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Top names of Canada's journalistic fraternity and some corporate sponsors turned out last night to honour former CBC-TV news anchor Knowlton Nash and to officially launch a journalism prize in his name.

The Nash Prize, an annual award of $25,000, has been established by the Canadian Journalism Foundation to improve "the knowledge and depth of expertise of working journalists" in Canada.

Mr. Nash, 73, said yesterday he was honoured and grateful for the establishment of the award, especially one that puts emphasis on improving the quality of Canadian journalism.

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"We're in the knowledge business, and the deeper knowledge we have the better off we're all going to be," he said, adding that he has long believed that journalists in mid-career need to pause, reflect and study away from the hurly-burly of daily journalism.

CBC documentary producer Mark Starowicz will lead a jury of journalists and respected Canadians to assess proposals of applicants.

Last night, at an inaugural $300-a-plate black-tie dinner at the University of Toronto's Hart House, Mr. Starowicz said the annual award is "investment in the future and in the integrity of Canadian journalism and a tribute to one of its architects."

The journalism foundation is already raising money for an endowment.

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