TORONTO, March 1, 2013 /CNW/ - Jorge Barrera, a reporter for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, has been named the winner of the 2012 J-Source Newsperson of the Year Award for his investigative work in First Nations communities and his outstanding, multi-platform reporting on the Idle No More movement.
The award honours an individual who has demonstrated excellence and made a positive impact on the quality of journalism in 2012.
Barrera and the APTN team were some of the first reporters on the story behind the Idle No More movement, which garnered national media attention and prompted conversations between the highest levels of government and Aboriginal leaders.
Explaining the jury's decision, Janice Neil, J-Source editor-in-chief and Newsperson jury chair, said: "Jorge Barrera's multi-platform reporting on the Idle No More movement at the end of 2012 was thorough and deeply contextualized. And we're also applauding his investigative work into reports of smuggling of drugs and humans using First Nations territories."
Finalists for the award include Nahlah Ayed, foreign correspondent for CBC; Stephen Maher, national columnist and investigative journalist for Postmedia News together with Glen McGregor, national affairs reporter for the Ottawa Citizen; Rachel Pulfer, executive director of Journalists for Human Rights, and David Skok, director of GlobalNews.ca.
"I'm simply a cog in the wheel," Barrera said in a brief speech to a sold-out crowd at The Canadian Journalism Foundation's J-Talk in Toronto. "Thanks for singling me out, but I think APTN deserves it."
Further explaining the jury's decision, Neil said: "His pursuit of stories how criminal networks are trying to exploit Akwesasne's territory is notable. As well, his relentless coverage, along with the APTN team, on nightly newscasts, online news service and social media, of the Idle No More movement stands out for contextualizing issues for all Canadians."
This is the fifth year J-Source has given out an award to honour outstanding journalism. Previous recipients of the J-Source award include OpenFile's Wilf Dinnick; the Toronto Star; the staff at CHEK-TV News in Vancouver, B.C.; and then-Maclean's publisher Ken Whyte.
This year's jury included:
Janice Neil, Associate Professor, School of Journalism, Ryerson University (Toronto, ON)
Nicole Blanchett Neheli, Coordinator/Professor Journalism Broadcast, Sheridan College
Candis Callison, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Journalism, University of British
Columbia (Vancouver, BC)
Paul Benedetti, lecturer and Co-ordinator of the Graduate Journalism Program, Western
University (London, ON)
Judith Dubois, journalism professor , Université du Québec à Montréal (Montreal,
QC) assistant professor at the School of Journalism at Ryerson University (Toronto) and
editor-in-chief of J-Source.
SOURCE Canadian Journalism Foundation