Veteran journalist Bob Johnstone, producer of CBC radio’s syndicated column “Today in History,” was honoured November 23, 1998 in Toronto with the 1998 Pierre Berton Award for distinguished achievement in popularizing Canadian history.
Johnston, the fifth recipient of the award since its inception in 1994, began producing the daily three-minute segments for radio in the early 1980s on an occasional basis, but they proved so popular with listeners that by the mid-1980s they were instituted as a regular feature on CBC.
Each segment examines a historic event for the calendar day, marrying quirky, humorous, infamous, or little-known events from history to Johnstone’s casual, engaging storytelling manner. Heard by hundreds of thousands of Canadians daily, the vignettes in Today In History have also been collected in a book of the same title.
Johnstone joined CBC radio news in 1974 after reporting stints for the Toronto Telegram, Canadian Press, and the Toronto Star. He has been a cohost of CBC’s The Fifth Estate as well as a political commentator and radio news instructor.
The Society received twenty-five nominations for the 1998 award, including writers, filmmakers, academics, publications, institutions and organizations. The award was presented to Johnstone by Pierre Berton in the Glenn Gould Studio at the CBC Broadcast Centre in Toronto.
More Berton recipients
Author of nineteen books, recognized for his major contributions in documenting Canadian corporate and business history in an accessible way.
CBC Radio journalist — Bob Johnstone, honoured for his “Today in History,” radio vignettes.
The CRB Foundation won for producing its popular Heritage Minutes series, the 60-second mini-movies highlighting Canada's past, seen in theatres and on French and English television. Now known as the Historica Minutes.
Jacques Lacoursière is a prolific and renowned French-Canadian author and historian who is to Québec, what Pierre Berton is to English Canada.
James H. Gray, now deceased, was a well-known chronicler of Western Canadian history and author of such popular and accessible books as Red Lights on the Prairies, The Boy from Winnipeg and Booze.