YVONNE HAS HAD AN ENORMOUS JOURNALISM CAREER SPANNING MORE THEN 3 DECADES
SHE STARTED AT CFDR RADIO IN DARTMOUTH – THEN ATV AND NOW CBC.
SHE’S THE ONLY BROADCAST JOURNALIST EAST OF MONTREAL FOCUSED SOLELY ON CONSUMER ISSUES
SHE HAS ALL THE ATTRIBUTES OF A GREAT REPORTER – DOGGEDNESS – CREATIVITY – COMPASSION
AND HAS BEEN A POPULAR INSTRUCTOR TO STUDENT JOURNALISTS TOO
Dear Jury Members:
I’m writing to nominate Yvonne Colbert to the Atlantic Journalism Hall of Fame.
Over more than three decades in journalism, Colbert has developed a reputation as a formidable consumer reporter. She started her career at CFDR radio in Dartmouth. Then as CTV’s “On Your Side” journalist and then as the CBC’s Consumer Watchdog, she’s the only broadcast journalist east of Montreal focused exclusively on consumer issues.
Yvonne Colbert has all the attributes of a great reporter: doggedness, creativity, compassion. But she also has a superpower: An ability to always keep the interests of the individual consumer front and centre in her storytelling.
Over the years, she has helped countless consumers cut through corporate red tape. She demands—and gets accountability from companies, regulators and governments. She tackles every complaint with the same diligence and care; if it’s important to the audience, it’s important to Yvonne Colbert.
Among her recent standout stories:
Colbert was one of the first journalists to report on the looming expiry of Air Miles in 2016: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/air-miles-expiry-1.3450329
Her intervention helped a Nova Scotia man finally settle the bizarre case of buying a home but not the backyard attached to it: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/buyer-beware-home-purchase-realtors-1.4160248
And her reporting on a shed-builder who wasn’t living up to his end of the bargain prompted RCMP to re-open a file. The shed builder was recently sentenced to prison. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/fraud-shed-rcmp-deposits-1.4948870
It’s important to note that Colbert is also passionate about sharing her experience. For several years, she was a popular instructor in the Broadcast Journalism program at Nova Scotia Community College. In 2018 she created a series of public information sessions which toured libraries and community centres in Nova Scotia. In January 2019 she extended that initiative to Prince Edward Island, presenting lectures at Seniors’ College and to students at Holland College.
Owner/Publisher/Editor. The Liverpool Advance – Liverpool, NS
G. CECIL DAY CONCLUDED HIS ILLUSTRIOUS JOURNALISM CAREER AS THE OWNER/PUBLISHER AND EDITOR OF THE ADVANCE - THE COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER IN LIVERPOOL NS.
HE DIDN’T CALL HIMSELF A JOURNALIST, BUT PREFERRED TO BE CALLED A NEWSPAPER MAN.
HIS EARLY YEARS HE WORKED AT THE CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN, THE NEW GLASGOW DAILY NEWS, THE SYDNEY POST RECORD, THE PICTOU ADVOCATE. HE RECEIVED MANY – MANY AWARDS FOR HIS JOURNALISTIC WORK
BIO – as written by his daughter Beverley Burlock
In earlier days, every weekly newspaper in North America came out on Thursdays. But The Advance which announced the death of its former editor came off the presses on Wednesday August 25, 1976, the day of his funeral, in the 99th year of its publication.
G. Cecil Day died Aug 21 at the age of 78, one week after receiving the Sydney R Stone Trophy at the 57th CWNA (Canadian Weekly Newspapers Association) convention in Halifax, where he’d been honourary chair. Overwhelmed and speechless for once in his life, Cecil was presented the trophy by Mr. Stone. The citation read: In recognition of meritorious achievement in the service of their fellow man and their community, with great appreciation for their ceaseless effort and personal self sacrifice. His peers gave him a standing ovation, long before they became commonplace.
It was not his first award, but culminated a remarkable career for a lad from Worthen, Wales, originally refused entry into Canada because he’d had polio at 3 years of age. His master grocer father had decided things might be better for his 5 children in Canada, but it wasn’t until an Anglican minister signed for Cecil’s care, that the family sailed to farm in PEI, via Pier 21 in Halifax. Cecil had his 13th birthday Easter Sunday on the boat, sick as a dog.
Though he’d never farmed before, in 6 years Mr. Day won the award for most improved farm, now part of the vast Vesey’s Seeds farms, and promptly moved to Charlottetown to open a shop. Because of Cecil’s mother’s persistence in massaging his limbs, Cecil finally regained the use of his arms and one leg, but spent the rest of his life on crutches.
Despite the fact that President Franklin Roosevelt had polio 20 years after Cecil, with all the medical advances, plus his wealth and power to support him, the president still concealed his disability because ‘society didn’t recognize the ability of handicapped people to perform demanding duties’. Cecil had no such luxuries. He took 6 years of missed schooling in 3 and entered pre-law at Prince of Wales College at 16. He often walked the 7 miles home to Little York on weekends.
However, with shortage of funds, as well as shortage of workers because of the war, Cecil left college after one year to work as night editor with the Charlottetown Guardian - 10 hours at $3 a week. His parents provided $1 so he could pay his board of $3.50. Having discovered he’d taught himself the Linotype, the next year he was offered a day job, 9 hours at $6 a week.
The next year he moved to the Daily News in New Glasgow, getting $14 a week on the Linotype. He continued some law studies as night and, over his 10 years there, added reporting to his repertoire, including covering the courts and sports. He also helped form the provinces’s first softball league. He moved to the Sydney Post Record for two years and then, deciding he needed some weekly experience if he was to have a paper of his own, he moved to The Pictou Advocate, where he was also correspondent for the Halifax Chronicle.
In 1931 he came to The Advance in Liverpool where he saw the potential from the Mersey (then Bowater) mill boom - despite the shock of finding the paper’s facilities located behind the post office in an unfinished barn, 18x28, heated with a potbellied stove with one 60 watt light on a long cord. The press was hand-turned, the paper sheets hand-fed. Then owned by elderly James Clements, the paper had been founded by Senator Edward M Farrell and his brother, Thomas in 1878.
Cecil married Elizabeth Harlow in July 1937. Mr. Clements died that December and money had to be found to purchase the paper. Since the banks wouldn’t look at a “crippled foreigner”, he found assistance in the Senator’s sister, Miss Mary A Farrell, who again loaned him funds in 1940 to build a magnificent new two storey fireproof brick building on Main Street - a daring and bold venture, especially one year into WWII.
That year Cecil won his first awards - for the best ad, the best job printing and as the Second Best Weekly in all of Canada. Three years later he was the first recipient of the Calnan Trophy for best community service. In 1945 an article in Canadian Editor & Writer likened him to Horatio Alger and in1951 he was the first recipient of the RC Smith Trophy for the most progressive weekly in Canada.
In 1956, Time Magazine had an article in its June 11th issue celebrating his 40 years in the newspaper business. Ten years later, the Halifax Chronicle Herald featured him on the front page, celebrating his half century, and CWNA presented him with the prestigious Golden Quill Award for distinguished service to the weekly newspaper profession.
By this time The Advance was the first tabloid sized paper in Nova Scotia. It had grown from 4 to 16 pages, the staff had increased from 3 to 14, the $100,000 valued shop was one of the best equipped in eastern Canada. The circulation, having climbed from 700 mostly unpaid to 3,300 prepaid (eventually it would exceed 5,000 audited) was the highest weekly circulation in Nova Scotia. Hardly a week passed without The Advance being cited on the CBC national radio program Neighbourly News, mainly because of the large number of community correspondents - as well as his editorials.
Cecil’s interest in politics began in Pictou and he ran twice for the Liberals in Queens county, federally and provincially, and served as town councilor. During WWII he was PR chair for Victory Loans, publicity agent for war services, fund-raiser for the Greek fund, Spitfire fund and Queens Canadian fund.
He was VP of Liverpool Community Club, Softball Assn president, Playground Assn president, Hospital Board Trustee, Board of Trade president. He was on the Queens County Historical Assn and the NS Boy Scouts Assn executives. A member of Kiwanis for 32 years, he then established the Lions Club and rose to District Governor. He was a member of the Masons, Knights of Pythias and an Honorary member of the Royal Canadian Legion. Among the many certificates of merit and appreciation he received were ones from The Canadian Red Cross and the International Assn of Civil Defence Public Information Officers, the only one received by any Canadian paper.
He was President of both the Atlantic Weekly Newspaper Assn as well as CWNA, and was made honorary life member of both. While president of CWNA in 1957-58, he visited 300 weeklies across the country. He was Director of Class A Weekly Assn, a member of the Georgia Press Assn and the Commonwealth Press Union. In the mid 60's, a Maclean’s magazine survey, seeking possible suggestions for the Senate, mentioned his name which was promoted by The Herald. From then on his office door bore a signplate: The Senate.
Once the paper moved to the new building, the masthead and all business stationery contained a picture of the main door with the slogan “Open Door to Queens County”. His office was visible to all who entered the building, its door was always open. One wonders if that’s why Cecil was always working late, evenings, weekends, holidays, overtime, because anyone who came through always had free access to chat with him.
People brought him the first, best, biggest and weirdest of everything. Countless people received a leg up because of Cecil’s encouragement, support or assistance, including our world- famous award-winning photographer Sherman Hines. With his hearty laugh and love of practical jokes, Cecil was the life of a party.
Neither disability nor discrimination ever stopped Cecil. He traveled the world, beginning with his first US trip to the New York World’s Fair in1939. He made 4 trips to Europe, one as Maritime UNESCO representative, and visited Japan, Hong Kong, Hawaii and Africa. He was presented to two popes, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, several prime ministers, including Diefenbaker and Joe Clark whose father had a weekly paper, and several premiers, including Henry Hicks. A letter to him from Hank Snow was donated to the Snow museum.
