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Toronto Star freelancer wins CAJ award

Christine Adong named her son Marc Ellison after the photojournalist, right. (Marc Ellison/Toronto Star)

Congrats to Toronto Star freelancer Marc Ellison for winning a CAJ award for his "The Girls of War" feature.

The piece appeared in the Star's Childhood Interrupted series last May. The CAJ/CNW Group Student Award of Excellence "recognizes excellence in the field of journalism at the student level," according the CAJ's website.

The Vancouver-based photojournalist's feature looked at how Uganda’s female child soldiers struggle to reintegrate into society. Videos and photos accompanied the story.

In the summer of 2011, Ellison interviewed 40 formerly abducted women in Uganda about their post-abduction difficulties. As part of the project, he gave some of the women cameras to allow them to document their own stories.

"Winning the CAJ award was honestly a huge surprise to me. At a time when foreign bureaus are closing due to operational costs, it's often challenging to convince media outlets to carry freelanced international stories," Ellison wrote in an email. "You also have to battle the public's 'why should I care?' attitude towards articles covering issues in faraway lands."

His research was funded by an International Development Research Centre award. It can be found at www.dwogpaco.com.

Ellison returned to Uganda in July 2012, and wrote a follow-up piece for the Star about how the women were doing.

Ellison is currently a part-time Masters of Journalism candidate at Carleton University. More about Ellison can be found here.





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