Fredericton – An award has been established to stimulate new thinking and discussion on how the news media influence the state of Canadian democracy.
FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting today announced the creation of The Dalton Camp Award, honouring the memory of the late Dalton Camp, a distinguished commentator on Canadian public affairs, who passed away earlier this year.
"We hope to encourage young Canadians to reflect and express themselves through original essays on the link between democratic values and the quality of the media in Canada," said Ian Morrison, spokesperson for Friends.
The Dalton Camp Award is available to up to three Canadians each year. Each award consists of a prize of $5,000, as well as a bronze cast medal by renowned Canadian sculptress Dora de Pédèry-Hunt.
Respected author and broadcaster Knowlton Nash, who is on the Dalton Camp Award selection committee, spoke at the announcement of the Award:
"What we need to do, and what I think Dalton would have wanted us to do, is to find ways to improve the quality of our news…to energize brain cells, not just zap eyeballs. We need to make the important interesting, and not make the merely interesting seem important.
"No matter what his age, Dalton was always young, and I think he always looked to the new generation for inspiration … and put his faith coming into the media business, as I do.
"So from my perspective, that's what [The] Dalton Camp Award is really all about, encouraging that new generation to link democratic values and journalistic quality, for the health of a society depends on the quality of the information it receives."
The deadline for the submission of essays during the first annual cycle of the Award is Monday, March 31st, 2003. Announcement of the Selection Committee's decision will take place at the Banff International Television Festival in June 2003.
The Selection Committee will be chaired by Jim Byrd, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of the Banff Television Foundation and former Vice President of CBC English Television. Other members of the Selection Committee are Mr. Nash and respected journalist and author Maggie Siggins.
Friends of Canadian Broadcasting plans to invest in The Dalton Camp Award annually until at least 2007.
Further details about the Award are available at www.daltoncampaward.ca.