A couple of awards being handed out to journalists (both professional and citizen) for their work on the taser issue.
Gemini Award for the "Best News Magazine Segment" awarded to Frédéric Zalac, Kris Fleerackers, Doug Husby, Georges Laszuk, Alex Shprintsen - CBC News: The National. This was for their in-depth and probably very expensive investigation into tasers: "The Taser Test". [LINK][LINK][TNT]
Meanwhile, Paul Pritchard of Victoria, BC is the recipient of the first citizen journalism award given by the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression. Mr. Pritchard made the video of Mr. Robert Dziekanski being tasered at Vancouver Airport. [TNT]
"It's not just that Pritchard grabbed his digital camera and began recording. Or that he continued when four RCMP officers arrived, even after security staff, for no legitimate reason, told him to stop. Pritchard also gave the recording to the RCMP that night to help them with their investigation. They promised to return it in 48 hours. And when they refused to return or release the recording, Pritchard hired a lawyer and successfully fought the secrecy. Three weeks after Dziekanski's death, people could watch the horrifying images and form their own judgments.
If not for that evidence, the four officers' statements -- that they tried to calm Dziekanski; that he came at them screaming, swinging an object; that the Taser didn't knock him down so they had to wrestle him to the ground -- might have been believed. None was true." [LINK]
Mr. Pritchard judges his actions a bit harshly. "He wonders whether, instead of grabbing his camera, he could have found a way into the secure area to talk to Dziekanski before the RCMP arrived."
But he did exactly the right thing at every step.
And then, he went above and beyond in his actions to force the release of the video.
That wasn't just right, it was righteous.
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