Canada

CBC News a finalist for 2019 Michener Award for public service journalism

CBC News's investigation into sexual abuse in amateur sport is among the nominees for the country's highest prize for public service journalism.

CBC investigation into sexual abuse in amateur sport among 6 finalists

A joint CBC News and Sports investigation is among the six finalists for the 2019 Michener Award, which is given for excellence in public service journalism. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

CBC News has been selected as one of six finalists for the country's top prize for public service journalism for its investigative series Shattered Trust: Sexual Offences in Amateur Sport. 

The CBC series, which was a joint project by CBC News and Sports, revealed that over a 20-year period, at least 222 coaches involved in amateur sports in Canada were convicted of sexual offences involving more than 600 victims under the age of 18. 

The reporting led to a new national zero-tolerance abuse policy and toll-free helpline, a federal study into abuse in sport, and the development of a code of conduct for coaches.

Among the five other nominees is the Halifax Examiner for The Wrongful Conviction of Glen Assoun. Assoun spent 17 years in prison before being exonerated last year in the 1995 murder of Brenda Way in Dartmouth, N.S.

Another nominee is La Presse for Dirty Business. Investigative reporter Vincent Larouche exposed alleged illegal dumping by a soil decontamination business that police suspect was infiltrated by organized crime.

The London Free Press was selected for We Are The Cops, a series looking into the 2016 assault of a young woman in custody that was caught on surveillance video.

WATCH | Shattered Trust: Sexual offences in amateur sport:

A joint investigation by CBC News and Sports found that at least 222 coaches who were involved in amateur sports in Canada have been convicted of sexual offences in the past 20 years, involving more than 600 victims under the age of 18. 5:22

The Globe and Mail was nominated for False Promises, about the exploitation of temporary workers and foreign students by immigration consultants and employers.

The Institute for Investigative Journalism was selected for a collaborative series called Tainted Water. It worked with the Toronto Star, Le Devoir, Regina Leader-Post, Global News, National Observer, Star Halifax/Vancouver to reveal how lead is leaching into Canadian tap water from aging infrastructure.

The Michener Award was founded in 1970 by Gov. Gen. Roland Michener to honour excellence in public service journalism. The judges base their decisions in part on the degree of public benefit generated by the print, broadcast and online entries submitted for consideration.

WATCH | Calls for change in kids' sports following sex abuse investigation:

Over the last 20 years, CBC found, 222 coaches involved in amateur sports were convicted of sexual offences. More than 600 children and teens were victimized. The federal sports minister says she's doing all she can in response to the investigation, but at least one former athlete who needed protection says it's not good enough. 2:05

The award is normally handed out at a ceremony at Rideau Hall hosted by the Governor General, but this year's ceremony has been postponed to a later date due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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