Michener Award

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The Michener Award is one of the highest distinctions in Canadian journalism. The award was founded in 1970 by Roland Michener, who was Governor General of Canada at the time, and his wife Norah. The idea for the award was developed in 1969 with Bill MacPherson, then president of the National Press Club and managing editor of the Ottawa Citizen, who remained a secretary of the committee administering the award until his death. Since 1970, the Michener Award has been presented yearly by the Governor General at Rideau Hall to a Canadian news organization "whose entry is judged to have made a significant impact on public policy or on the lives of Canadians".[1]

Although the award is presented to media organizations rather than individual journalists, five individuals of the nominated finalists are invited to the award ceremony so that their contributions can also be acknowledged. Since 1987, the Michener Foundation also awards annually the Michener-Deacon Fellowship, which provides financial support to a journalist wishing to complete a project that serves the Canadian public interest. The fellowship is named in honor of Roland Michener and late journalist Paul Deacon.

Past winners[edit]

Where multiple winners are combined in the table below, the winning work was a collaborative joint project of both news organizations. If two distinct pieces simply finished in a tie, then each work is listed on a separate line.

Year Recipients Work Refs.
1970 Financial Post and CBC Television The Charter Revolution, a collaborative investigation of the air charter business. [2]
1971 CBC Television The Tenth Decade, a documentary series about Canadian politics in the John Diefenbaker era. [2]
1972 The Globe and Mail Reportage on political conflicts of interest in Ontario. [2]
Halifax Scotian Journalist Reportage on conditions at a women's prison in Moncton, New Brunswick.
1973 CTV News "Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil", an hour-long documentary on the use of covert listening devices and the Canadian government's attempts to legislate around them. [2]
1974 Montreal Gazette Investigation into real estate development in Montreal. [2]
1975 Montreal Gazette Investigation into treatment of girls in youth detention. [2]
London Free Press Series on mercury poisoning in Ontario.
1976 Vancouver Sun Uncovering a series of illegal break-ins by the RCMP. [2]
1977 The Globe and Mail A year-long series of articles calling for reform in systems of child protection. [2]
1978 Kitchener-Waterloo Record Investigation into health and safety conditions at area meat packing plants, which had to be investigated by inspectors from the United States Department of Agriculture due to Canadian inaction. [2]
1979 Kingston Whig-Standard Investigation of unsafe emissions from an aluminum plant in Massena, New York, and their effect on the health of residents of Cornwall and Cornwall. [2]
1980 Edmonton Journal Investigation into abuse in Alberta's child welfare system. [2]
1981 CFTM-DT (Montreal) Investigation into management problems at Quebec's Fédération des caisses d’entraide économique. [2]
Kitchener-Waterloo Record Investigation into a real estate fraud scheme which led to the first jail term ever imposed under Canadian securities legislation.
1982 Manitoulin Expositor Investigation into a local suicide rate almost twice the national average, which led to the creation of a new suicide prevention hotline in Sudbury-Manitoulin. [3]
1983 Kitchener-Waterloo Record Separate stories on Revenue Canada's tax collecting methods, high pressure stock sales in Ontario and quality control problems in farm supply industries, which had been submitted separately but were all judged to be of sufficiently high quality to be honoured collectively. [2]
1984 Kingston Whig-Standard Story on federal tax reform. [2]
1985 The Globe and Mail Problems affecting immigrants. [2]
Toronto Star Series on ethnic minority communities in Toronto.
1986 The Globe and Mail Coverage of an amendment to the Criminal Code which impacted freedom of the press. [2]
1987 CBC Television Runaways: 24 Hours on the Street, a documentary about homeless youth. [2]
Southam News "Southam Literary Project", a series on literacy skills in Canada which sparked a major expansion of adult education programs to assist adults with learning disabilities and other literacy issues.
1988 The Globe and Mail Three investigative reports into real estate corruption in York Region, failures in Canada's business-class immigration programs, and failures by Ontario athletic commissioner Clyde Gray to properly enforce safety regulations in boxing. [2]
1989 Le Devoir Coverage of efforts to expand indigenous self-government rights in the Nunavik region of Quebec. [2]
