A VICE Media reporter who fought and lost a four-year legal battle over an RCMP production order is the winner of the 2019 Arnold Amber Award for Investigative Journalism.
Ben Makuch will receive the $2,000 award, sponsored by CWA Canada and named for the media union’s late former director, at the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression’s 22nd annual gala on Nov. 27 in Toronto.
Makuch, a member of the Canadian Media Guild (CWA Canada Local 30213), is being recognized for “his courage and perseverance in light of difficult legal challenges,” said CJFE.
A production order issued in 2015 by the Mounties against the VICE journalist to hand over all communications between him and an alleged ISIS fighter went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.
“The federal police sought access to all communications he had as part of their criminal investigation into the terror suspect. Makuch steadfastly refused to hand the notes over, prompting a further legal battle following the Supreme Court decision.”
CJFE has arranged for Makuch and the recipients of two other awards to attend the gala in honour of journalists in Canada and around the world who “champion free expression in different ways.”
Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are the winners of the International Press Freedom Award. Gordana Knezevic will receive the Tara Singh Hayer Memorial Award.