New CJFE Fellowship to develop ties between mainstream media and Aboriginal communities

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Toronto, ON—Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) has granted its first Bob Carty Free Expression Fellowship to Erin Millar of Discourse Media, a Vancouver-based journalism organization that will work to break down barriers between reporters and Aboriginal communities missing from mainline journalism.

The Fellowship will support the development and implementation of a network that brings together journalists and Aboriginal communities in western Canada through web and mobile platforms. The network will also be piloted by Nancy Macdonald, an associate editor at Maclean’s magazine, and contribute to her ongoing investigation into systemic discrimination against Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

CJFE established this Fellowship to honour the work of the late Bob Carty, a multiple award-winning CBC journalist and former CJFE Board member, who for almost three decades was a tireless advocate in making Canada a more transparent society. It will be awarded on a yearly basis through a grant of up to $7,000.

“An incredible amount of information and knowledge in the public interest of all Canadians is going unreported today because of a lack of access,” said CJFE Executive Director Tom Henheffer. “This inaugural Fellowship represents an important step to changing the status quo and helping to amplify the voice of peoples too often left out of mainstream public discourse.”

Erin Millar and Discourse Media practice innovative journalism about the complex challenges facing society. In 2015, DM was a finalist for Best Data Journalism Website of the Year, awarded by the Global Editors Network for its project Moving Forward. Erin also won Ashoka Canada's first-ever"solutions journalism" fellowship (with DM co-founder Christine McLaren) and was named an AMEX Emerging Social Innovator for her work with DM. She previously spent a decade as a freelancer for leading Canadian and international publications including Reader’s Digest, Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, The Times of London and others. She has reported from three continents and her work has been translated into 20 languages.

“I am so honoured to receive this Fellowship in memory of Bob Carty, and we will work hard to contribute to his legacy of defending free expression and access to information,” said Millar. “Through this support, we will build new ways to collect and report on information and data currently unavailable to Canadians, in an effort to make a positive impact on the complex issues facing our country.”

This Fellowship will aid projects that contribute to the protection and analysis of free expression issues in Canada. Millar’s project was selected from more than a dozen applicants, many of whom presented very deserving projects that would enhance free expression across Canada.

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Tom Henheffer
CJFE Executive Director
thenheffer@cjfe.org
416-515-9622 ext. 226

Erin Millar
Journalist and co-founder, Discourse Media
erin@discoursemedia.org
778-828-9028

Nancy Macdonald
Associate Editor, Maclean’s
nancy.macdonald@macleans.rogers.com
604-505-5534

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) monitors, defends and reports on free expression and access to information in Canada and abroad. Rooted in the field of journalism, we promote a free media as essential to a fair and open society. CJFE boldly champions the free expression rights of all people, and encourages and supports individuals and groups in the protection of their own and others’ free expression rights. cjfe.org

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    Ray