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Bermudian journalism pioneer Ernest Tucker to be inducted into CBC Hall of Fame

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A Bermudian journalist who broke racial barriers in Bermuda and overseas is to be inducted into the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Hall of Fame next month.

Ernest Tucker, the first black reporter at The Royal Gazette, who died last year aged 87, will join a select group of just six other journalists who have been honoured by CBC.

Ernest Tucker at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Photograph courtesy of the CBC)

Susan Marjetti, the general manager of news, current affairs and local at Canada’s national broadcaster, said he was considered to be the organisation’s first black reporter.

She added: “The CBC News Hall of Fame was established to honour individuals who have demonstrated a lasting impact on the CBC and Canadian journalism.

“It is a chance for CBC News to embrace and celebrate the legacy and the individuals who have helped define us.

Pioneering writer: The Royal Gazette's first black reporter, the late Ernest Tucker, who later joined the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, is to be inducted into the CBC Hall of Fame (Photograph by Meredith Ebbin)

“Quite simply, Ernest Tucker made a difference in a lot of people’s lives at CBC.”

Nominations from CBC staff for Mr Tucker included: “ … a trailblazer who helped pave the way for many others to follow in his footsteps.”

Another said: “One of the greatest mentors that I’ve had and taught me that one of the most vital skills when working in journalism and the news is to be a good listener.”

One reporter added: “As a black journalist at CBC who has unfortunately encountered some racist attitudes that are slowly changing, I simply cannot imagine what Ernest had to endure … He is a perfect candidate for our Hall of Fame.”

Mr Tucker worked for the Bermuda Recorder in the 1950s and later at The Royal Gazette, at first as a freelance, but later in a staff role for about two years.

He was snapped up by the Toronto Telegram after an article he wrote in The Royal Gazette caught the eye of an editor and he worked there for a short period before he joined CBC in Toronto in 1961.

He later moved to CBC’s Montreal office and took up a teaching position at nearby John Abbott College, where he taught for 36 years.

He retired from CBC in the mid-1990s and from his teaching post in 2008.

Mr Tucker, who was educated at the Berkeley Institute, was also the first black graduate of the journalism course at Toronto’s Ryerson University.

He attended the Berkeley Institute until he was 14, when he moved to Toronto with his older brother.

He finished high school in the city and graduated from Ryerson in 1954.

Mr Tucker will join CBC’s giants at a ceremony on December 15, with Mr Tucker’s children, Rebecca, Jasmin and Julien joining in the virtual ceremony.

The veteran journalist was interviewed in 2018 by Meredith Ebbin, also a distinguished journalist and a distant cousin of Mr Tucker’s, for an article in The Royal Gazette.

Ms Ebbin said after Mr Tucker’s death last January: “I am pleased that he gave me the opportunity to interview him and that The Royal Gazette agreed to run the article.

“It means there is a record of his achievements in the country of his birth and in the newspaper where he got his start.”

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Published November 17, 2020 at 10:00 pm (Updated November 17, 2020 at 9:58 pm)

Bermudian journalism pioneer Ernest Tucker to be inducted into CBC Hall of Fame

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