Craig credits her illustrious career as an investigative journalist with her start at The Gauntlet where she covered student union politics, dinner theatre, “movie reviews . . . anything that was thrown at me,” she writes. “It’s hard to explain, but I knew from the time I wrote my first story that this was what I wanted to do. I just fell in love with reporting.”
For a moment, let’s step back to 3 p.m. on Monday, April 15, 2019, in the Times newsroom. Everyone had gathered, the place was jammed and Craig, who had known since March that her team was a finalist, was standing nervously with friends and her brother, who had flown in from Hong Kong. Oh yes, her best friend from Toronto was also there, having come down to the Big Apple to whoop it up on Craig’s birthday the day before.
“Well,” she writes, “3 p.m. came and went and the winners weren’t announced. Dean Baquet, the executive editor, is on the podium waiting to hear who at the Times had won so he could begin his remarks. Nothing. Minutes went by; it seemed like forever. Then the winners were finally read out. And I heard my name and the news our story had won. It was truly amazing. Everyone just started cheering.”
After Baquet’s remarks. Craig took to the mic to thank Barstow and Buettner and “the amazing group of people who stood with us for 18 long, often difficult, months as we moved the story to the press. This project certainly had its moments. Today, I am glad we are bound together by what we achieved.”
And, in the spirit of all classic investigative journalists (think Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein), Craig ended her speech by saluting her sources: “I wish they could stand here today with us. Some took great risk to get us the information we needed to expose the truth — and, as people in power work to hide the truth, sources become even more important to what we do. They deserve safe harbour and to know they are in good hands.
“I am thankful for ours and share this prize with them today.”
This wouldn’t be Craig’s final accolade of 2019. Closer to home, she received an honorary degree from UCalgary at June Convocation.
Craig maintains that newsrooms, maintains that newsrooms need reporters to be watchdogs to those in power, now more than ever.
“Journalism and journalists are crucial to a healthy democracy. That is a truism,” she writes. “But, when you have politicians hell-bent on making the truth look false and then trying to make their lies appear like the truth, voters need reporters there to set the record straight and sort it all out. The press is hardly perfect, but there are a lot of hard-working reporters who are trying to get it right and I am thankful for that.”