He regularly updated his knowledge by faithfully attending the leading-edge seminars at CWNA conventions. Since he only missed two conventions, he crossed Canada many times. On one rail trip, a bullet shot through the window of his train compartment. Many weekends were spent traveling Queens County, visiting communities and the people, and Nova Scotia, visiting other editors. Always he promoted Liverpool and The Advance, handing out countless imprinted souvenirs. For one overseas trip, he and his wife had suits made of Nova Scotia tartan. She also had an NS tartan purse.
The fact his stories and editorials were written directly to the linotype, error free, was legendary. He was usually the first to purchase and promote the latest equipment and new methods. Knowing other printing was essential to staying afloat, he vigourously pursued printing jobs, including printing high school yearbooks and the award-winning Mersey Quarterly.
After 37 years with The Advance, Cecil retired in1968 at age 70, sold the multi-award winning paper and traveled 45,000 miles. The year before, The Advance had the highest growth rate in recorded history. He continued to write his candid, forthright and fearless editorial column One Man’s Opinion until his death, 61 years a newsman. At 75 he took up painting and finally accepted a wheelchair.
In One Man’s Opinion he promoted every worthwhile project, offered suggestions, gave criticism when he felt it was required. For years he promoted the filling in of the rat-infested waterfront with its rotting wharves to create a riverside boulevard where people could observe the sunsets. For decades he also promoted the construction of a museum. Sadly, he didn’t live to see the completion of either. Having promoted the twinning of Liverpool with its namesake in England, he was partially responsible, along with Bowaters Mersey officials, for the presentation of the mayoral chain and mace for this town’s bicentennial.
Mr. G.R.T. Ayling, Cecil’s assistant for 12 years, described Mr Day as ever optimistic, never satisfied with the status quo, having a desire for progress, unfailing energy, and being generous to a fault.
That Anglican clergyman truly recognized great potential when he saw it.
Journalist/Radio Host. Radio-Canada Acadie
MICHEL HAS BEEN A JOURNALIST-ANNOUNCER AND RADIO HOST – HELPING SHAPE ACADIAN SOCIETY SINCE THE EARLY 70s.
LA VOIX DE MICHEL EST BIEN CONNUE AUX GENS DU NOUVEAU-BRUNSWICK ET DANS LES PROVINCES DE L’ATLANTIQUE, AUTANT PAR LA PRESSE ÉCRITE, PAR DIVERS POSTES DE RADIO, ET PAR SON RÔLE D’ANIMATEUR À L’ÉMISSION DU MATIN (LE RÉVEIL) DIFFUSÉE À PARTIR DE MONCTON.
Michel Doucet a joué un rôle prépondérant dans un grand nombre de médias, petits et grands, vers lesquels les citoyens francophones de l’Atlantique se tournent pour se tenir informés. Avec la rigueur et l’intelligence que tous lui connaissent, il a été de tous les grands débats et événements qui ont façonné la société acadienne depuis la fin des années 1970.
À la radio, les auditeurs du Nouveau-Brunswick et des provinces de l’Atlantique ont pu l’entendre sur les ondes de CJVA-Radio Acadie (Caraquet), de CHLR-Radio Aboiteaux (Moncton), de CKRO-Radio Péninsule (Pokemouche) et de Radio-Canada Atlantique (Moncton). Depuis 2003, il anime l’émission matinale à Radio-Canada Acadie, à partir de Moncton.
Dans la presse écrite, on a pu au fil des ans le lire dans l’hebdomadaire La Tribune de Bathurst, le quotidien L’Évangéline (Moncton) et le quotidien L’Acadie Nouvelle (Caraquet).
Que ce soit comme journaliste, annonceur ou animateur radio ou comme éditorialiste et journaliste pour la presse écrite, Michel apporte à son travail un souci d’exactitude, mais aussi une grande dose d’humanité qui sont grandement appréciés autant de ses collègues que du public.
February 27, 2019 Dear Members of the Jury of the Atlantic Journalism Awards,
I hereby nominate Mr. Michel Doucet for induction into the Atlantic Journalism Hall of Fame.
Michel Doucet is a seasoned interviewer with an impressive range of general knowledge. He has been a central figure in Radio-Canada Acadie's newsroom since 2003, as host of the morning show Le Réveil Nouveau-Brunswick. For several years, he also accompanied Francophone listeners in the four Atlantic provinces as host of the show Format Libre, broadcast weekday mornings, between 9 and 10.
During his brilliant journalistic career, Michel has had the opportunity to contribute to many of the major Acadian media. Over the past four decades, he has worked as a journalist for the weekly La Tribune de Bathurst, as a host for CJVA radio, as a journalist for L'Évangéline, and as a parliamentary correspondent, editorialist and news director for L'Acadie Nouvelle.
