Journal Staff win Fraser MacDougall Prize

Jasnit Pabla and Nick Pearce win prize for best new voice in Canadian human rights reporting

Nick Peace (left) and Jasnit Pabla (right). 

On Sept. 11, two Journal staff won the Fraser MacDougall Prize for Best New Canadian Voice In Human Rights Reporting. 

Jasnit Pabla, copy editor, and Nick Pearce, editor in chief, competed against other young journalists on a short-list of six stories from campuses across the country.

In March, Pabla and Pearce published “Truth & Reconciliation at Queen’s, a year later,” which highlighted how the University has dealt with recommendations made by the federal Truth and Reconciliation Task Force. 

The annual award, presented by the National NewsMedia Council (NNC) and Journalists for Human Rights, will honour recipients at the Journalists for Human Rights Gala in Toronto on Oct. 1.

In addition to a prize of $1,000 for the award, the winning story will be re-published in the Toronto Star. 

According to a statement, the jury selected The Journal’s piece because of the story’s “thorough reporting, and how it effectively contextualized an issue of national importance for maximum local impact.”

“We know that reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples will be a challenge for many generations to come,” John Fraser, executive chair of the National NewsMedia Council, said. 

“However, the themes of this story help to show how journalism has an important role to play in bridging long-standing historical divides.”

In a statement, Pearce said “We're deeply grateful to be recognized for this award and share it with the entire Journal masthead, whose editing and illustrations made this story possible."

"We hope its success spurs further understanding that Reconciliation happens at the community level—on our campus, with all the voices that entails." 

Pabla said the story was an effort to meaningfully evaluate reconciliation efforts. 

 “Our goal was to present an accurate portrayal of reconciliation on campus and to ensure all the relevant voices were consulted in an evaluation of the University’s progress,” she said.

“We’re humbled this story has received the feedback it has and honoured to accept this award on behalf of the staff writers, editors, and illustrators who helped bring this project together.”

Pabla extended thanks to the members of the Queen’s community who engaged with The Journal throughout the article’s consultation and interview process.

“They made this possible and are the backbone of efforts of reconciliation on campus, within our local communities, and on a nation-wide scale.”

“There’s still much more to be done.”

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