TORONTO, April 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - The Canadian Journalism Foundation is proud to announce Tamara Baluja, a national reporter with The Globe and Mail with a special interest in education, as the winner of the Greg Clark Award for early career journalists.
The Greg Clark Award is unique in Canadian journalism, designed to offer working journalists a chance to gain insight and meet key decision-makers on their beats. Baluja will have the opportunity to spend up to a week visiting a First Nations school in a remote community in British Columbia where graduation rates and performance indicators show positive change is being made. Her goal is to gain insight into what's working and why.
"The issue of First Nations education is very complex," says Baluja. "Funding models vary widely, so the economics of retaining qualified teachers and maintaining proper infrastructure often work against delivering quality education in remote communities. The Greg Clark Award would allow me the unique opportunity to travel to such remote communities and add nuances to my writing that a phone interview can never provide."
The jury considered submissions from across the country and were drawn to the compelling angle of Baluja's proposal."We hear so much about what is not working on reserves, it is refreshing to see a young journalist focus on what is working and having remarkable success in First Nation schools," says Mark Sikstrom, a member of the selection committee. The award was created in memory of one of Canada's greatest journalists - a war correspondent, an avid outdoorsman, a humourist, but above all, a great reporter who excelled at storytelling. Baluja will be honoured at the CJF 15 th Annual Awards Gala, to be held this year at The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto on June 7. The CJF would like to thank CNW Group and the Toronto Star for their generous support of this award.