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Ann Medina inducted into CBC News Hall of Fame


Television journalist, presenter, Emmy Award winner, prolific war correspondent and iconic face of Canadian news for decades Ann Medina was inducted into the CBC News Hall of Fame on Thursday. Two.

In a ceremony attended by her family and hosted by CBC journalists Nahlah Ayed and Adrienne Arsenault, Medina became the ninth member of the Hall of Fame since its founding in 2014. She was chosen as “the influential woman who broke many things” a plaque honoring her contributions was read.

“For those who dare, Ann Medina has paved the way,” it concluded.

Medina, who was at the ceremony, grew up in New York City and initially studied philosophy before starting a journalism career in Chicago in the 1960s as a reporter. Soon after, she became a network producer for NBC News, and later a reporter and producer for ABC News.

After winning two Emmy Awards while in the United States, she moved to Canada to marry journalist and radio operator Jack McGaw. The two met in 1974 when, as a reporter for ABC, Medina was sent to Ottawa to carry out a vote of no confidence in the government of then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau, with McGaw as home her production.

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They got married the following year, right before Medina was hired by CBC Magazine. The two amicably parted ways eight years later, with the “single point of contention .” [being] Max, our parrot,” she told the Globe and Mail for McGaw .’s 2012 obituary. Medina, who has loved birds all her life, raised this animal.

She soon made a name for herself as a journalist humanizing subjects from all walks of life, from all corners of the planet – reporting from places as diverse as Egypt, Syria, Jordan , Mali, China, Nicaragua and more during his long stint at CBC .

She switched to the documentary and current affairs program after that Magazine after Magazineabolition, and widespread coverage of the civil war in Lebanon – under and around mortars and shells.

Her reports from outside the war zone have helped inform a generation of Canadians about the conflict, with a range of stories that often go more in-depth than any of her contemporaries in the region.

“Ann Medina has become a national superstar, proving two things we should get out of this: one, support your journalists. Two, if you build it, they’ll come,” the journalist said. Canada Mark Starowicz, former executive producer of Magazine, said at the ceremony.

“Ann Medina thrives on her background in journalism – her skills – and her empathy for the human condition.”

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“Your bravery, your reality, for someone like me is a license, for me to believe that I can try and it can be fine,” added Arsenault, referring to Medina as ” the worst of the bad guys that have graced this place.”

“You broke the door on us,” she continued. “And I promise you, we’ll stand in those doors, and we’ll hold on to those hinges, and we’ll hold them tight. Not just for them, but for you.”

‘I was fired and now this is it. It’s just seeds! ‘

Magazine – the show debuted with two women as hosts and no male co-hosts, the first time in Canada – ended in 1992 following the death of host Barbara Frum and was merged with the show submit Nation. Medina has partially switched to another program, Saturday Reportas a presenter in 1986 – although her three-year contract ended early and controversially, just six months after she started.

“I can only say that I am completely overwhelmed by all of this,” Medina said at Monday’s ceremony upon accepting her invitation. “And you just heard – I was fired and now this is it. It’s just crazy!”

Medina went on to thank the CBC and the selection committee for the honor, before speaking about the importance of integrity in journalism, and the trust built between broadcasters and their audiences.

An elderly woman, midspeech, in front of a desk.  Behind her were three larger everyday photographs, all of them a young woman.  To the right is a woman wearing an overcoat with a framed look.  In the center, a woman looks towards the camera, midspeech.  To the right, a woman in a red coat curls up looking out of the camera.
Ann Medina speaks at CBC’s The National studio in Toronto during her inductance ceremony into the CBC News Hall of Fame on October 24, 2022. (Laura Pedersen / CBC)

As a journalist herself, she said, she always tries to share what she’s seen and what she knows – never how she feels. She says there is a growing risk of alienating audiences as political decisions, from both the left and right sides of the spectrum, leak into the news.

She says those decisions can find, and have found, their way into the news through both biased reporting and decisions made behind the scenes. And when audiences feel affected by those decisions, she says, it breaks trust between them and the world of journalism.

“CTV betrayed that trust by firing Lisa LaFlamme,” Medina said, referring to the longtime news anchor’s termination. this early year. “And I believe the CBC betrayed that trust when it opened fire Magazine. “

“We see today how precious that trust can be to the fabric of democracy,” she continued.

When giving advice to future journalists, Medina says they only need a few things: stamina, a smile that can connect with “the person behind, I call, their outfit,” and a cast iron stomach – which, she says, makes her one of the few foreign correspondents at Magazine to never get sick (“I will always thank my mother for feeding me dirt,” she added).

Ultimately, she says, you need “a facilitator” — a supportive home to provide resources and protection for a curious mind that wants to gather and share stories.

“I’m here because CBC allows me to be a reporter,” she said. “CBC gave me the freedom to be a reporter.”

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