In Canada and around the world, individuals regularly face obstacles in order to get the truth out. Whether the threats be judicial, physical or otherwise, these dedicated and principled individuals continue to work tirelessly—risking their jobs, their freedom and even their lives—so that the news media remain free.
At the CJFE Gala: A Night to Honour Courageous Reporting on November 27, 2019 we will honour journalists who champion free expression in different ways. CJFE has arranged for all recipients to attend the Gala to receive their awards. We're proud to announce the following award winners:
2019 AWARD WINNERS
2019 International Press Freedom Award:
Wa Lone & Kyaw Soe Oo
Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested while working on an investigation into the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men and boys by security forces and Buddhist civilians in western Myanmar’s Rakhine State. The two journalists had been convicted under the Official Secrets Act and sentenced to seven years in jail. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been released and continue their reporting with Reuters. Reuters' editor-in-chief said the reporters - who won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for their work - had become "symbols" of press freedom.
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo will be honoured with the International Press Freedom Award for their commitment to human rights, overcoming enormous odds and risking their personal freedom to report the news.
2019 Arnold Amber Award for Investigative Journalism:
Ben Makuch is an award winning national security reporter with Vice Media who has published articles interviewing an ISIS recruiter, articles that have since involved him in a hard-fought four year legal battle with the RCMP that escalated from the Ontario Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada last summer. The federal police sought access to all communications he had as part of their criminal investigation into the terror suspect. Makuch steadfastly refused to hand the notes over, prompting a further legal battle following the Supreme Court decision.
Makuch is the recipient of the Arnold Amber Award for Investigative Journalism for advancing public interest reporting in Canada and for his courage and perseverance in light of difficult legal challenges. The Arnold Amber Award for Investigative Journalism is sponsored by CWA Canada, The Media Union.
2019 Tara Singh Hayer Memorial Award:
Former deputy editor of Oslobodenje, a daily newspaper in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gordana Knezevic covered the siege of Sarajevo from 1992–94. Since the beginning of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Knezevic was one of the most active writers/editors/organizers for Oslobodenje and went to great lengths to maintain the survival of free press and journalism. After leaving Bosnia, Knezevic worked as an online editor with Reuters News Agency in Canada and was a regular contributor to the Toronto Star and CBC Radio. She served two terms on the Board of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and during this time launched the Journalists in Exile program.
Knezevic is the recipient of the Tara Singh Hayer for overcoming enormous odds simply to produce the news.