Farm Radio announces new gender equality award in memory of Liz Hughes

It is with great sadness Farm Radio International is saying goodbye to board member Liz Hughes.

Liz died of complications due to breast cancer in May of 2018. It was her second time fighting the disease.

An incredibly active and supportive board member for Farm Radio International, Liz brought a wealth of experience with her from her work as a reporter, producer, executive and senior manager at CBC News, where she was a much admired colleague, friend and leader.

At the CBC she spearheaded programs such as Canada Now, developing cutting edge mobile first technology, and was also known as a strong mentor to fellow journalists and leaders.

With Farm Radio, Liz brought that expertise to her work on the board.

“Beyond being a very pleasant, uplifting, and enjoyable person to work with, Liz brought great and much-valued insights to the governance of Farm Radio,” says Executive Director Kevin Perkins.

“Her deep knowledge and experience in broadcasting, management, and global cooperation were a great asset to our work, and her energy and commitment seemed bottomless. Her loss has been felt by all of my colleagues at Farm Radio.”

Liz’s time on the board was well-appreciated, helping Farm Radio promote better journalism through our work with broadcasters.

“Liz was not only bright and talented, but a ‘doer’,” says Doug Ward, chair of Farm Radio’s board.

“At one board meeting I mentioned that we needed clear, concise set of journalist standards that African farm broadcasters could use to improve the quality of their programs. ‘I’ll take that’ said Liz, and a few months later she submitted a draft of the F.A.I.R. journalistic standards that we share and teach everywhere in Africa.”

The F.A.I.R. standards, which stand for Fairness and Balance, Accuracy, Integrity and Respect, promote journalistic standards that farm radio broadcasters can use to ensuring their programs earn the trust of their listeners and present all sides of an issue.

Liz was also a champion of gender equality through her work with Farm Radio. As a result, it is with pride Farm Radio International is planning a new award for broadcasters in Liz’s honour: the Liz Hughes Award for Her Farm Radio.

The award will be offered annually to a broadcaster or radio production team in Africa that produces and broadcasts an outstanding radio program addressing the issue of gender equality and that creates opportunity for rural women’s voices to be amplified.

Through this award, we hope to continue Liz’s legacy in supporting broadcasters of all levels.

Liz is survived by her husband, Doug Rushton, and her children Lauren, 35 and Sam, 29 and her beloved grandson, Max.

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