Since joining Radio-Canada Acadie 16 years ago, Michel has been a part of everyday life for Francophones listeners in the Atlantic provinces. His listening skills, his respect for the audience and his peers, his unparalleled memory and his sense of humour make Michel a much appreciated host and an exceptional colleague.
In December 2018, Michel was struck with a rare disease. Tests revealed he had contracted a particularly aggressive form of influenza. While fighting this virus, Michel found that his health was deteriorating. Upon emergency admission to hospital, doctors confirmed that he had Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare disease that attacks the nervous system. His lower limbs were paralyzed. Fortunately, the medical team at CHU Dumont acted swiftly, eliminating the risk of much more serious complications. Then, Michel’s rehabilitation began.
In the following weeks, Michel had to be transferred to the Stan Cassidy Centre in Fredericton, where he would learn to walk again. His legendary positive outlook, his kindness towards for the health professionals who cared for him and his resilience shone through during his rehabilitation. At the moment, Michel is back home surrounded by his family in Dieppe and his health continues to improve.
Michel Doucet has devoted his career to the provision of information in Acadie, both in the print media and on the radio. His uprightness, his keen sense of the news, his rigour and the closeness he has forged with French-speaking audiences in Atlantic Canada make him a prime candidate for induction into the Atlantic Journalism Hall of Fame.
Thank you for considering this nomination.
Sincerely, Denis Robichaud Senior news chief
Je vous écris ces quelques mots pour parler de Michel Doucet, que j’écoute fidèlement à la radio depuis presque 20 ans.
Tous les matins, Michel nous tient au courant de tout ce qui se passe ici en Atlantique et au-delà avec son émission Le réveil . Il s’intéresse à tout : les petites comme les grandes nouvelles! Avec son émission, il a été au coeur de la couverture de toutes les grandes nouvelles des dernières années dans notre région.
Même s’il est très sérieux dans son travail, Michel est aussi un boute-en-train dont l’humour et les mots d’esprit nous changent parfois les idées de ce qui va moins bien dans notre monde. Et aussi je crois sincèrement qu'il est le capitaine d'une très belle équipe et un très bon vulgarisateur!
Comme intervieweur, Michel sait mettre les gens autour de lui en confiance sans se prendre la tête! Il leur donne la parole avec générosité et intelligence. Moi, en tant que libraire, j'ai eu l'occasion de le rencontrer et de me faire interviewer à certaines occasions et rapidement c'est comme si nous nous connaissions depuis longtemps; toujours un plaisir renouvelé. Je crois sincèrement que Michel mérite cette reconnaissance pour le bon et beau travail qu'il accomplit depuis de nombreuses années pour la communauté acadienne.
Bien à vous, Alain Leblanc Edmundston N.-B.
Chers membres du comité de sélection,
Par la présente, j’aimerais vous parler de Michel Doucet de la perspective de ses collègues de Radio-Canada Acadie. Depuis des années, il est pour nous une source d’inspiration et un modèle à suivre.
Michel incarne ce qu’il y a de plus noble dans la profession de journaliste. Il nous a démontré encore et encore que, pour lui, ce métier n’est pas une affaire d’ego, de mise en scène ou de spectacle, c’est plutôt une quête de vérité et d’équité. En ondes, il ne cherche pas à marquer des points ou à faire de l’effet; il met son micro au service du public, n’hésitant pas à s’effacer un peu pour laisser toute la place à la nouvelle.
Animateur intelligent et accessible, il mène des entrevues sans complaisance, tout en sachant faire preuve d’empathie et d’une grande écoute quand c’est nécessaire.
Bien qu’il gagne aujourd’hui sa vie en parlant à la radio, lorsqu’il n’est pas en ondes, Michel est un homme de peu de mots. Il exerce malgré cela un grand leadership auprès de ses collègues qui, témoins de son professionnalisme et de son travail acharné, ont eux aussi envie de bien faire les choses et de se dépasser.
Avec son talent, Michel aurait pu faire carrière n’importe où. Il est clair dans notre esprit que, s’il a choisi de le faire chez lui en Acadie, c’était par volonté de contribuer au débat public et à l’avancement de la société. Ainsi, sa voix et sa plume ont été au coeur de la couverture de toutes les grandes nouvelles qui ont touché la communauté acadienne ces dernières décennies. Nous lui souhaitons de tout coeur d’être intronisé au Temple de la renommée du journalisme en Atlantique.
Marie-Élaine Cloutier Au nom des collègues d’ICI Acadie
Michel Doucet has played a leading role in a vast number of media outlets, both large and small, upon which French-speaking Atlantic Canadians rely to keep themselves informed. With the precision and insight for which he is well-known among listeners, he has been at the center of all the great debates and events that have shaped Acadian society since the late 1970s.
