DAILY NEWS Feb 29, 2021 2:11 PM - 0 comments

CBC's Fifth Estate Wins Hillman Prize in Journalism

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The Sidney Hillman Foundation judges have awarded the 2021 Canadian Hillman Prize to a team of reporters, producers and researchers led by Harvey Cashore (Head of CBC Investigative Content Unit) and Jim Williamson and Marie Caloz (at the fifth estate). It honours the fifth estate program 'Scouts Honour'. The hour-long documentary and accompanying news stories that ran on CBC Television, CBC Radio, and CBC.ca told the shocking story of sexual abuse that had occurred inside Scouts Canada since the 1950's. The stories were directed by Host Diana Swain, producers Timothy Sawa and Angela Gilbert.

CBC News dispatched researchers to court houses across Canada, cross checked files with American lawyers familiar with abuse in Boy Scouts of America, and tracked down perpetrators and victims. The co-investigation with the L.A. Times led to more than 100 newspaper and online stories and editorial comment across Canada and the world. Scouts Canada made an unprecedented apology in a You Tube broadcast, new victims have surfaced, police are investigating and criminal charges have been laid.

The 2021 Canadian Hillman Prize is given to one reported piece or series produced, published, broadcast or exhibited in 2021. It includes newspaper reporting, magazine reporting, broadcast, and photojournalism. The prize honours journalists who seek out stories that change lives, whose work identifies important social and economic issues and helps bring about change for the better, even as support for serious journalism declines.

The submissions were judged by a distinguished panel of Canadian judges: Jim Stanford, Economist with the Canadian Auto Workers, Canada's largest private-sector trade union and columnist for the Globe and Mail; Laszlo Barna, President Pier 21 Films, Gemini Award-winning executive producer; and Bronwyn Drainie, editor-in-chief of the Literary Review of Canada.

"the fifth estate's 'Scout's Honour' is a triumph of investigative journalism," said Stanford. "The reporters undertook an investigation that was complex, detailed, international, and expensive - far superior, in fact, to most police criminal investigations of the same sort of crimes. Their findings have made a concrete difference in the lives of hundreds of people, and helped make Canada a safer place for children. All Canadians owe the CBC, and this program, a huge debt."

Since 1950, the Sidney Hillman Foundation has honoured journalists, writers and public figures who pursue social justice and public policy for the common good. Sidney Hillman was the founding president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union, a predecessor union of Workers United. Sidney Hillman, an architect of the New Deal, fought to build a vibrant union movement extending beyond the shop floor to all aspects of workers' lives.

"We received more than 25 amazing entries this year from media outlets large and small across the country," said Alex Dagg, Director of Operations at the National Hockey League Players Association, and a Director of the Hillman Foundation. "The exceptional investigative reporting covered a wide range of important subjects from a scientific examination of the environmental impact of the oil sands, to the death of a Calgary man who froze to death at home because his electricity had been shut off, to a national examination of a lack of national health care policies and funding for palliative care in Canada. While there is only one winner, Canadians are well served by the excellent quality of investigative reporting that abounds in this country."

An awards ceremony will be held in Toronto on March 20 to honour the CBC News investigative team. They will share $5,000 and travel to New York City to participate in the US Hillman Prizes ceremony to be held May 1, 2021.

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