Previous Recipients of the prestigious Ross Munro Media Award include:
2015 Christina MacLean – FrontLine Defence
Born and raised in Ottawa, Chris MacLean began her magazine career in 1976 as Art Director with Canadian Review magazine (then published by E. Graydon Carter, now the Editor of Vanity Fair). Chris’ fascination with defence topics began with work on DND’s in house public affairs Sentinel magazine. Ms. MacLean held management positions in private print and publishing companies in Ottawa before seizing an opportunity to return to the magazine world. As Managing Editor and then General Manager of Vanguard magazine, she steadily developed the business from 1998 until the untimely passing of the publisher (her mentor) in 2003. Not wanting to let such a talented pool of experts dissipate, Chris then took on the challenge of establishing Canada’s Front-Line Defence magazine which quickly took the lead, informing and stimulating discussion within the defence and security sectors.
Ms. MacLean has a long connection with the military going back several generations, including her grandfather, father, uncle and brother who all served with the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa. She fondly remembers them dressed in their various generations of kilted uniforms. Her grandfather remained an active member of the CH of O Regimental Association until he passed, at the age of 101 – he celebrated his 96th birthday with a parachute jump! Among her life-changing military travels, Ms. Maclean includes a week-long media deployment to Canadian Forces bases in Bosnia.
2014 Louie Palu – New America Foundation
Mr. Palu is a former staff photographer at the Globe and Mail, now Bernard L. Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation. His work in war zones and other related military operations has been carried in almost all major Canadian daily news publications and many international news magazines, including cover photos in Newsweek, TIME, The New Yorker and The Atlantic. Louie took enormous personal risk to capture his photos. His images and video – shot during multiple tours – not only gave the public a visceral understanding of the dangers and sacrifices of ordinary soldiers, but also raised the profile of Canadian troops working along allied soldiers. His work is also been displayed at the Canadian War Museum.
Since joining the New America Foundation Louie Palu has devoted much of his long-term studies to the political and social issues raised during the Kandahar combat mission. He is a sought-after expert on how the media covers modern wars.
2012 Adam Day – Legion Magazine
With multiple tours as an embedded journalist, Adam Day’s research-by-immersion is intellectually thorough, emotionally exhausting and deeply personal. His themes are developed comprehensively, exceptionally well-expressed in an orderly pattern which is eminently readable both by the lay person and the professional.
His profound attention to detail and unrivalled esoteric knowledge of the military culture, his ability to write both as a soldier and tactician, his excellent photographic skills and superior prose, Mr. Day’s canon of work represents an extraordinary contribution to increasing not only the public’s understanding of the military, but also the military’s understanding of the human cost of its own mission. Operation MEDUSA is one of the most well-known and significant events in Canada’s Kandahar mission, and Adam Day’s three-part piece from fall of 2007 is one of the most comprehensive and most heavily cited works of the events that took place in September of 2006.
His collected works published under the title Witness to War will stand the test of time for those on Canada’s mission in Afghanistan. Good storytelling requires great skill and judgment: the simple and straightforward way Adam Day sees situations and tells us about them speaks volumes towards his thoughtful and deliberate focus on what we as readers need to understand and feel.
2011 Rosie DiManno – Toronto Star
In the best tradition of Canadian journalists – like Ross Munro himself – Rosie DiManno repeatedly puts herself on the troubled or exploding front-lines, most recently in Afghanistan and Libya, and describes events so effectively that we not only get their flavour but we also appreciate some greater issues and options at play. Rosie DiManno’s ability to educate and inform the public as to why Canada engages in conflict has earned her tremendous praise from colleagues and readers. In circumstances where most mortals would be striving just to survive, she portrays events and their origins, and subtly raises our awareness of lessons to be learned and at what expense.
A long-time reporter with the Toronto Star, Rosie DiManno has a distinguished history of reporting on security and defence issues, and a deep dedication to pursuing the story irrespective of the risks. DiManno’s exceptional journalism informs Canadians with a depth, breadth and incisiveness which enrich her thorough research and hard-won experience. This year Rosie DiManno spent extended periods of time not only in Afghanistan but also in Libya, travelling with the rebels and later reporting from Tripoli, surrounded by government minders.
