TORONTO, Oct. 20, 2011 /CNW/ - The Canadian Journalists for Free Expression's (CJFE) special Vox Libera Award will be awarded posthumously to Canadian journalist Ron Haggart (1927-2011). The Vox Libera Award, along with the International Press Freedom Awards recognizing Khaled al-Hammadi (Yemen) and Mohamed Abdelfattah (Egypt), will be presented at the 14th annual CJFE Gala: A Night to Honour Courageous Reporting on November 24, 2011.
The Vox Libera Award is granted to a Canadian who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the principles of free expression and has made an important and sustained contribution - at home or abroad - to those same principles.
Haggart was selected for his lifelong dedication to free expression, his journalistic integrity, and his commitment to speaking on behalf of those who could not. After an extensive career in investigative journalism, he left behind a legacy of honest, tough, and fair reporting. He remained devoted to defending free speech in Canada throughout his life.
"Ron was a giant in Canadian journalism, a brilliant newspaper columnist and television producer who worked hard to shed light on wrongdoing in society," said Arnold Amber, CJFE president. "It is a pleasure to be able to recognize his lifelong passion for free expression, and his dedication to uncovering the truth."
The Vox Libera Award will be presented at the CJFE Gala on November 24, 2011, held at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. Haggart's family will accept the award on his behalf.
"My father used his gifts on behalf of a better, fairer, more just Canada," said daughter Kelly Haggart. "His family is deeply honoured to have his contribution recognized with this prestigious award, conferred by an organization so in tune with his own values."
The CJFE Gala is made possible by the support of returning Evening Sponsor Scotiabank, Reception Sponsor CBC News, Platinum Sponsor CTV News, Exhibition Sponsors Henry's and The Toronto Star, along with the valued support of other organizations and individuals across the media, legal, academic, and business communities.
Vox Libera Award Winner
Ron Haggart (1927-2011) won numerous awards for his work, including a National Newspaper Award for his first-hand reports of the 1971 Kingston Penitentiary riot, and two Geminis, including the Gordon Sinclair Award for Broadcast Journalism. Throughout his life, he remained dedicated to exercising and defending the right to free expression, making him a champion for free speech in Canada. Over the course of a long career, he worked at The Vancouver Sun, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, The Toronto Telegram, Citytv, and the CBC.
Previous Vox Libera Award Winners
2010: Citizen Lab - for its work on digital media, global security and human rights.
2008: Jim Poling, Hamilton Spectator - for implementing the innovative Internationally-Trained Journalists Project, aimed at broadening diversity in the newspaper and creating training and recruitment potential within the industry.
2006: Alan Borovoy, Canadian Civil Liberties Association - for his work to protect rights, including freedom of expression and freedom of association.
2005: Marlys Edwardh - for her work as a prominent criminal law lawyer and civil rights activist.
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) boldly champions the free expression rights of journalists and media workers around the world. In Canada, we monitor, defend and promote free expression and access to information. We encourage and support individuals and groups to be vigilant in the protection of their own and others' free expression rights. We are active participants and builders of the global free expression community.
Follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #cjfegala.
For further information:
For more information or to speak with either CJFE, please contact:
Susanne Gossage/Karolina Olechnowicz
Susanne.firstname.lastname@example.org or Karolina.email@example.com