balfour Fellow
Dana Gibreel, Gordon N. Fisher/JHR Fellow
John Perry, CBC/Radio-Canada Fellow
Sarah Rogers, Webster/McConnell Fellow
Martha Troian, McLaughlin Centre Science Journalism Fellow

(See the 2019-2020 William Southam Journalism Fellows page for their bios.)

Kim Kierans, a Resident Visiting Scholar at Massey College for 2018-2019, and a professor of journalism at University of King’s College, sat two tables over from the Fellows at the CJF Gala, and was particularly delighted with the news.

“It was quite a thrill to find out that two of my former students, John Perry (BJ’04) and Martha Troian (MJ’13), will be Journalism Fellows at Massey College next year,” said Kierans. “Since they left the School of Journalism at King’s, I have watched their careers flourish. The Southam Journalism Fellowship is a real gift. It’s an opportunity to explore new ideas, trends, to stretch and grow. I urged them to get to know the Junior and Senior Fellows, and to immerse themselves in the life of Massey College. It may be a cliche, but if my year at Massey as a Resident Visiting Scholar is any indication, they will be transformed by this Fellowship year.”

All in all, the CJF Gala was a powerful reminder of why journalism matters.

The investigative reporter Connie Walker and her team at CBC News received two awards — the Landsberg Award and the CJF Jackman Award for Excellence in Journalism — for the podcast, “Missing and Murdered: Finding Cleo.”

John Honderich, chair of Torstar Corporation, received the CJF Lifetime Achievement Award (while sporting a “We The North” T-shirt, and a bow-tie)

The CJF Tribute, honouring a journalist who has made an international impact, was presented to Maria Ressa, the executive editor and CEO of the online news website Rappler, based in the Philipines.

A lie repeated a million times in effect becomes truth,” said Ressa, lamenting the perils of social media.

And Marty Baron, executive editor of the Washington Post, received the CJF Special Citation in recognition of his fearless approach to journalism.

Recalling his time as editor at the Boston Globe and the paper’s investigation of the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal, Baron said that the survivors, in telling journalists their stories of abuse, allowed for the prospect of accountability.

“They were grateful for journalists who sought to get at the truth when people in authority had trampled on it or concealed it,” he said. “Today, we face another threat, perhaps even more subversive. This one is to the very idea of truth itself.” The goal is obvious: to obliterate the notion of objective truth.

But journalists, Baron said, understand their role in a democracy. “I can say this with confidence: We will meet our obligations.”

More than ever, the journalistic enterprise needs fortification — and opportunities like the Southam Fellowship provide an invaluable source of strength.

We look forward to welcoming our new Journalism Fellows to Massey College on September 3, 2019.



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