Media watchdogs and all that

Today I found out I won third place in the Consumer Magazine: Investigations and Analysis category at the 2008 AEJMC awards for my Review story on Harvey Cashore. It’s nice to know people read my 6,000 word self-indulgent (me, not Harvey) opus on a then-unknown CBC journalist, yeah? Since then he’s been featured on J-Source and what have you, so I like to pretend I had something to do with that.

My summer 2008 issue is finally on stands, so you should all go look for the shiny silver cover with the dog. It’s a good read, I promise — not just my piece but also ones about CBC, politicos, crusaders and anti-zealots, First Nations issues and others that run the whole gamut of Canadian media. You can find the Ryerson Review of Journalism at Indigo/Chapters across Canada and, in the GTA, preferably at indies such as Pages.

Update, 2:33 EST:

Took a look at the full winners’ list. There are some dubious winners, but whatever.

As for mine, they mistakenly credited the story to a Catherine Williams. Somewhere, young Catherine is very happy and confused at this turn of good events.

Here were the judge’s comments:

Depth of detail; excellent quotes and interviews; important topic. Well organized by paragraphs. Would have been improved by following through on promise of deck: “Accused of inventing a scandal” was not really covered in article.

I thought I covered the “inventing the scandal” part pretty well — considering I laid out the period in the mid-90s and the Saturday Night article and all that in great detail for almost a whole section in the last third of the story, with a great many quotes from Harvey and colleagues. I’m glad he commended the structure, which I literally almost killed myself over.

Most importantly, I’m thankful he didn’t blow my cover on the blasé quotes about the state of investigative journalism. I think (though rightfully) journalists will circle the wagons on their profession and livelihood, and I grimaced every time those quotes were left intact in round after round of editing. It’s noble to say that budget cuts are a travesty and an insult to generations of gumshoes past, which of course these seasoned men and women are entitled to, but it’s a fact that the entire industry is grappling with massive economic turmoil. To think otherwise would be a lie. And be thankful you’re not working for the Tribute Company, parent company of the Chicago Tribute and the L.A. Times, which is sinking fast under a $13 billion cargo of debt.

I’m a bit surprised he didn’t catch onto that, all the cheerleading… but then again, if he had we wouldn’t have these out-of-left-field winners…







2 responses to “Media watchdogs and all that”

  1. Carla Avatar

    hahahahahahaahaha dubious. I think we’re on the same page for that one.

    Congrats on your award, btw. Have you managed to find any online link for the winners list? It makes it easier for me to tell people about the award when I have proof that I didn’t just make it up. All I have is the PDFs that Bill sent me…

  2. caniceleung Avatar

    and likewise, congrats on your editorial. no, i’m just emailing it to interested parties. email forward is your friend?

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