When the Depression hit, he survived covering news and sports for weekly newspapers, sold vacuum cleaners, drove a taxi, and reported on curling for The Canadian Press, until CP offered him a job.
Charlie Edwards was the driving force behind the formation of the Radio-Television News Directors Association of Canada. Born in Winnipeg, raised in Moose Jaw and Regina, Charlie started his career covering sports for the Winnipeg Free Press. When the Depression hit, he survived covering news and sports for weekly newspapers, sold vacuum cleaners, drove a taxi, and reported on curling for The Canadian Press, until CP offered him a job. Edwards remained there for 38 years, eventually became head of Press News, the forerunner of Broadcast News Ltd. During the last 17 years as General Manager of Broadcast News, Charlie pioneered the development of broadcast journalism in Canada. He launched a French-language radio news service in 1945, the first national service of voiced news reports in 1956, and established BN Voice in 1961, a full national and international news service.
Charlie’s determination to get the story was legendary. In 1942, he covered the Trans-Canada Airlines’ (now Air Canada) first fatal plane crash near Armstrong in Northwestern Ontario. The only access was by an open handcar used by railway workers…a three-mile trip with temperatures near minus 50 degrees.
In 1970, the Central Canada Broadcasters Association named Charlie Edwards Broadcaster of the Year. One year later he became the first Canadian member to win the RTNDA International award for Distinguished Service. Edwards also received an Honorary Life Membership from the CAB and RTNDA; and was honoured by the National Press Club of Ottawa for his outstanding contribution to the news field in Canada. He passed away in 1983.
In 1985, Charlie Edwards was inducted into the CAB Hall of Fame.