On the airwaves, he has been a familiar voice to the people of New Brunswick and the Atlantic Provinces of CJVA-Radio Acadie (Caraquet), CHLR-Radio Aboiteaux (Moncton), CKRO-Radio
Péninsule (Pokemouche) as well as Radio-Canada Atlantique (Moncton). Since 2003, he hosts Radio-Canada Acadie’s morning show, out of Moncton.
In print medias, he has written over the years for the weekly Tribune de Bathurst as well as L’Évangéline (Moncton) and L’Acadie Nouvelle (Caraquet).
Whether as a journalist, an announcer or a radio host, or as an editorialist and journalist for the written press, Michel brings to his work a concern for accuracy, but also a great dose of humanity that is greatly appreciated by both his colleagues and the public.
LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION FROM THE NEWSROOM
Dear Members of the Selection Committee,
I wish to provide you with a glimpse of the sort of colleague Michel Doucet has been to his fellow employees here, at Radio-Canada Acadie. For years, he has been a source of inspiration and a beacon of professionalism for us to follow.
Michel embodies the noblest aspects of being a journalist. Time and time again, he has shown us that for him, this profession is not a matter of ego or show, it is rather a quest for truth and fairness. On the air, he never tries to score points or create an effect; at the microphone, he his at the audience’s service, never hesitating to step aside a little to ensure that the news takes its rightful place.
An intelligent and accessible host, he conducts hard-hitting interviews, while also being able to show empathy and a keen ear when necessary.
Although he now earns his living as a radio host, when he is not on the air, Michel is a man of few words. Despite this, he provides a strong leadership to his colleagues who, witnessing his professionalism and hard work, also want to do things right and surpass themselves.
With his talent, Michel could have had a career anywhere. It is clear in our minds that, if he chose to do so at home in Acadie, it was out of a desire to contribute to public debate and the advancement of society. Thus, his voice and pen have been at the heart of the coverage of all the great stories that has touched the Acadian community in recent decades. We wish him every success in being inducted into the Atlantic Journalism Hall of Fame.
Marie-Élaine Cloutier On behalf of the staff of ICI Acadie
65 Year News Broadcaster. VOCM Radio, St. John’s, NL
AN AMAZING 65 YEARS IN THE BROADCAST NEWS BUSINESS
HIS CAREER TOOK HIM FROM – THE EARLY YEARS (1954) IN SUMMERSIDE TO CHARLOTTETOWN – HALIFAX- MONTREAL – THEN NEWS DIRECTOR AT NTV – AND THE LAST 35 YEARS AT VOCM RADIO IN ST. JOHN’S.
IF YOU LIVED IN NL, YOU KNOW THE VOICE AND TALENT OF VINCE GALLANT
Broadcast legend, Vince Gallant says things have changed dramatically in the news business over the last number of decades, and a lot of it is for the better. Gallant is calling it a career after six decades in the business. He spoke about his career with VOCM’s Paddy Daly: https://twitter.com/hawthornandrewj
VOCM's Vince Gallant reflects on his career with Paddy Daly: https://www.pscp.tv/w/1mnGeOVdjaQxX
He started in Summerside, PEI back in 1954 and joined the VOCM News team in the early 1980s after stints that included Halifax and Montreal.
Still a professional with news running in his veins, he credits his grandfather, a teacher, with instilling in him the curiosity and thirst for knowledge and information so essential in journalism.
His grandfather lived with his family and had him reading at the age of three. Gallant says that interest and curiosity has remained with him throughout his life.
Gallant says things have changed dramatically in the news business, but he likes the way things are going because people are better informed.
Over the years he’s seen a lot of people come and go and says there is a difference between working for a paycheck and the satisfaction that comes from a career. He says there’s a certain pride in doing a good job for your station, your employer and for yourself.
He has plenty of things that will keep him busy in his retirement including woodworking, reading and writing.
It’s the end of an era at VOCM News.
Vince Gallant is retiring after a lengthy and award-winning career in television and radio that includes 35 years at VOCM.
Gallant started his career at CJRW in Summerside, PEI in 1954. He moved on to Charlottetown, then Halifax where he worked in television at ATV. Next was Montreal in the 1960s where he was employed by the late Geoff Stirling who owned radio station CKGM.
It was Stirling who convinced him to come to Newfoundland in 1976, a move he called the best he’d ever made. He was hired by Stirling as News Director at NTV.
In the early 1980’s, he received a call from Elmer Harris offering him a job at VOCM, a position he’s had ever since.
Gallant with VOCM’s Greg Smith.
Gallant says a highlight of his career was a write-up he received in the New York Times back in 1965 following a major blackout.
He was in Montreal, doing an interview with Stan Brooks of WINS over the phone, who described the Empire State Building in the dark. He says Brooks told his friend, Peter Kiss, a New York Times correspondent, that “this kid in Montreal has some information on the blackout.”
Kiss called Gallant and it was in the New York Times the next day. He says nine days later, he received a letter of commendation from the New York Times editor congratulating him on telling them what it took the White House nine days to find out.
