RTDNA Canada Announces the 2023 Distinguished Service Award Winner

Toronto (October 4, 2023)  RTDNA Canada is pleased to honour Joanne McPherson with its 2023 Distinguished Service Award.

RTDNA Canada’s Distinguished Service Award is presented to a member who has played a major role in the continuing success of RTDNA Canada. The award is given in recognition and appreciation of outstanding contribution and exemplary distinguished service rendered for the benefit and advancement of electronic and digital journalism in Canada.

RTDNA Canada President, Lis Travers said “Joanne has been a key member of the RTDNA Canada Board. She is creative, committed, and has worked so hard to deliver sponsorship dollars that make our national conference possible.”

Joanne McPherson, Managing Editor for Program and Content Strategies with CBC News said “I am grateful for a 30-year career in journalism and for this generous honour from RTDNA Canada, an essential journalistic association in Canada that I am very proud of being part of. Thank you so very much for this recognition.”

As an editorial assistant at 23, she had the ambition of being a reporter but the chance of a lifetime reporting live after a baby was taken from a Burlington hospital set her in another direction. Joanne says, “My family and colleagues said, Wow, you did great! but I looked at the tape and said, not for me!”

That set Joanne on an impressive path of field journalism as an associate producer with CBC’s Washington bureau and then as producer on Joe Schlesinger’s program, Foreign Assignment that took her around the world working with many of CBC’s most distinguished international journalists.

She then went on to be an assignment editor for the Ontario region and helped deploy the New York assignments through the tragic events on September 11th. A deployment to London, which was her dream job, was thwarted twice by the lifetime gifts of two beautiful sons. When she returned to work, she moved on to what she says is her proudest career period, working for CBC’s Newsworld, now CBC News Network, as a line up and control room producer and eventually executive producer of Morning Live and responsible for Breaking News.

In 2009, she was asked to join management to help transition the newsroom to be structured for live broadcasting. She then went on to lead integration for all platforms for the health, business, and entertainment content units.

Joanne now oversees promotions, external communications, and marketing on behalf of CBC News with a talented and creative team with CBC’s Communications, Marketing, Brand and Research department. “I have the best job ever! I aim every day to help let Canadians know the incredible content we do every day on TV, Radio, Gem, Explore and on our CBC News App. What could be more gratifying than celebrating my colleagues’ incredible journalism every single day. I am eternally proud to be with CBC News.”

“Joanne rightly deserves her place on the impressive list of names of past winners of this award. She is deeply committed to journalism and the work of RTDNA Canada to lift up and celebrate the best of us in this business. Congratulations Joanne!” Brodie Fenlon, Editor in Chief, Executive Director of Programs and Standards, CBC News

About RTDNA Canada

RTDNA Canada is a progressive organization offering a forum for open discussion, best practices, educational information, and industry news. The Association speaks for the leaders and members of Canada’s radio, television and digital news operations on issues that impact news coverage and journalists. RTDNA Canada fosters training, career development, national and regional awards recognition, and active dialogue with the membership.

The RTDNA Code of Journalistic Ethics, adopted by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, is used to measure fairness and accuracy in our profession.

Click HERE to become a member.

Contact Information

RTDNA Canada | President
Lis Travers

RTDNA Canada | Awards Committee
Mary Nersessian – Chair
Espe Currie
Michael Goldberg
Sarah Mills
Janice Neil
Colleen Schmidt