2010 Murray Brewster – The Canadian Press
Murray Brewster files stories about war, the military, defence policy and security issues in the same fashion as Ross Munro himself—-fearless, clear and always bringing something new to Canadians. His reporting shows an engaging style dedicated to informing Canadians about what is happening in their name on the battlefields of the world. Highly principled, Brewster consistently presents factual and balanced perspectives which educate the Canadian public on issues of defence and security. His understanding of the Canadian Forces, as well as the stresses and strains its men and women undergo, gives his writing a humanity that helps those at home better understand the military. His significant and outstanding contribution to the public’s understanding of Canada’s defence and security issues makes him a worthy recipient of the 2010 Ross Munro Media Award.
Murray Brewster is the Parliamentary defence reporter and senior war correspondent for The Canadian Press news agency. Whether in Kandahar, Ottawa, Washington or elsewhere, his by-line has appeared more often in relation to the war in Afghanistan during the last four years than just about any other Canadian journalist. He is the author of the forthcoming book The Savage War and has spent just over 12 months in theatre on assignment with Canadian troops in Afghanistan since the battle group deployed in 2006. Among other things Brewster also covered the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York; the submarine fire aboard HMCS Chicoutimi in Scotland; a number of NATO conferences; as well as the crash of Swissair Flight 111, for which he was awarded a national Radio-Television News Director Association (RTNDA) award. Throughout his 26 year career in journalism, Brewster has received 11 RTNDA awards, two Atlantic Journalism Awards and was a finalist in the prestigious Michener Awards for public service in journalism.
2009 Brian Stewart
Brian Stewart has played a distinguished role in informing Canadians about their military and its actions at home and abroad, particularly the Afghan mission. A uniquely qualified multimedia professional noted for his personal courage, integrity and balanced insight, he has made issues of security and defence accessible to millions of Canadians and has contributed immensely to informed discussion of these vital subjects. He represents the best in the tradition of Canadian journalism, and is hence worthy of the Ross Munro Media Award.
Brian Stewart was born in Montréal in 1942. He graduated from Ryerson’s School of Journalism and began working for the CBC in 1971, as host for The Hourglass, a local evening newscast. Two years later he transferred to Ottawa as CBC’s foreign affairs and military specialist and soon after became CBC’s foreign correspondent in London. In 1987, Brian Stewart returned to Canada as senior reporter for CBC’s flagship show The Journal. A leading reporter on The National since 1992, he also hosted the current affairs segment, The Magazine from 1998–2000. He was the anchor of CBC News World View from 2002–2004 and went on to host the international affairs show CBC News: Our World. A veteran foreign affairs journalist, Brian Stewart has reported from ten war zones and most recently covered the conflict in Afghanistan on his regular feature “Inside the Mission” on The National.
2008 Alec Castonguay – Le Devoir & L’actualité
With an authority based on thorough research and intellectual integrity, Alec Castonguay offers commentary on a broad spectrum of national security and defence issues. He not only describes people, events and ideas at face-value, he explores their background and potential linkages and, in so doing, offers his readers valuable insight to some of the nation’s most daunting challenges.
Alec Castonguay was born in Laval in 1979. He received a B.A. in Journalism from Université du Québec à Montréal and has worked as a journalist since 2001. As a journalist for the daily Le Devoir for five years, he was first assigned to the Economy desk. In 2004 he became the youngest parliamentary correspondent in Ottawa, for any media organization, at 24 years of age. Since then, he has followed the various activities of the House of Commons as a team member for Le Devoir. Alec has followed the activities of the Department of National Defence and the conflict in Afghanistan for over two years. He traveled to Afghanistan in April 2007. Alec has also been a contributor to L’actualité for two years, covering the federal scene for Quebec’s top information magazine.