He has received multiple journalism awards over the years and was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the RTNDA back in 2005 after marking 50 years in the business.
Gallant still writes and intends to continue doing so as he eases into retirement following a lengthy and fulfilling career.
Veteran Innovative Journalist. The Daily Gleaner – Fredericton, NB
BILL HAS BEEN A REPORTER IN NEW BRUNSWICK FOR OVER 30 YEARS – THE VAST MAJORITY COVER SPORTS FOR THE GLEANER IN FREDERICTON.
AN ECLECTIC YARN- SPINNER WHO GRINDS OUT LONG HOURS-NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS.
IN 2018 HE BROKE AND SPIRITED THE GRASS ROOTS MOVEMENT TO INDUCT FREDERICTON’S WILLIE O’REE – THE NHL’S FIRST BLACK HOCKEY PLAYER INTO THE NHL HALL OF FAME – 60 YEARS AFTER O’REE LACED UP HIS SKATES.
Bill Hunt has been a reporter in New Brunswick for over 30 years, the vast majority covering local sports for the Daily Gleaner. Hunt’s career has been one of toil, and tales: he’s an electic yarn-spinner who grinds out long hours, nights and weekends, all year long.
But if there’s a tale to tell about Bill, perhaps it’s this one - in 2018 the man climbed the pinnacle of journalism’s highest peaks, righting a decades-old wrong and surely booking himself a place in the NHL’s history books. In doing so, he also proved the power of local journalism is alive and well, and that you don’t have to be part of a “big” paper to affect change.
The change Bill affected was nothing less than starting the movement to have Fredericton’s Willie O’Ree, the NHL’s first black player, inducted into the hall - 60 long years after he first laced up the skates for the Boston Bruins. Bill’s first two columns, in January, on why O’Ree HAD to get into the hall in 2018, lit a fire that soon burned right across continental North America. What began as a grassroots movement quickly spiralled into an avalanche of support, including from the likes of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and stars P.K. Subban and Wayne Simmonds.
As the momentum grew, the Globe and Mail paused to ponder this question: how did this start? The answer, judges, is worth your attention - they credited Bill Hunt, and his determined typing inside a snowy Fredericton newsroom. Here’s the link: www.theglobeandmail.com
Bill’s success, without doubt, was the pinnacle of his career. And while he’s too humble to ever consider applying for this award, as his editor I’m proud to do so.
Best Andrew Waugh
Founders/Publishers – St. John’s, NL. Atlantic Business Magazine. Natural Resources Magazine
THIS COUPLE HAVE HAD A HUGE INFLUENCE ON BUSINESS COMMUNICATION IN THE REGION.
30 YEARS AGO THEY DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE PUBLISHING BUSINESS
TODAY THERE ONE OF THE MOST RESPECTED PUBLISHERS IN ATLANTIC CANADA
THEIR FLAGSHIP MAGAZINE – ATLANTIC BUSINESS MAGAZINE HAS GROWN INTO THE LONGEST PUBLISHING AND MOST AWARD WINNING REGIONAL BUSINESS MAGAZINE IN ATLANTIC CANADA
Hubert and Edwina Hutton’s history in the magazine business has been one of consistently remarkable growth.
When they started out in this business over 30 years ago, neither of them knew ANYTHING about the publishing industry. Hubert had been a sales representative for Sherwood hockey sticks and owner of a retail store in downtown St. John’s. Edwina had worked in administrative support for the healthcare and oil industries.
As Hubert says, “It was a blessing in disguise. If we’d known then what we know now, we likely wouldn’t have started in the first place.”
Today, this power couple is one of the most respected publishers in Atlantic Canada.
Their first publication, in 1983, was Newfoundland Lifestyle: Newfoundland and Labrador’s first glossy consumer magazine. As Hubert says, when he reminisces about those early days: “Local companies didn’t even understand what I was trying to sell them. They were used to newsprint publications — they didn’t know what it was to advertise in a high end, glossy magazine.”
His response was to prepare a “mock up” composed of pages of dummy text interspersed with ads clipped from glossy national magazines. Physical example in hand, Hubert succeeded in selling advertising in the new magazine. And, by calling on his extensive network of close friends and family acquaintances (such as the Hon. John Crosbie), he launched the magazine onto the national scene with a gala cocktail party held at the Royal York in Toronto.
Within a few short years, it had grown into a bi-monthly publication. Though Newfoundland Lifestyle eventually folded, the company evolved with the launch of Atlantic Lifestyle Business (later renamed Atlantic Business Magazine) in 1989.
Atlantic Business Magazine, the company’s flagship publication, has grown into the longest-publishing and most award-winning regional business magazine in Atlantic Canada. It has locations in both St. John’s and Halifax, with sales and editorial representatives across the region.
The company diversified further when it launched Natural Resources Magazine almost 20 years ago, providing specialized coverage of region’s mining, oil/gas and alternative energy sectors.
Both magazines are widely recognized for the authority and integrity of their editorial product.
