Jayme Poisson named Greg Clark Award recipient
Watch her acceptance speech at the CJF Awards.
TORONTO, April 13, 2016 - The Canadian Journalism Foundation is pleased to announce Jayme Poisson, an investigative reporter for the Toronto Star, as this year's winner of the Greg Clark Award for early-career journalists, based on her proposal to better understand the access-to-information process.
The Greg Clark Award, unique in Canadian journalism, offers working journalists a $5,000 stipend to spend a week gaining insight, gathering strategic information and meeting key decision-makers on a specific issue or beat. Poisson proposed splitting her time between the Information and Privacy Commissioner Office of Ontario and the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada to explore how these offices deal with access-to-information requests.
"Jayme Poisson's proposal is innovative—instead of simply pushing deeper on a particular story, she's pushing deeper into the craft of what she does," says Marissa Nelson, a Greg Clark jury member and the CBC's Ontario Region senior managing director. "Access to Information is an area that isn't well understood and exploring the information offices at provincial and federal levels will strengthen her investigative reporting."
With this opportunity, Poisson plans to learn how to better communicate with access-to-information officers when drafting and amending requests, how to make compelling arguments to release information that is in the public interest and how best to file appeals when that information is denied.
"Freedom of Information requests can be an exceptional tool for journalists to access the unvarnished, un-spun truth," says Poisson. "The information we obtain through this process allows the public to scrutinize how government is performing and how policy decisions are really made."
Poisson has been part of two award-winning teams at the Star, for reporting on sexual assault in Canada and on former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and to hopefully pass on that knowledge to colleagues and to my students," says Poisson, who teaches a course on investigative reporting at Humber College.
This award was created in memory of Greg Clark, one of Canada's greatest journalists - a war correspondent, an avid outdoorsman, a humorist and a great reporter who excelled at storytelling.
Poisson was honoured at the CJF Awards at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto on June 16.
INSIGHT. EXPERIENCE. ACCESS. CONNECTIONS. WHAT'S YOUR ISSUE?
The Greg Clark Award offers journalists early in their career a chance to go behind the scenes and meet key decision-makers on their beats.
The award was created in memory of one of Canada's greatest journalists - a war correspondent, an avid outdoorsman, a humourist, but above all, a great reporter who excelled at storytelling.
It's an award that's unique among Canadian journalism, one that's designed to offer working journalists a chance to gain insight and meet key decision-makers on their beats. The successful applicant(s) will get an opportunity to spend up to a week observing the inner workings of an organization not usually accessible to the working journalist. The award addresses the need for broader awareness and exposure of the increasing complexity of issues and institutions journalists cover in day to day reportage.
Successful applicants will:
• Spend up to a week observing the inner workings of an organization not usually accessible to the working journalist.
• Receive $5,000 for travel and accommodation expenses, and incidentals, with unused funds to be converted into a stipend.
• Be recognized at the annual CJF Awards on June 16, 2016 in Toronto.
- Applications will be welcomed from Canadian journalists who have been employed for one to five years and are employed by, under contract to, or freelancing on the news and editorial side of regularly published newspapers and periodicals, TV and radio news broadcasters, and online publications.
- Applicants must agree that any information gathered is off-the-record unless the sponsoring organization agrees otherwise. There may be an opportunity to pitch stories to specific media outlets together with the sponsoring organization.
- Successful applicants will write a brief summary of their experience and provide photos/video upon completion of their professional development opportunity to be posted on the CJF website.
How to Apply
- Submit a detailed proposal of no more than two pages outlining how you'd like to use this professional development opportunity to expand knowledge of your beat. Explain how the internship will help you in your daily work.
- Provide links to two examples of your beat work.
- Include your resume.
- Submit a proposed budget for all travel and accommodation expenses, and incidentals (meals, public transit/taxis) up to a maximum of $5,000.
- Include at least one letter of recommendation from a relevant employer.
The jury will be looking for innovative proposals from journalists interested in expanding their knowledge and understanding of issues rather than their reporting skills.
All arrangements for the award assignment will be made in consultation with award winners. The successful applicant(s) will have their expenses covered for any travel and accommodation costs.
For information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Read about what previous award recipients did for their professional development opportunities:
Laura Stone - 2015
Katie May - 2014
Ashleigh Gaul - 2013
Tamara Baluja - 2012
Marion Warnica - 2011
Arielle Godbout - 2010
Mary-Catherine McIntosh - 2009
Jennifer Dunville - 2008
Megan Wennberg - 2007
Trish Audette - 2006
André Dumont - 2005
Matt Silver - 2004
Shi Davidi - 2004
Greg Younger-Lewis - 2003
Louise Abbott - 2002
The Canadian Journalism Foundation would like to thank the following for for their generous support of the Greg Clark Award: