The power of the press must be used to help the oppressed, said Fabian Dawson, the Post group’s editorial advisor, as he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Jack Webster excellence in journalism gala last week.
Urging journalists to be a catalyst for change, Dawson, who is also a member of the New Canadian Media collective, said: “Use your skills to highlight courage and creativity and not just conflict or crises…use it to showcase triumph over adversity…use it more often to uncover the news rather than just cover the news.”
“Because, ultimately good journalism is not just about telling stories…it’s about being the catalyst for change,” added Dawson, who received a standing ovation from about 1,000 people who attended the event last Thursday.
The Jack Webster Foundation 2019 Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the careers of senior reporters who received distinction in their communities for work of long-lasting significance, clarity, fairness and innovation.
Dawson became the first Canadian of Asian origin to win the award, which is among the highest journalism accolades in Canada, and one that is chosen by an independent juried process.
Speaking at the award ceremony, Dawson shared an anecdote about how he got started in the business:
“When I was a wayward teen in Malaysia, doing all and sundry….more of the sundry…my mum saw an ad for reporters in the New Straits Times,” Dawson recalled. “She promptly applied for the job, filled in the forms and sat for the English aptitude test – claiming to be her son. Shortly later, coming home after planting grass in a field which paid $3 a day, I saw a car emblazoned with the words New Straits Times parked outside the house. A guy handed me an envelope and told me to report for work at the local office as a stringer. That, ladies and gentlemen, was the advent of this accidental journalist.”
The Vancouver-based Post Group publishes the South Asian Post, the Asian Pacific Post and the Filipino Post.
Dawson guided the papers to win two Jack Webster Awards.
Winners in 15 categories were announced at the annual Webster awards dinner in Vancouver.
The 2019 Bill Good Award was won by Megaphone magazine.
Republished under arrangement with the Asian Pacific Post. With files from Fabian Dawson.