Andrea Houston, Xtra!
Xtra!’s Andrea Houston spent 18 months reporting on the prohibition of Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs in Catholic schools. After breaking the story early in 2011, Houston pursued it with tenacity and integrity, putting students at the centre of her narratives. Soon other journalists picked up the story and eventually the issue became one the provincial government could no longer ignore.
Without Houston’s work, the Ontario legislature may never have passed the Accepting Schools Act in June 2012. Now, students in every publicly funded school have the right to form GSAs (without hiding behind euphemistic names).
Changing attitudes and forcing governments to act is perhaps the greatest contribution any journalist can make and Houston’s accomplishment is certainly worthy of the Canadian Newsperson of the Year award.
Bishops prohibit GSAs: http://www.xtra.ca/public/National/Catholic_bishops_prohibit_gaystraight_alliances_in_Ontario_schools-9760.aspx
Students demand GSA: