Young journalists from Queen’s Journal selected as winners of 2018 Fraser MacDougall Prize

TORONTO (September 11, 2018) – The National NewsMedia Council and Journalists for Human Rights are pleased to announce that Jasnit Pabla and Nick Pearce, from The Queen’s Journal, have been awarded this year’s Fraser MacDougall Prize for Best New Canadian Voice in Human Rights Reporting.

These two young journalists have won this year’s award for their submission ‘Truth & Reconciliation at Queen’s, a year later’. This year’s jury selected this 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,” says John Fraser, the executive chair of the National NewsMedia Council. “However, the themes of this story help to show how journalism has an important role to play in bridging long-standing historical divides.”

Rachel Pulfer, the executive director of Journalists for Human Rights, underscored the importance of bringing forward new voices to address an issue that touches on so many aspects of Canadian society.

“The vital point that reconciliation is all of our responsibilities and it must happen locally to be meaningful.”

In addition to this year’s winning story, the jury has also announced a special citation of honourable distinction to the story “It doesn’t matter because it didn’t happen on campus” from The McGill Tribune. This year’s jury was particularly struck by the story’s strength of writing and powerful narrative.

Both of these stories were selected from a short-list of six finalists that was announced earlier this summer.

The Fraser MacDougall Award for Best New Canadian Voice in Human Rights Reporting is an annual prize that recognizes an exceptional piece of human rights-focused journalism published in campus-based media.  In addition to the $1,000 cash prize, winners are recognized for their achievement at the annual Journalists for Human Rights Gala. The winning story is also re-published in The Toronto Star.

The MacDougall prize is made possible through the generous endowment of the late Fraser MacDougall, who had a distinguished career in journalism, chiefly with The Canadian Press. As well, MacDougall was the first executive secretary of the Ontario Press Council and, in that role, laid the foundation of a respected organization.


The National NewsMedia Council

The National NewsMedia Council is a voluntary, self-regulatory body of the news media industry in Canada. It was established in 2015 with three aims: to promote ethical practices within the news media industry, to serve as a forum for complaints against its members, and to promote a news literate public.

The Council represents the public and the media in matters concerning the democratic rights of freedom of speech and freedom of the media.

Journalists for Human Rights

Journalists for Human Rights is Canada’s leading media development organization. We train journalists to report on human rights and governance issues in their communities. When the media puts a spotlight on human rights, people start talking about the issues and demanding change. A strong, independent media is a referee between governments and citizens. When human rights are protected, governments are more accountable and people’s lives improve.

For more information about the award, please contact: 

Brent Jolly, Director of Communications, Research, and Community Management, National NewsMediaCouncil, 416-340-1981 x 3 or