Any discussion of Hubert and Edwina’s accomplishments would be incomplete if it didn’t mention their success with the Top 50 CEO awards – now in their 19th year. Unlike other business awards that focus specifically on revenue generation (i.e. who makes the most money), or on expeditious growth alone, our awards recognize 50 corporate overachievers and their voluntary commitment to their communities and industries, as well as their innovative spirit, managerial acumen under stressful situations and corporate growth. Since its inception, this program has expanded to include: a Top 50 CEO Hall of Fame (for five-time winners); annual $5,000 charitable contribution; Innovator of the Year award and a CEO of the Year award.
Why Hubert & Edwina?
The media industry is in transition. Struggling to adapt to changing consumer and technological demands, formerly separate entities such as television, radio and newspapers are merging into single multi-media information and entertainment providers. This transformation is creating a glut of like-minded media agencies offering an almost identical set of products.
Concurrent to this media transformation is a similar change in the world of advertising. Repeated studies show that online media investment (i.e. Internet and social media marketing campaigns) is increasing while traditional media advertising is on the decline. This has been happening even though the immediate and transitory nature of online advertising has not proven to be a consistently productive and/or effective advertising venue.
The print sector in particular is under siege as people increasingly look to transient, unprofessional, often factually incorrect social media chatter for their news and information. Bottom line: journalism is an industry under siege.
In spite of all of this, Hubert and Edwina Hutton continue to invest in quality journalism. And they continue to believe in print. Yes, they invest in technology and expand their digital footprint to keep up with the times, but PRINT continues to be the core and focus of their business.
With more than 30 years of experience behind them, they are obviously on to something!
HAS BEEN AN AJAs STAPLE ALMOST FROM THE AJAS BEGINNING IN 1981.
HIS CAREER SPANS A RANGE OF EFFORTS – ONE TIME JOURNALIST- FULL TIME INDEPENDENT TV DIRECTOR/PRODUCER – ACADEMIC - ETC ETC.
HE’S BEEN INTIMATELY INVOLVED IN THE AJAs FOR 38 YEARS
AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR HE MOVED THE AJAs TO BE ONE OF THE MOST RESPECTED JOURNALISM AWARDS PROGRAMS IN CANADA
NOT JUST JOURNALISM AWARDS, BUT PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS AND WEBINARS- STUDENT AWARDS – THIS HALL OF FAME VENUE AND MUCH MUCH MORE BEHIND THE SCENES.
When we gather this May to again celebrate excellence in journalism, the Atlantic Journalism Awards should honour the person who has orchestrated the honouring of so many of our colleagues. I’m referring to Dr. William (Bill) Skerrett, once PhD graduate in adult education from Dalhousie University and now retiring AJAs Executive Director. When the inductees into the Atlantic Journalism Hall of Fame are announced, I submit the Board of Directors should ensure the doctor is in.
Nominating Bill Skerrett for induction as a Journalism Builder is the logical outcome of observing his dedication to the Atlantic Journalism Awards over many years. It hasn't been just a job to Bill. He truly cares about the state of the craft and magnifying the best journalism in Atlantic Canada.
Bill embodies all the criteria of a Journalism Builder. For decades he has studiously worked behind the scenes to foster outstanding journalism in Atlantic Canada. Under his guidance, the Atlantic Journalism Awards have become the premier honour in newsrooms throughout the region. An Atlantic Journalism Award is something to be proud of and Bill Skerrett deserves significant credit for that.
Bill has been involved with the Atlantic Journalism Awards for 39 of its 40 years, originally as part of the volunteer organizing committee. He took over as Executive Director in the mid-1990s when the AJAs were struggling and invigorated them into what is now recognized as one of Canada’s top-tier journalism awards. Bill has always stayed true to the AJAs mandate and steadfastly steered the organization.
During his tenure as Executive Director, Bill turned the AJAs into a federal non-profit corporation and recently established the AJAs as a registered charity. He organized and has maintained a journalist-dominated Board of Directors to guide the organization. As well, he established a judging system, created judging guidelines, and annually recruits close to 100 judges, from coast to coast, to adjudicate the entries. Bill also modernized the entry method from a burdensome paper procedure to a completely online entry and judging system. As well, he ensures the finalists’ stories and images are posted on the AJAs website for a world audience.
Bill transformed a humble awards program to a gala celebration, attended by journalists and news managers from across Atlantic Canada. Coupled with the awards show, he organized professional development workshops on a variety of journalism topics. And this year, he is managing a new webinar series which features some of Canada’s leading journalists. In previous years he arranged for Canadian journalism stars, from many platforms, to speak at the AJAs gala.
Bill grew the AJAs from a few categories to thirty, encompassing all media, including newspapers, radio, television, magazines and mostly recently digital. Bill organized and launched the AJAs student awards, a New Journalist award, Lifetime Achievement awards, and created the Atlantic Journalism Hall of Fame. He also manages an extensive AJAs archives which holds copies of the finalists’ stories and images, and recordings of the gala itself. The archive is housed in the University of King’s College library in Halifax.
