Updated: Feb 9, 2021
The Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom (CCWPF) announced on 10 February that nominations for the annual Press Freedom Award of the CCWPF are open. This annual award goes to a journalist or media worker in Canadian print, digital or broadcasting who has made a significant contribution to freedom of expression.
Shawn McCarthy, president of the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom, says this is often done by advancing press freedom through the subjects they report on or by standing up to government or private interests that would thwart reporting of events or stories of significant public interest. He says institutions that work towards the same objectives may also apply or be nominated.
“Nominations based on work related to press freedom in 2019 are now open. The winner receives a $2,000 prize and a certificate from the Canadian Commission for UNESCO at the annual World Press Freedom Day Luncheon in Ottawa on 5 May 2020. The application deadline is 15 March 2020,” says the president.
According to McCarthy, the CCWPF is among many organizations that seeks to raise awareness about journalists who face hardship including imprisonment or even risk their lives to inform the public. The president says the CCWPF 2019 press freedom award winner was Michael Robinson, a journalist with The Telegraph-Journal in Saint John, New Brunswick, whose investigation in the face of opposition from the provincial government, exposed a shortage of paramedics that put peoples' lives in danger.
“Other winners in the award's 22 year history include the Independent, an online publication and Newfoundland and Labrador; Ben Makuch of Vice News; Patrick Lagacé, of La Presse; Paul Dornstauder and Geoff Leo, of CBC Saskatchewan; Mohammed Fahmy of Al Jazeera English; and Katherine Gannon of Associated Press. The CCWPF was incorporated as a non-profit body in 2008 with the mission of continuing to celebrate World Press Freedom Day and to advocate on behalf of freedom-of-expression,” says McCarthy. He says through its activities, its vigilance and its relations with like-minded organizations, it shall bring to the public’s attention instances of free expression violations and the need to pro-actively defend the ideal of freedom of the press. McCarthy says if you wish to nominate a deserving Canadian journalist or media worker, visit http://www.ccwpf-cclpm.ca for a nomination form.