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 2023 Fellowship are now closed.

The 2023 Lieutenant Governor’s BC Journalism Fellow

The 2023 recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s BC Journalism Fellowship is Kim Bolan, an experienced and award-winning journalist who has covered gangs in British Columbia for the past 25 years. Bolan has been awarded funds to produce a series of articles on the increasing international tentacles of BC gangs and organized crime groups. Building on her years of experience covering gangs at home, Bolan will travel to some of the places these organized crime groups have expanded, and she will examine the effectiveness of Canada’s efforts to tackle organized crime.

“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 work is slated to be published in the Vancouver Sun/Post Media in early 2024.

“Postmedia is dedicated to ambitious journalism exploring issues most critical to BC. This project by investigative reporter Kim Bolan will examine the global reach of the province’s criminal organizations and why it can be difficult to put gang leaders behind bars here at home,” said Harold Munro, Editor-in-Chief of the Vancouver Sun/The Province. “I’m grateful for the Lieutenant Governor’s continued support of the critical role played by local journalism in our democracy and constructive civic engagement.”

The 2022 Lieutenant Governor BC Journalism Fellow

The first recipient of the 2022 Lieutenant Governor’s BC Journalism Fellowship was Francesca Fionda, an experienced and award-winning 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, explored the gaps in support for evacuees of climate disasters in British Columbia. Read Bracing for Disasters and learn more about her process here.

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 1-2 awards of $5,000-$25,000 each of the 3 years.

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.

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 2023 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.