John Honderich, chair of Torstar Corporation, the parent company of the Toronto Star and numerous city and community newspapers, is the recipient of The Canadian Journalism Foundation’s (CJF) Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of a distinguished career committed to excellence and integrity in journalism and advocating for its importance as part of civil society. He will be honoured at the annual CJF Awards on June 13 in Toronto.
“John Honderich is an exemplar to all of us,” says The Right Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, a jury member. “His total dedication to journalism not only in Canada, but in emerging countries, is unrivalled. He is a journalist who never forgot he was a journalist even after becoming a manager. John Honderich is the ideal choice for CJF’s Lifetime Achievement award: a brilliant mind, a curious intelligence, and someone filled with scintillating good humour.”
Honderich has been chair of Torstar Corporation, publisher of more than 80 newspapers, since 2009 continuing a notable career in media and publishing. After being admitted to the Ontario bar, Honderich turned his back on the legal profession and joined the Ottawa Citizen as a copy boy in 1973. In 1976, he moved to the Toronto Star‘s Ottawa bureau, later becoming its chief. He went on to head the Star‘s Washington Bureau before returning to Toronto as deputy city editor and then business editor and editorial page editor before becoming editor-in-chief from 1988-1994 and publisher from 1994-2004.
Honderich’s steadfast advocacy of journalism’s critical role in a healthy democracy as well as his extensive community service garnered him appointments to the Order of Canada (2004) and the Order of Ontario (2006). He helped lead the campaign to secure assistance for journalism announced in the last federal budget.
Among his many community service ventures was a Special Ambassador for the Mayor of Toronto on Urban Issues and then Special Adviser to the Premier of Ontario on the future of the Greater Toronto Area.
Honderich joins a distinguished group of CJF Lifetime Achievement Award winners. Past recipients include: Peter Mansbridge, Jean Pelletier, Lloyd Robertson, Michel Auger, Peter Bregg, Jack Sigvaldason, Lise Bissonnette, Joe Schlesinger, Sally Armstrong, Knowlton Nash, June Callwood, Trina McQueen, Mark Starowicz, Bernard Derome, Peter Gzowski and Robert Fulford, among others.
The Lifetime Achievement Award jury members are: Michel Cormier, executive director, Canadian Debates Commission, and former executive director, news and current affairs, Radio-Canada; Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada (1999-2005); Esther Enkin, former CBC ombudsman, CBC News ; Chantal Hébert, political columnist, Toronto Star, le Devoir, l’Actualité, CBC, Radio-Canada; and Lou Clancy, visiting scholar journalism outreach, Massey College, University of Toronto, and principal, LJM Strategies.
For more information, visit the CJF Awards page.
Photo: John Honderich, chair of Torstar Corporation, will be presented with The Canadian Journalism Foundation’s (CJF) Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of a distinguished career committed to excellence and integrity in journalism and advocating for its importance as part of civil society, at the annual CJF Awards on June 13 in Toronto. (CNW Group/Canadian Journalism Foundation).