Toronto, ON – (May 2, 2018) – RTDNA Canada is pleased to recognize three outstanding individuals in the Central region who have distinguished themselves through outstanding service and continued excellence during the course of their careers in journalism and news management. “These three recipients embody the spirit of the RTDNA’s Lifetime Achievement Award for their
Toronto, ON – (May 2, 2018) – RTDNA Canada is pleased to recognize three outstanding individuals in the Central region who have distinguished themselves through outstanding service and continued excellence during the course of their careers in journalism and news management.
“These three recipients embody the spirit of the RTDNA’s Lifetime Achievement Award for their incredible service to their communities but also as exceptional representatives and ambassadors of our industry,” said Ian Koenigsfest, President of RTDNA Canada. He added, “Their contribution is deservedly recognized by their peers. Thank you, Bernard, Brian and James for your selfless dedication to our industry.”
Bernard St-Laurent, James Stewart and Brian Thomas will be presented with their RTDNA Canada Lifetime Achievement Awards during the President’s Reception on May 25, 2018 during the 2018 National Conference & Awards Gala.
Bernie has told the story of every major political event in Quebec in the last 50 years. He reported on the first Parti Québécois government in 1976, covered the 1995 referendum and the resurgence of identity issues in Quebec. Bernie was introduced to the world of politics and journalism when he was growing up in Compton, Quebec. His great uncle was Louis St-Laurent, then Prime Minister of Canada. Bernie started off as a cub reporter at the Sherbrooke Record and helped found the Townships Sun. In 1974, he co-founded Spec, a weekly paper in the Gaspe. He opened Standard Broadcasting’s first full-time bureau as a reporter for CJAD at the National Assembly. He also helped launch the Montreal Daily News and worked as a columnist for the Gazette. At CBC Bernie worked as news assignment editor, producer, national reporter and host of Homerun and Radio Noon. He co-created C’est la vie, an award-winning Radio show about life in French-speaking Canada. He also received the Award of Excellence from the Commissioner of Official Languages. Before he retired in 2015 Bernie was CBC’s senior political analyst in Quebec. After a short break he is back with his political column each Thursday on Daybreak– with host Mike Finnerty. Bernie is also a volunteer in the Recovery Transition Program of the MUHC. As mentor, trainer and supervisor of mentors, he works with patients from the mental health and addictions unit as they make the transition back to society.
James “Jimmy” Stewart has spent a lifetime working near a lens. A cameraman at Global News for 40 years, Jimmy grew up within walking distance of the station – initially being hired on as security – before working his way through the ranks, garnering a reputation as a hard-working, extremely talented camera operator along the way. Through his hard work, Jimmy has been given the opportunity to travel the world with high-profile assignments like an early 90s interview with former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 tragedy in New York and even the Royal Wedding. Through it all – true to his even-tempered, easy to work with, shy about taking credit style – what Jimmy still loves the most is documenting the stories of everyday people doing the extraordinary – people just like him. 40 years and counting for Jimmy Stewart, an inspiration to an entire newsroom.
From his early days in Radio news at CJCS Stratford, Brian Thomas built a remarkable career with stops at CJOE London and CFOX Montreal and then more than 30 years at the helm of the legendary 1050 CHUM and 104.5 CHUMFM Toronto. As news director and manager of news and public affairs for CHUM, Brian guided the careers of some of Canada’s best-known news personalities. Prime Ministers, premiers, convicted killers – some wrongfully accused – and movie and music stars are among the hundreds of people he interviewed as a host of the “In Toronto” program. Active for many years in RTDNA, Brian has also been recognized by the Broadcast Educators Association of Canada (BEAC) and the Canadian Film Institute. News reporting, feature programs and documentaries produced under his guidance have earned national and international recognition including Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) Gold Ribbon Awards, New York International Festival Awards, and a Michener Award.
RTDNA Canada is the voice of electronic and digital journalists and news managers in Canada. The members of RTDNA Canada recognize the responsibility of broadcast and digital journalists to promote and to protect the freedom to report independently about matters of public interest and to present a wide range of expressions, opinions and ideas. The RTDNA Canada Journalistic Code of Ethics, adopted by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, is used to measure fairness and accuracy in our profession.
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President, RTDNA Canada