4 Jun 2014

Gillian Steward Named 2014-15 Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy

A forty-year veteran of Canadian journalism, Gillian Steward, is the recipient of the 26th annual Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy.  The announcement was made tonight at The Canadian Journalism Foundation’s 17th Annual Awards Gala.

Ms. Steward will investigate oil sands development in Alberta and its intended – and unintended – consequences for Canadians: “We take it for granted that our lives are powered by oil shipped over long distances from somewhere else. But what are we asking of people who are in the path of the proposed oil pipelines? Do we want them to give up what they hold precious so the rest of us can live in relative comfort and ease? How much environmental damage do city dwellers expect those areas of the country to sustain? And perhaps most importantly, are the approval processes that determine whether these projects should be given the green light stacked in favour of the corporations that propose them?”

Ms. Steward is a Calgary-based journalist. She currently writes a regular column for the Toronto Star, teaches journalism at Mount Royal University, and is a PhD candidate in Communication Studies at University of Calgary. She was the managing editor at the Calgary Herald from 1987 to 1990, and was the publisher/editor of Alberta Views Magazine 2006/2007.  As a freelance journalist, Ms. Steward has written for the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, Canadian Business Magazine, and Report on Business Magazine. Her writings on the petroleum industry garnered three National Journalism Awards from the Canadian Petroleum Association.  She has also contributed several documentaries to CBC Radio’s Ideas Series. Further she has written extensively about issues associated with oil sands development and has been a key participant in two research projects for the Oil Sands Research Information Network at the University of Alberta that focused on the oil sands and media coverage.

The Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy was created in 1988 and named for one of the Toronto Star’s first publishers, the late Joseph E. Atkinson. For the period of one year, recipients receive a stipend of $75,000 and up to $25,000 for expenses to work exclusively on a “game-changing” public policy story. They prepare a series of in-depth articles for distribution to all Canadian newspapers in the fall.

The Atkinson Foundation, the Toronto Star, and the Honderich Family are co-sponsors of this Fellowship.

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