Recently retired Legion Magazine staff writer Sharon Adams has been named the 2022 recipient of the Ross Munro Award for outstanding reporting on Canadian defence matters.
Adams was recognized for the expansive and authoritative body of work she compiled on military health, medicine, technology, research and veterans’ issues during her 15-year career at this publication.
“Her work on post-traumatic stress, moral injury, brain injury, suicide, mefloquine and sexual misconduct brought clarity, empathy and authority to the conversations and helped break the silence,” said the citation from the Conference of Defence Associations Institute (CDAI).
A native of Yakh, B.C., her award-winning health- and welfare-related features afforded rank-and-file Canadians a thorough, absorbing and eminently readable accounting of the critical issues facing Canada’s military today.
“Sharon’s writing was deft, with a strong EMPATHY for the unique challenges individuals experiencing given issues face.”
Two of her long-form magazine articles, “Cold comfort” and “Prisoners of war,” were transformed into stand-alone web features that received gold prizes at the Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPA). Adams won a National Magazine Award for her work on PTSD in 2014 and recently earned another top prize at COPA.
Without “the generosity and trust of the many veterans and serving CAF members who bravely shared their stories,” Adams said it would be impossible to share their important narratives. “To them I owe my thanks, and this award.”
“Sharon’s writing was deft, with a strong empathy for the unique challenges individuals experiencing given issues face,” said Legion Magazine editor Aaron Kylie. “Journalists devoted to the wellness beat are few in Canada. Military health reporters rarer still. Indeed, Sharon was likely the country’s only journalist so devoted to the topic.”
Adams retired on Dec. 22, 50 years after she was hired by Ross Munro himself at the Edmonton Journal.
She is the third Legion Magazine staffer to receive the award. Stephen J. Thorne, then a reporter for The Canadian Press, was the first recipient in 2002 and the late Adam Day received it in 2012, both for reporting out of Afghanistan.
Named for the lead correspondent of The Canadian Press in Europe during the Second World War, the Ross Munro Award is presented by the CDAI, a defence and security think tank. It recognizes Canadians whose writing or imagery demonstrates “professional excellence and objectivity in coverage of national defence and security issues, providing insight, analysis or examination of the context.”