Bill has provided energy, enthusiasm, competence, and vigor to the Atlantic Journalism Awards. Through his leadership, hundreds of journalists, journalism students, and industry leaders have been honoured for their work. Journalism in Atlantic Canada is much better off because of Bill Skerrett. His commitment to the Atlantic Journalism Awards will yield benefits for years to come. For all of this, Bill Skerrett would be an ideal choice for induction into the Atlantic Journalism Hall of Fame.
Regards, Glenn Deir
Award Winning Photographer. The Canadian Press – Halifax, NS
ANDREW IS A NATIONAL AWARD WINNING PHOTOGRAPHER WITH THE CANADIAN PRESS IN HALIFAX.
IN THE PAST 30 YEARS ANDREW HAS COVERED VIRTUALLY EVERY TOP NEWS STORY AND SPORTING EVENT IN ATLANTIC CANADA. AND MANY AROUND THE WORLD
HE’S A JOURNALIST WHO SEEMS TO KNOW ANY SUBJECT HE’S COVERING PRODUCING ELECTRIFYING PICTURES AND IMAGES THAT MEAN THOUSANDS OF WORDS.
Please accept this nomination for a Lifetime Achievement Award for Andrew Vaughan, national photographer with The Canadian Press in Halifax.
Vaughan is dogged, tenacious photographer, whose exemplary, 30-year career at the national news service is worthy of special recognition by his peers in Atlantic Canada.
After attending Carleton University and Algonquin College in Ottawa, he worked as a photographer for the Lethbridge Herald in southern Alberta before returning to Ottawa, where he worked as a freelance shooter.
In February 1986, he landed a job at the Halifax bureau of The Canadian Press, where he quickly earned a reputation for top-notch work.
Over the past three decades, Vaughan has covered virtually every top news story and sporting event in the region, including: the Westray mine disaster in 1992; the Swissair passenger jet crash in 1998 and the Moncton shooting rampage in 2014.
In addition to his duties on the East Coast, Vaughan also travelled abroad for a wide range of assignments, including the ill-fated Canadian military mission in Somalia in 1992, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York.
His poignant photo of a young, distraught woman holding a photo of her missing fiancé while standing outside Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan was printed by the New York Post and circulated around the world on Sept. 13, 2011.
"Andrew is a journalist who understands what he's covering," says Dan Leger, who worked with The Canadian Press in Ottawa, and later with the CBC and the Halifax Chronicle Herald in Halifax. "He makes teams work in the field, while keeping up an amusing stream of commentary at the absurdity of the life we cover. He’s a pro and I’m glad he’s been a friend for more than 50 years."
Vaughan has earned two National Newspaper Awards for his work in the Atlantic region.
In 1997, he won in the Sports Photo category for an electrifying picture showing paddlers from Belarus expressing their jubilation in remarkable symmetry after winning gold at the world canoe championships in Dartmouth, N.S.
In 2014, he won in the News Feature Photo category for his image of RCMP police dog Danny sniffing the Stetson of his partner, slain Const. David Ross — one of three Mounties killed in Moncton shootings.
"I'm hard pressed to think of a photographer who combines talent and class more than Andrew," says fellow CP photographer Ryan Remiorz. "He always manages to get the shot while showing respect and compassion towards his subjects ... I've never heard anyone say a bad word about him, something very rare in our business."
Vaughan has covered innumerable federal and provincial elections, Olympic Games and too many curling matches to mention. And he's worn out many company vehicles in the process. In a typical year, he drives about 60,000 kilometres.
"I have worked with Andrew on many major assignments, including Swissair, and a few Olympics," said Paul Chiasson, a longtime photographer for The Canadian Pesos in Montreal. "He's a great guy to work with. He's a team player, a brilliant photographer and can strike up a great conversation in the bar after hours."
While it's true that Vaughan's photos have helped chronicle the biggest stories in the region, his also has a knack for finding new ways to tell what would otherwise be routine stories.
On Jan. 17, Vaughan produced a memorable photo from Justin Trudeau's town hall tour. It showed the prime minister in the foreground, but it focused on an exasperated boy in the background, his head thrown back and his hands over his eyes.
Across the region, everyone in the business of front-line journalism has a story about Vaughan — or at least a memorable story that he once told them while on assignment.
"I made a habit during my years at CP of looking at Andrew's wire photos before giving my story to an editor," said Steve MacLeod, a former reporter/editor at CP Halifax.
"Maybe I'd missed a bit of colour that could make my copy better, or an instant in time from which to hang a better lead. But mostly it was because I admired his work.
"Andrew has been at the centre of photo journalism in Atlantic Canada, and often beyond, for three decades. From air crashes and mine explosions to Olympics and elections, Andrew has captured it all with humour and determination. And always with an eye for moments that illuminate and define."