2007 Matthew Fisher – Canwest
Matthew Fisher was born and raised in northwestern Ontario and in Ottawa, the son of parents who both served with Canadian forces in Europe during the Second World War. He is presently the Middle East correspondent for CanWest News and is currently on his 12th trip to Afghanistan. Mr. Fisher previously worked for the Globe and Mail and the Sun Media newspaper group. He has worked abroad for 23 years, traveling to 153 countries and has reported on every Canadian Forces mission overseas since the mid– 80s. He has reported on 14 wars including Chechnya and both Gulf wars and was the only Canadian to be embedded with a combat unit during the US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq – a Marine recon outfit that was involved in several major battles. He has returned to the war in Iraq six times since then.
The Ross Munro Media Award Selection Committee unanimously singled out Matthew Fisher from the other candidates based on “his superb battlefront coverage that has for years enlightened Canadians about the world they – and their servicemen and women – inhabit. He is a brave warrior in his profession, whose reporting has been a model for others. We acknowledge, as well, the high esteem he has earned amongst the elite of his professional peers.”
2006 Christie Blatchford – The Globe and Mail
Ms. Blatchford was born in Rouyn-Noranda, Québec. She graduated from Ryerson Polytechnic (now Ryerson University) with a degree in journalism. While at Ryerson, she began working at the Globe and Mail as a copy editor. During her career, Ms. Blatchford has worked as a columnist and reporter for the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Toronto Sun, and the National Post. She returned to the Globe and Mail in 2002. She previously won the National Newspaper Award in 1999 for column writing.
The Ross Munro Media Award Selection Committee singled Ms. Blatchford out from the other candidates based on her compelling work on the Canadian Forces, particularly in Afghanistan: “Christie Blatchford brings to the theatre of hostilities her keen eye and curiosity. She writes superb prose that conveys the experience of the Canadians’ war in Afghanistan. She obviously understands the soldiers and she has grasped the comradeship that binds them together. She not only informs Canadians of today’s military realities, but champions values such as honour and sacrifice. She is exceptionally evocative, superbly descriptive, and develops a compelling storyline.”
2005 Bruce Campion-Smith – The Toronto Star
Mr. Bruce Campion-Smith, of the Toronto Star, has covered Canadian defence issues for many years and produced well-grounded articles of exceptional quality on the Canadian Forces. His knowledge of the subject matter, fairness in reporting, and writing skill are truly exemplary.
2004 Sharon Hobson – Jane’s Defence Weekly
Ms Hobson has consistently demonstrated the finest qualities of a journalist who specializes in defence issues. The quality of her reporting, her knowledge of the subject matter and fairness of her accounts set a standard by which her colleagues may be measured. Sharon Hobson has been the Canadian correspondent for Jane’s Defence Weekly for the past 18 years, and seven years ago became the Canadian correspondent for Jane’s Navy International, and Jane’s Defence Upgrades. In 1996, she began writing for Jane’s International Defence Review. She has written a monthly column on the navy for Canadian Sailings, and has written features for the Financial Post and Canadian Defence Quarterly. Ms Hobson co-authored, with Rear-Admiral Dusty Miller, The Persian Excursion, a book on the Canadian navy in the Persian Gulf War.
2003 Garth Pritchard
Mr. Garth Pritchard, a native of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, has over the years produced some outstanding work on the activities of the Canadian military. He has reported on Canadian defence issues from such places as Somalia, Croatia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan, and his work clearly shows how he has earned the respect of the members of the Canadian Forces. In 2002, in Afghanistan during Operation Apollo, Mr. Pritchard gained special access to 3PPCLI Battle Group for a period of three months, recording never-before-seen events and accumulating stunning first-hand accounts and images of the war on terrorism. This emotion-laden series comprises Chasing Shadows, Waging Peace, and the very powerful and moving Friendly Fire and offers an exclusive look inside Canada’s military and the harsh impact of war. Chasing Shadows and Friendly Fire first aired on History Television on Remembrance Day last year, and Waging Peace, which aired with the other two in its debut on the same network in January 2003.