Standing Up For Canadian Voices

Sarah El-Shaarawi wins 2022 Dalton Camp Award

Sarah El-Shaarawi wins 2022 Dalton Camp Award and $10,000 prize for essay 
The Similarities Between Red and Yellow

“We were detained for days in cold cells. They took most of our clothes, denied us soap and toothbrushes, and only allowed us to speak to our lawyers.”

TORONTO – Writer Sarah El-Shaarawi has won the 2022 Dalton Camp Award for her essay The Similarities Between Red and Yellow, a powerful reflection on the importance of freedom of the press.

The Dalton Camp Award is an annual $10,000 prize for the best essay on the subject of media and democracy in Canada. FRIENDS launched the award in 2002, to honour the memory of the late Dalton Camp, a prominent commentator on Canadian public affairs.

In The Similarities Between Red and Yellow, El-Shaarawi draws from her own experience as a journalist in Canada and abroad to make the sobering observation that journalists are being threatened and prevented from doing their job in both autocratic countries as well as democratic ones like Canada.
“As a forever student of global politics and global media systems and having worked extensively in some of the region’s most associated with oppression and a lack of media freedoms, I have been able to look in on Canadian press freedoms from, perhaps, a different perspective,” said El-Shaarawi. “And this has given me two things: first, it has shown me just how lucky we are and how much we should appreciate the freedoms that we have as Canadians, and as Canadians working in the media. And second, it has shown me just how fragile these systems are and how much they need to be protected.”

The Tyee published the full essay available here.

The winner of this year’s Dalton Camp Award for Best Student Journalist essay is Kevin Seeram, a graduate of McMaster University. In his essay The Memeification of Modern Politics: From TikTok to Deepfakes, Seeram reflects on how social media platforms are shaping the current generations’ political engagement.

“Given the current climate we find ourselves in, credible, reliable and independent journalism has never been more important,” said Marla Boltman, Executive Director of FRIENDS. “Keeping Canadians informed and connected helps strengthen trust between citizens and supports a healthy democracy. We are honoured to be awarding this prize to two writers who have taken the time to think and reflect on the state of journalism in Canada”.

The winners were chosen from amongst 200 entries, by a five-member jury: Hannah Sung, Jane Hilderman, Kathy English, Danielle Paradis and Temur Durrani.

We extend our thanks to The Toronto Star and The Tyee, our official media partners for the 2022 Dalton Camp Award.

FRIENDS is a people-powered movement that stands up for Canadian voices, in public broadcasting, news media and culture. A strong CBC, fearless journalism, and our shared story make us who we are. FRIENDS is not affiliated with or funded by CBC/Radio-Canada or any other media outlet, industry group or political party.

Sarah El-Shaarawi is available for interviews.

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For more information or to book an interview:
Sarah Andrews
Director of Government and Media Relations
sarah@friends.ca
613-808-7255