In the spirit of supporting a healthy democracy with a thriving journalistic community, the Lieutenant Governor’s BC Journalism Fellowship encourages the development and support of local journalists in British Columbia. The Fellowship was launched in 2022 as part of celebrations in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, with support from the Government House Foundation.

Administration of the fellowship, including judging of entries, is done in partnership with the Jack Webster Foundation, an organization that fosters and celebrates excellence in journalism to protect the public interest for British Columbians.

Intake for applications for the 2024 Fellowship have now closed. The next recipient will be announced in Summer 2024. For more information, please visit the Jack Webster Foundation website.”

The 2023 Lieutenant Governor’s BC Journalism Fellow

The 2023 Lieutenant Governor’s BC Journalism Fellow is Kim Bolan, an award-winning journalist who has covered gangs in British Columbia for the past 25 years. Bolan was awarded funds to produce a series of articles on the increasing international tentacles of BC gangs and organized crime groups.

“I am honoured to receive this fellowship,” Ms. Bolan said, “and look forward to digging deeper into the reach of local gangs and organized crime groups that operate far beyond our borders. I also hope to explore solutions to the gang violence that has plagued our region for almost two decades.”

Bolan’s five-part series was published in the Vancouver Sun, beginning January 22, 2024 and can be read here: Lethal Exports: B.C. gangsters at the centre of a global drug trade (part 1).

The 2022 Lieutenant Governor’s BC Journalism Fellow

The first recipient of the 2022 Lieutenant Governor’s BC Journalism Fellowship is Francesca Fionda, an experienced investigative and data journalist, journalism instructor and adjunct professor.

Her work Bracing for Disasters, a multi-part series published in The Tyee starting on April 3, 2023, explores the gaps in support for evacuees of climate disasters in British Columbia. Fionda’s series can be read in The Tyee: Bracing for Disasters (part 1).

The Fellowship

It is often the dream of many journalists to have the time and other resources to produce in-depth coverage of important issues. However, budget cutbacks have become a reality for most newsrooms and deep-dive journalism requires significant resources. The Lieutenant Governor’s BC Journalism Fellowship provides funding to journalists so they can invest the time and other resources in producing excellent in-depth coverage of important topics. The objective is to encourage and enable journalists to go above and beyond their typical level of coverage so that many of the crucial challenges we face today are no longer under-reported and receive deep, complex storytelling to better inform the citizens of British Columbia.

Each year, beginning in 2022, for three years, journalists from various stages of their careers (emerging or experienced) will receive a monetary award to research, produce and publish/broadcast their project supported by a committed publishing/broadcast partner. The final product(s) created by fellows may include written content for print and digital, or multimedia such as video or podcasts.

Application and Selection Process

The selection process for the fellowship is open to new, emerging, or returning journalists who have a proven capability to craft a professional level of journalism

The programme will administer up to $75,000 for awards to fellows over three years, with a maximum of $25,000 per year. There will be 2 awards in 2024, including a fellowship amount for an emerging Journalist.

The prospective fellows are expected to develop and submit a detailed, comprehensive, and well researched proposal. In the interest of being inclusive of all British Columbians and accessible to all communities, fellowship applications in other languages will be considered, and should include and amount for translation in the budget application.

Apply on the Jack Webster Foundation page.

The jury is comprised of current and retired journalists and media specialists, in addition to professionals and community leaders with lived experience to evaluate journalistic work.

The jury for 2024 will be:

Susan Danard
Shushma Datt
Pamela Fayerman
Margo Harper
Pauline Rafferty
Suromitra Sanatani
Andy Yan

Read the news release for the Lieutenant Governor’s BC Journalism Fellowship.