Tonight was the presentation of the second Canadian Hillman Prize, an honour bestowed on journalists for their integrity and determination in delivering messages that aren’t always easy to accept. The prize is well earned and has a deep pool of previous recipients. In Canada though, it’s fairly new and is largely due to the efforts of people like Alex Dagg, Bruce Raynor and the talented people they work with.
In 2011 the honour went to a dedicated individual who revealed an amazing insight. Scott Buist of the Hamilton Spectator told a story no one had discovered before and it’s as powerful a message today as it was when he wrote about it. This year, a strong team from the CBC was selected by the judges out of a much larger pool. The judges had to review more submissions and determine which one would be bestowed the honour… they picked the fifth estate team of Diana Swain, Timothy Sawa, and Angela Gilbert for their “Scout’s Honour” episode. A controversial topic, a daring exposé and one that opened up a channel for others to let out their pain. Brave. Brave all around and a well deserved honour for the fifth estate team.
Last year I wrote about how this award might influence my perspective on the journalism I do and I can definitely say it has had an effect. While I’m not digging into controversy I am applying the integrity I see and trying to honour this in my small way. And that even extends to be being a “recorder of events” that I was “just” a participant in with no obligation.
I was humbled, honoured, and happy to participate. Thank you Sidney.