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National Business Writing Awards


AS A TRIBUTE TO HIS OUTSTANDING achievements in business journalism over many years, judges of the National Business Writing Awards have selected Robert L. Perry, senior editor of The Financial Post, as the 1979 recipient of the 1979 distinguished service award. The NBWAs are administered by the Toronto Press Club and supported by the Royal Bank of Canada.

In announcing the winner of the award, Carolyn Purden, president of The Toronto Press Club, said Perry has shown over the years that complicated economic issues can be written in terms that anyone can understand.

Perry launched his journalism career with the Sherbrooke Daily Record in 1948, following studies at McGill University. He joined The Financial Post as a staff writer in 1953 and has since worked as news editor, managing editor, chief of FP Books and executive assistant to the president of Maclean-Hunter Ltd. In his present position, Perry is concentrating on special feature writing, which colleagues identify as his forte.

The Business Writing Awards also recognize excellence in the areas of business news reporting, investigative reporting, feature writing (in two separate classes) and regular business or financial column.

Jim Romahn of The Kitchener-Waterloo Record is this year's winner of the business news reporting award for an in-depth article explaining the negative impact of a national milk-rationing scheme on the butter and cheddar cheese industries. Runner-up in this category was Irv Lutsky of the Toronto Star.

The judging committee selected John Ridsdel, energy writer of The Calgary Herald, as recipient of the investigative business reporting award. Ridsdel hit paydirt with his exposé on the funding of Dome Petroleum's exploration activities in the Beaufort Sea, in which he showed clearly that taxpayers were footing most of the bill while the company reaped profits. Honorable mentions went to The Financial Post's Perry and Peter Foster.

Doug Fetherling, an award winner in 1977, took the business feature writing award for those publications with circulation over 100,000. The feature writer's exhaustive study of "The Crash of '29" virtually filled Weekend Magazine and was subsequently published in book form as Gold Diggers of 1929. Runners-up are Peter Newman, editor of Maclean's: Graham Davies, Financial Times; and Dalton Robertson, senior editor of The Financial Post.

The Windsor Star's business editor. Bill Shields, emerged as winner of the business feature writing award for a publication with less than 100,000 circulation. The 24-year Star veteran won for his three-part series on Chrysler's financial dilemma and its impact on the economies of Windsor and the nation at large. Val Ross (for a Canadian Business piece) and David Hatter of the Calgary Albertan received honorable mentions in the category.

Peter Cook, managing editor of Executive Magazine, is the award winner for a distinguished example of a regular business or financial column. The author of several books on economics, Cook has an impressive background in the field and as an international journalist, including postings in Hong Kong, Washington and Ottawa. Runners-up were Anne Bower of The Financial Post, and Rod McQueen. managing editor of Maclean's.

The award for financial writing by a non-journalist goes to Rodney de C. Grey, a former Canadian ambassador to Geneva and head of Canada's delegation to the Tokyo round of GATT. In a three-part series prepared for The Financial Post. Grey unravelled the complexities of GATT for business readers.


Published in SOURCES May-June 1980


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