The 2024 Lieutenant Governor’s BC Journalism Fellow: Michele Brunoro

In the spirit of supporting a healthy democracy with a thriving journalistic community, the 2024 recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s B.C. Journalism Fellowship is Michele Brunoro, an award-winning senior reporter and anchor for CTV News Vancouver.

The Lieutenant Governor’s B.C. Journalism Fellowship is supported by the Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, with the support of the Government House Foundation and in partnership with the Jack Webster Foundation.

The fellowship was offered and designed to afford a working journalist the opportunity to develop a well substantiated, long-form piece of journalism to shed light on a subject of importance to British Columbians. The first fellowship was awarded to Francesca Fionda, who produced a multi-part series for The Tyee about displacement due to climate disasters in the province. Last year, the fellowship supported the work of Kim Bolan, who published a series of articles on the increasing international tentacles of B.C. gangs and organized crime groups.

Brunoro has been awarded funding to produce online stories, in addition to a TV broadcast pieces, focusing on human trafficking in British Columbia. Brunoro is committed to investigating and sharing these important stories to raise public awareness and give a voice to victims, inform the public and help prevent further exploitation. The project, to be completed in early 2025, includes exploring victim backgrounds, the effectiveness of laws in B.C., preventive efforts and the work of British Columbians to help victims in other parts of the world. She hopes to speak with both Canadian and foreign victims and provide a B.C. perspective on sex tourism.

“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to dig more deeply into a complex and often hidden crime where the voices of victims are rarely heard,” Brunoro said. “The trade in human beings is a global crisis – and the connection to B.C. is a story that needs to be told.”

Ethan Faber, news director at CTV News Vancouver said: “In her almost 25 years of award-winning reporting at CTV News, Michele Brunoro has firmly established herself as one of Canada’s most accomplished investigative journalists. Among her many talents is a remarkable ability to build relationships with marginalized people based on mutual trust and respect, and these relationships take time. That’s why we couldn’t be more proud to support Michele’s work as this year’s recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s B.C. Journalism Fellowship. Deep and meaningful journalism is foundational to a healthy democracy and this fellowship offers a tremendous opportunity to make a difference.”

The Honourable Janet Austin said: “It is with great sincerity that I congratulate Michele Brunoro on being selected as the third B.C. Journalism fellow. The work of the previous fellows has proven the importance of giving the proper space for a story to unfold, and Ms. Brunoro’s proposal deserves the same opportunity for similar comprehensive storytelling. It is my hope that awareness and exposure of these challenging aspects of our society can lead to change for the better.”

Shachi Kurl, board chair, Jack Webster Foundation, said: “Democracy’s strength relies on its ability to speak truth to power, demand accountability and force change for good. Ms. Brunoro has spent a career as a journalist doing just this. Her next project could not happen without this partnership between the Jack Webster Foundation, Government House Foundation and the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. The lieutenant governor’s unwavering support and championship will once again this year help ensure the darker corners of our society are subject to the probing light of investigative journalism.”

The Lieutenant Governor’s B.C. Journalism Fellowship was initially committed to delivering the annual award for three years: 2022, 2023, and 2024. However, in response to the outstanding work of previous fellows, the fellowship has been extended for a fourth year, with generous additional funding provided by the Government House Foundation.

Details regarding eligibility and requirements for applications for next year’s fellowship can be found here. Application intake for 2025 will begin starting in early 2025 with the recipient(s) being announced in spring or summer of 2025.