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Christie Blatchford's reporting has taken her to the front lines in Afghanistan and to the latest case before the Supreme Court.
George Jonas, former National Post columnist and author, in 2011.
National Post columnist Christie Blatchford has been awarded the George Jonas Freedom Award for “refusing to be intimidated” in pursuit of the truth.
The award was presented at a ceremony Friday evening at the Eglinton Grand in Toronto. High-profile defence lawyer Marie Henein was the guest speaker.
“Ms. Blatchford has become known for speaking truth to power, and is sensitive to the core Canadian principles of individual liberty and the rule of law,” reads the event page. “Risking injury to career and reputation, and refusing to be intimidated, she has faced cultural forces and bureaucratic tendencies with steadfast conviction that the light of truth must always prevail.”
The award, named after the late Canadian author, poet and National Post columnist George Jonas, recognizes and honours one person every year who has contributed significantly to advancing and preserving freedom in Canada.
It’s hard to think of a more fitting recipient.
Her reporting has taken her to the front lines in Afghanistan and to the latest case before the Supreme Court. Her years as a journalist have earned her a Governor General’s Literary Award in non-fiction and a National Newspaper Award for column writing.
“It’s hard to think of a more fitting recipient for this award. Christie’s work is testament to the values George Jonas held dear — clear, honest and forthright,” says National Post’s acting editor-in-chief Julie Traves.
Blatchford said she is honoured to receive the award.
“I hugely liked and admired George, and his writing, so the award is meaningful as hell to me,” Blatchford said in an interview. “Truth — (facts) — is more important than ever, because there’s so much quasi-truth around on social media and even mainstream media and in the cultural air. And freedom of the press, the freedom to cover things fearlessly — that is, without fear of offending your readers — is more important than ever.”
In 2013, Jonas was appointed to the Order of Canada for his thought-provoking contributions to Canadian public discourse. National Post columnist and former media baron Conrad Black, a friend to Jonas, remembered being drawn to the deliberate cadence of his speech. “To converse with him was to return to the cafés by the Danube in Vienna and Budapest which I discovered as a wandering law student 50 years ago, where speech flowed at the stately pace of the river,” Black said after Jonas’s death in 2016.
Two years later, the first ever George Jonas Freedom Award was given to Canadian author and commentator Mark Steyn.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019