Mike Blanchfield is 2013 Recipient of annual R. James Travers Foreign Corresponding Fellowship

Standing in front of a portrait of Jim Travers, this year’s recipient of the Travers Fellowship Mike Blanchfield of the Canadian Press poses with Joan Travers after he was named at a ceremony on Parliament Hill, Wednesday March 20, 2013 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Mike Blanchfield, a seasoned international affairs reporter for The Canadian Press, has won the second annual R. James Travers Foreign Corresponding Fellowship, the selection committee announced Wednesday.

Blanchfield told the committee he will use the $25,000 award to research and write about the human costs of cluster bombs and the politics surrounding adoption and ratification of an international treaty to ban what he calls the “merciless bomblets” that continue to inflict “unmitigated pain and suffering” in seemingly dormant war zones.

The fellowship winner was announced at a reception on Parliament Hill, which was attended by members of the Travers family, parliamentarians and friends and colleagues of the respected journalist.

During his career, Travers was a foreign correspondent, editor of the Ottawa Citizen, and executive editor of the Toronto Star. At the time of his death on March 3, 2011 he was an award-winning Ottawa columnist for the Star.

Travers, known as Jim, was an unapologetic champion of having Canadian eyes and ears on the ground beyond Canada’s borders to help explain world events to readers and viewers back home.

The fellowship, administered by the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University, is designed to celebrate Travers’ passion for smart reporting and excellent writing at home and abroad.

The Ottawa-based Blanchfield plans to travel to Laos, Cambodia, Geneva and Washington DC over the next few months to prepare a series of stories, accompanied by video and radio reports, that will explore Canada’s influence in advancing the Convention on Cluster Munitions and assess whether the federal government’s pending legislation to ratify the treaty is adequate.

Over the last decade and a half, Blanchfield’s coverage of international events has taken him to the United States, Europe, Central Asia, The Persian Gulf, Middle East and Africa.

A committee comprised of members of the Travers family, friends and colleagues and representatives of the School of Journalism and Communication selected this year’s winner from 17 applicants.

The committee said it is confident that Blanchfield, a graduate of Carleton’s journalism program, will produce a thought-provoking package of stories.

‘We think you have an excellent project, are very confident the results will be informative, engaging and by virtue of the quality and distribution of your work, will contribute substantively to the public policy debate around Canada’s international obligations as it relates to cluster bomb munitions,” Chris Waddell, a committee member and director of the school of journalism, said in the letter informing Blanchfield of his selection.

 CP Story on award.

Lethal Legacy: Mike Blanchfield’s articles and videos for the fellowship.

Mike Blanchfield on twitter



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