World News Day 201809 May 2018 / by Nam-An Dinh (author)
On May 3, 2018, the Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) kicked off the inaugural World News Day with a special evening event filled with powerful testimonials, panels, guest speakers, and musical performances. Launched as a new initiative that builds upon the UN's World Press Freedom Day, "It celebrates the stories, the people, the reporting, and the news organizations that are changing lives, challenging the status quo, and supporting freedom and democracy".
David Walmsley, the chair of the CJF, editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail, and one of the guest speakers of the night, stated "We look forward to bringing together the journalists who believe in making a difference and the subjects of their stories who emotionally recount the moment they realized that journalism matters".
Despite some less than stellar weather outside, the evening was attended by many. CBC The National host Ian Hanomansing hosted, introducing guest after guest, with occasional musical performances sprinkled in between.
Guest speakers took to the stage and touched on a variety of topics, from undercover investigative reports on temporary worker programs, to long form journalism.
Common themes that emerged from the nights discussions included the importance of good journalism in giving a voice to those that are otherwise silenced, and the every evolving mechanisms in which stories are delivered: people are still willing to consume long form journalism, but also emerging mediums such as podcasts are carving out their space as well.
Richard Gingras, vice president of news at Google was on hand to take questions about the changing landscape of digital news, and Buzzfeed New's Jane Lytvynenko spoke on the importance of spotting false stories without feeding into the "fake news" phenomena.
Guests of the event were also treated to a host of great musical talents as well, spread throughout the evening. Performances by Iskwé, Daniel Romano, Leah and Peter from July Talk, and 2017 Polaris Music Prize winner Lido Pimienta brought their unique sounds to the stage.
Check out the gallery for photos from the event.