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Derek Stoffel BA'94, BAJ&C'96 Campion - Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement

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In a world where there are so many things vying for our attention I think it’s important that we continue to send journalists into the field to help us better understand the world and our place in it. Headlines are not enough. We need context and depth and one needs to leave a newsroom to deliver that.”

Such coverage comes with the potential for danger. In 2013 Stoffel and another CBC correspondent were detained while reporting on citizen protests in Istanbul that were met by police with tear gas and water cannons. In spite of the risks, Stoffel maintains – as he did at the 2015 James M. Minifie Lecture at the University of Regina – that it is important to provide Canadians with stories that have a Canadian perspective.
“We need to understand who are the Syrians that are being resettled in Canada. We need to know what Canada’s assistance to countries such as Egypt and Jordan is doing to help alleviate poverty. It can be dangerous at times but the less we understand about these places the less we understand about ourselves.”

Before becoming the CBC’s Middle East correspondent in 2011 Stoffel spent more than a decade covering national news in Toronto. He also worked as a reporter and producer for the BBC World Service and has reported from the United States, Europe and Afghanistan. His stories about the fallout from the Arab Spring in Egypt, Syria and Libya have earned national and international awards.
Stoffel says he’s still on a journey of discovery and learning that began at the University of Regina. Most of his classes in political science and then in journalism were small, creating good memories of engaging debates that encouraged critical thinking.
“The University really opened up my mind to challenging my beliefs and to process, question and evaluate my way of looking at the world. In obtaining degrees in political science and then in journalism I remember how most classes were small which allowed me and the other students better access to our professors,” he says.

“It’s an incredible honour to be recognized by the University,” he says. “Sometimes I almost feel I have to pinch myself to see it’s not just one big dream - as I look back at all the amazing events I’ve been witness to and the incredible people I’ve met. To be recognized for this is quite something.”

Living half a world away from home, Stoffel keeps in touch with the University through online alumni updates, through friends who also attended the University and Degrees magazine.

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