Brian Beaton Annual Prize in Journalism for Justice

The NB Media Co-op is pleased to announce the Brian Beaton Annual Prize in Journalism for Justice. The prize will be awarded annually to celebrate and promote thoughtful coverage of stories in New Brunswick that serve social justice. The prize aims to inspire journalists to challenge power when covering stories on the unceded territories of the Wolasoqiyik, Mi’kmaq and Peskotomuhkati. 

The recipient of the inaugural Brian Beaton Annual Prize in Journalism for Justice is Abram Lutes. This year’s prize is $500.00. 

Watch the video of Brian Beaton introducing the annual prize here.

Who is Brian Beaton? 

A proud dad and grandfather, Brian Beaton volunteers as a writer and events calendar coordinator with the NB Media Co-op. Brian was raised on a seven-generation family dairy farm in the Ottawa Valley where he learned to respect and care for the land and all life. The value of community solidarity was an integral part of his upbringing contributing to his strong belief in social justice for all. For decades, Brian worked with many Indigenous communities in northern Ontario. At the Keewaytinook Okimakanak First Nations Council, he and the K-Net team developed a broadband telecommunications network, a telehealth service, an Internet high school, and a cell phone service, all owned and operated by remote First Nation communities.

In 2013, Brian moved to the Wolastoq territory from Sioux Lookout and quickly became a fixture at social justice events in Fredericton, actively supporting Indigenous and labour struggles in particular. Brian completed his Master’s in Critical Studies in Education at the University of New Brunswick, with a thesis on decolonizing and indigenizing training in remote First Nations, working with elders, colleagues and students at the Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre. During his time at UNB, he became active with the Union of Graduate Student Workers (UGSW – PSAC Local 60550). He also contributed to many studies and initiatives with the UNB RAVEN (Rural Action and Voices for the Environment) project. A staunch champion and cheerleader for the NB Media Co-op, Brian encourages journalists wanting to expose and eradicate oppression in all its forms and to make New Brunswick a better place for everyone.

Brian passed away on October 2, 2021 following a long illness. His spirit lives on!

Criteria and eligibility:

Entries for the Brian Beaton prize must be a feature article covering critical social, economic, environmental or labour stories in New Brunswick from an anti-oppressive lens that confronts colonialism and capitalism. 

Entries about defending the land and culture, workers’ rights and feminism will especially be considered. 

Entries must uphold the journalistic principle of serving the public interest. 

Entries must be about a subject occurring in or affecting New Brunswick. 

Entries must exhibit a high quality of research, writing and commitment to explaining the structures and ideologies affecting people’s lives. 

Entries must be published originally in the NB Media Co-op and not published elsewhere first. Entries published in other media outlets after originally being published in the NB Media Co-op are eligible. 

This year’s prize will be awarded for a story published sometime during the 12 years of NB Media Co-op’s existence. In 2022 and beyond, entries will have been published one year before the NB Media Co-op’s Annual General Meeting in September.

The NB Media Co-op Awards Committee, composed of NB Media Co-op board members and other members, will determine if an entry meets the eligibility criteria, judge qualified entries and pick the prize winner.  

Entries by a member of the NB Media Co-op Board of Directors, NB Media Co-op Editorial Board or NB Media Co-op Awards Committee are not eligible.

How to apply:

The inaugural 2021 Brian Beaton Annual Prize in Journalism for Justice will be selected by the NB Media Co-op Awards Committee. To provide feedback to the committee on which story should be selected, email

Nominations for future prizes, in 2022 and beyond, can be sent to the NB Media Co-op before August 1 of that year. Entries can be submitted to the NB Media Co-op Awards Committee at

Information to include in your nomination letter: 

  • Your name and contact information. 
  • The title of the entry and the journalist’s name being nominated. 
  • Reasons for nominating the story for the prize. 

For more information: 

Email the NB Media Co-op at:

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