ABC CANADA Now Accepting Journalists’ Submissions for Gzowski Award

by NationTalk on April 17, 20081850 Views

16 April, 2008

Deadline: June 20, 2008

Toronto, ON – April 16, 2008 – ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation has announced a call to all Canadian journalists for submissions to the Peter Gzowski Literacy Award of Merit. Deadline for submissions is June 20, 2008.The Peter Gzowski Literacy Award of Merit was developed by ABC CANADA, in honour of the late broadcaster and journalist Peter Gzowski, to acknowledge the great contribution made by a Canadian journalist, in any media, in raising awareness of the adult literacy issue in this country.

The competition is open to all professional journalists working and residing in Canada. Journalists may submit their own work, or nominate the work of a fellow journalist. Entries may be of either a local or national interest, and may be based on reporting analysis, commentary, special section, feature or series. Entries will be accepted from the following categories: newspaper (daily, community, regional or national), magazine, television news, television feature (news magazine/talk show), radio interview and Internet. Entries for the 2008 competition must have been published, broadcast or posted online between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2007 (calendar year, last year).

The selection committee will evaluate each article or broadcast based on specific criteria including accuracy of information and balanced reporting on subject matter, thoroughness of analysis, journalistic style, and the importance of the commentary in generating awareness and/or “heat” on the literacy issue. The winner will be notified by Friday, July 25, 2008.

Award presentation, September 17, 2008

The winner will be honoured at a special award presentation on September 17, 2008 in Toronto, with flight and hotel accommodation paid for by ABC CANADA. A $1,000 donation will be made, in the winning journalist’s name, to a literacy organization in their community.

Past Gzowski Award winners:

2007 AWARD: Alex Shprintsen, an 18-year print and broadcast veteran and a producer at CBC-TV’s The National, was compelled to research low literacy in Canada after learning that Jacques Demers, former coach of the Montreal Canadiens, had lived with the challenge of low literacy all his life. The resultant series of two documentaries, entitled Canada’s Shame and which aired May 23 and 24, 2006 on both The National and CBC News: Sunday, profiled Jacques Demers as well as Lynda Richards, a Saskatchewan learner whose literacy acquisition provided her the skills and confidence that enabled her to realize personal and professional dreams.

2006 AWARD (two recipients): Mike Aiken, reporter for the Kenora Daily Miner & News and the Lake of the Woods Enterprise for his ongoing coverage of social and literacy issues in the Kenora, Ontario-area Aboriginal community. Through his regular political and social reporting and in his commentaries in “Mike’s Musings,” Aiken has, variously, addressed the social realities of Native people, where literacy and numeracy challenges play a pivotal role; upbraided or congratulated, as the case may be, the actions of politicians and policy-makers; and chronicled the successes of a community overcoming unique barriers; Irene Davis, a Toronto-based freelancer was recognized for her commentary in the November 22, 2005 Facts & Arguments section of The Globe and Mail, where she reflected on her more than 15 years volunteering as a tutor at the Toronto Public Library Adult Literacy Program. It is an impassioned account of individuals transforming their lives, doubtless a revelation to many readers who would be unfamiliar with the reality of low literacy, and a compelling argument for becoming a volunteer tutor;

2005 AWARD: Sean Fine, editorial writer for The Globe and Mail, who was recognized for his editorials addressing various issues related to literacy, including calling on Canada at the end of 2004 to reach the goal of ‘most literate nation’;

2004 AWARD: Paul-Émile Cormier, Journal l’Étoile, New Brunswick – the first Francophone to receive this award – who has written a weekly literacy column for the French-language newspaper since 2001;

2003 AWARD: Alan White, Telegraph-Journal, for numerous articles written on literacy and education issues in New Brunswick since 1996, especially focusing on the impact of low literacy skills and promoting local literacy programs and literacy advocacy;

2002 AWARD: Joel Jacobson (Halifax Herald), who has written numerous articles promoting the importance of literacy in Halifax, and throughout Nova Scotia;

1996 AWARD: Peter Calamai (Toronto Star) for his career-long commitment to the literacy issue. Mr. Calamai directed a six-month study of literacy in Canada that included the first measurement of literacy levels among Canadian adults;

1993 AWARD: Denise Donlon (MuchMusic) for her creation of the Rock’n’Roll’nReading programs that invited prominent rock musicians to talk about reading and encourage young viewers to read.

About Peter Gzowski
The late Peter Gzowski, journalist, broadcaster and longtime Board member of ABC CANADA, was a dedicated supporter of the literacy cause. His work as a print journalist included roles as the entertainment editor of the Toronto Star, editor of Star Weekly and editor and managing editor of Maclean’s. He became a household name as the host of CBC Radio’s This Country in the Morning. An accomplished author, he wrote several nonfiction books before returning to CBC Radio as host of Morningside in 1982. A project Peter took great pride in was the series of golf tournaments which he founded in aid of literacy. In 1986, Peter vowed to raise $1 million in his lifetime to benefit community-based literacy organizations. To date the PGI Golf Tournaments for Literacy – Founded by Peter Gzowski have raised more than $10 million net, making this initiative the most successful fundraiser for literacy in Canada.

ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation is Canada’s private-sector voice championing adult literacy. The national charity’s initiatives and campaigns are focused on bringing about meaningful change to raise Canadian adult literacy skills. It envisions a Canada where individuals, regardless of their circumstances, are provided the opportunities to increase those skills that prepare people for realizing their full potential at work, at home and in the community.

For more information or to download a copy of the Gzowski Award entry form, visit:

Jim Pollock, Director of Communications
ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation
Phone: (416) 218-0010, ext. 126
Toll-Free: 1-800-303-1004, ext. 126

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