Elmina Atkinson (aka Madge Merton) was a crusading journalist and the wife of Joseph E. Atkinson, publisher and founder of what would become the Toronto Star.

Mrs. J.E. Atkinson, participates in the first commercial trans-Atlantic telephone call from The Star building in 1927. She met Joseph E. Atkinson during his stint at The Globe. At the time she was Elmina Elliott but she wrote under the pen name Madge Merton. They married in

Elmina Atkinson 

The Elmina (Elliott) Atkinson Award

Awarded annually to a prospective or current female journalism student who has demonstrated a proven interest in social justice reporting.

Elmina S. (Elliott) Atkinson was a crusading journalist and wife of legendary Toronto Star publisher Joseph E. Atkinson. Her career included work at the former Saturday Night magazine and the Toronto Globe, which would become the Globe and Mail, and where she met her husband to be, according to the Toronto Star.

Writing for the Toronto Daily Star, under the pen name Madge Merton from 1900 to 1909 Elmina used her voice to campaign for the rights of women and children.

“We don’t like to see how the poor live, how their babies pine and die, how the mothers grow gaunt and hollow-eyed from care and work, and from lack of food and rest,” she wrote.

This award was initiated through financial support from the Atkinson Foundation, supported by Elmina’s descendants and is held at the Toronto Foundation.

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