General + Regulatory + Telecom + Media NewsMissing & Murdered podcast among CJF honourees

Missing & Murdered podcast among CJF honourees

The 2019 Canadian Journalism Foundation Awards were handed out Thursday evening with CBC News podcast Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo earning the CJF Jackman Award for Excellence in Journalism (large media category) and its host Connie Walker winning the Landsberg Award, which celebrates exceptional coverage of women’s equality issues.

Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo explores the disappearance of Cleopatra Semaganis Nicotine, a young Cree girl taken from her Saskatchewan home in the Sixties Scoop, put up for adoption in the U.S. and wrongly thought to have been murdered while hitchhiking back to Canada.

“What makes Finding Cleo unique and engaging is the way it is told — as a 10-part podcast where you are along for the journey, facing the roadblocks of bureaucracy on a cold trail, experiencing the frustrations and unsure of the outcome,” said jury member Isabel Bassett, former chair and CEO of TVO. “Finding out the truth of one young girl accomplishes more than bringing closure for a family — it tells the much larger story of the ‘Sixties Scoop’ from the point of view of those who experienced it, in a way relatable by all.”

In the small media category, the Regina Leader-Post and Saskatoon StarPhoenix won the Jackman award for their joint coverage of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, including the first 36 hours following the tragedy.

Hosted by CTV Your Morning’s Anne-Marie Mediwake, more than 500 journalists, media executives and business leaders attended the CJF Awards gala at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto.

The evening’s other award winners included:

    • CJF-CBC Indigenous Journalism Fellowship winners Charnel Anderson and Logan Perley, who will be hosted by CBC News for one month at its Indigenous Centre in Winnipeg. Anderson is a member of Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek in northwestern Ontario and a freelance journalist based in Toronto. Perley is Wolastoqew from Tobique First Nation, NB, who just finished his final year of journalism and native studies at St. Thomas University in Fredericton

    • The CJF-Facebook Journalism Project News Literacy Award, celebrating journalistic efforts that encourage Canadians to better understand and assess the quality of news they consume, went to Agence Science-Presse, a Montreal-based non-profit media organization. The agency was recognized for its efforts to help students at a Montreal high school verify the news found on social media, specifically disinformation in science. The award comes with a $10,000 prize.

    • The CJF-Globe and Mail Investigative Journalism Fellowship, which offers early-career journalists a year-long opportunity to sharpen their reporting and research skills while working on ongoing investigative journalism projects under the guidance of Globe and Mail editors and senior reporters, went to Marsha McLeod, most recently a criminal justice reporter with Investigative Post in Buffalo, N.Y. 

    • The Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy, which provides a seasoned Canadian journalist with $100,000 and an opportunity to pursue a year-long investigation into a current policy issue, goes to John Lorinc, a Toronto freelancer who covers politics, urban affairs, the environment and business. He will investigate and report on the impact of smart cities technology and data governance on citizens and their governments. The fellowship is a collaboration of the Atkinson Foundation, the Toronto Star and the Honderich family.

    • The Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award, presented with The Canadian Press and supported by Nikon, went to Andrew Lahodynskyj, a Toronto-based freelance photographer and photo editor. This award provides an early-career photojournalist with the opportunity to spend six weeks at CP headquarters in Toronto.

    • The Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University went to Karyn Pugliese, executive director of news and current affairs at the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. She will study the strategies newsrooms and educators can use to implement Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action for media and journalism schools. Pugliese is the 25th Canadian Nieman fellow, a biennial award.

  • This year’s recipients of the William Southam Journalism Fellowships, which reward mid-career journalists with an academic year to audit courses and participate fully in life at Massey College, are:
    • Dana Gibreel, a Jordanian journalist who is a senior reporter at the online magazine 7iber, receives the Gordon N. Fisher/JHR Fellowship, awarded in partnership with Journalists for Human Rights and named after Gordon N. Fisher who, along with St. Clair Balfour of Southam Newspapers, created the fellowships in 1962;
    • Joey Coleman, an independent journalist in Hamilton and publisher of the crowd-funded The Public Record, who received the St. Clair Balfour Fellowship;
    • Sarah Rogers, reporter with Iqaluit-based Nunatsiaq News, who received the Webster/McConnell Fellowship;
    • John Perrya senior producer with CBC Radio’s As it Happens, who received the CBC/Radio-Canada Fellowship; and
    • Martha TroianWinnipeg-based investigative journalist from Lac Seul First Nation in Northern Ontario, who received the McLaughlin Centre Science Journalism Fellowship.

John Honderich, former Toronto Star editor and publisher and now chair of Torstar Corporation, was this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award honouree.

Special CJF honorees this year included Maria Ressa, executive editor and CEO of the Filipino news site,, who received the annual CJF Tribute for her courageous defence of independent journalism in the face of government harassment. A CJF Special Citation went to Martin Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post, who was recognized for his commitment to the pursuit of truth in an atmosphere of “alternative facts”.

Established in 1990, The Canadian Journalism Foundation promotes, celebrates and facilitates excellence in journalism. Through monthly J-Talks, a public speakers’ series, the CJF also facilitates dialogue among journalists, business people, academics and students about the role of the media in Canadian society and the ongoing challenges for media in the digital era. The foundation also fosters opportunities for journalism education, training and research.

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Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

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