1990 Elmira Independent Coverage of contamination of the local water supply with dimethylnitrosamine from a Uniroyal plant. [2]
1991 CBC Television, Toronto and Winnipeg Collaborative reports on health insurance fraud, police corruption, furnace repair fraud, immigration practices, a federal tax loophole, and abuse of First Nations band government funds. [2]
1992 Edmonton Journal "Psychiatry on Trial", an examination of the judicial system's reliance on psychiatric testimony. [2]
1993 Ottawa Citizen Coverage of a government plan to privatize Toronto Pearson International Airport. [2]
The Globe and Mail Coverage of the Canadian Red Cross scandal around HIV-tainted blood in the medical blood donation system.
1994 CKNW (New Westminster, British Columbia) Coverage of a controversial power plant. [2]
1995 CBO-FM, Ottawa Investigation of the Somalia Affair, a military scandal surrounding Operation Deliverance. [2]
1996 Toronto Star Reports on spousal abuse in Ontario and flaws in the province's child protection system. [2]
1997 Halifax Daily News Series of articles by David Rodenhiser documenting sexual abuse in Nova Scotia reform schools. [2]
1998 Toronto Star Series of reports on problems of Ontario's health care system. [2]
1999 CBC National Radio News, Winnipeg Curt Petrovich's work to uncover a scandal involving the Progressive Conservative Party's funding of Independent Native Voice during the 1995 Manitoba provincial election. [2]
2000 The Fifth Estate Series of reports on mistakes and abuse of the police and the justice system. [2]
2001 The Record Investigation of the misuse of municipal funds involving MFP Financial Services Ltd. (see RIM Park funding controversy). [2]
2002 Toronto Star Investigation into Race and Crime series of articles. [2]
2003 La Presse Two series of articles on poor hospital care in Montreal. [2]
2004 The Globe and Mail Investigative work on the sponsorship scandal by Daniel Leblanc and Campbell Clark. [2]
2005 The Globe and Mail Series of articles on breast cancer by Lisa Priest. [2]
2006 Prince George Citizen series of articles on the safety of truck drivers in the logging industry. [2]
2007 The Globe and Mail and La Presse Series of articles on the treatment of prisoners of the Canadian forces in Afghanistan, particularly after their handing over to Afghan security forces. [2]
2008 CBC News and The Canadian Press Joint project that investigated the use of taser guns by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. [2]
2009 Montreal Gazette Reporting on the mismanagement of a water management project in Montreal. [2]
2010 the fifth estate Reporting on the incarceration and death of Ashley Smith. [2]
2011 Victoria Times-Colonist Reporting on a British Columbia government policy that reduced support for people with developmental disabilities. [2]
2012 Postmedia and the Ottawa Citizen Reporting that exposed the "robocall scandal" in the 2011 Canadian federal election. [2]
2013 Toronto Star Coverage of Rob Ford's substance abuse issues. [2]
2014 The Globe and Mail Series on thalidomide. [4]
2015 Enquête "Abus de la SQ: les femmes brisent le silence", an investigation into ongoing physical and sexual abuse of indigenous women in Val-d'Or, Quebec. [2]
2016 London Free Press "Indiscernible", a series that chronicled the jailhouse death of a man with mental illness. [5]
2017 The Globe and Mail Investigation into how Canadian police handle sexual assault complaints. [6]
2018 Telegraph-Journal "Sounding the Alarm", a series on understaffing of emergency medical services in New Brunswick. [2]
2019 The Globe and Mail "False Promises", an investigation into exploitation of temporary workers and foreign students by unscrupulous immigration consultants. [7]
2020 APTN "Death by Neglect", an investigation into how indigenous children are being failed by the child protection system. [8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Michener Awards Foundation". Archived from the original on 2006-08-22. Retrieved 2006-08-21.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as "Previous Award Winners". Michener Foundation.
  3. ^ "Suicide articles win award for Manitoulin Expositor". Winnipeg Free Press, November 14, 1983.
  4. ^ "Michener honours go to the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star's Rob Cribb and Radio-Canada's Marie-France Belanger".
  5. ^ "Michener Award: A series exploring a jailhouse death in London is honoured with Canada's highest honour for public service journalism". London Free Press. June 14, 2017.
  6. ^ "Globe and Mail's Unfounded investigation wins Michener Award". The Globe and Mail. June 12, 2018.
  7. ^ "Michener Awards Foundation announces finalists for the 2019 Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism". Michener Awards Foundation, May 5, 2020.
  8. ^ "APTN wins Michener Award for series on First Nations child-welfare system". CityNews, June 16, 2021.

External links[edit]