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Graphic stories, graphic novels: Photojournalist Marc Ellison on pushing the boundaries of digital storytelling

September 22, 2015

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Listen to this podcast, featuring Marc and other journalists who are using graphic novels for non-fiction reporting: Are comics breaking into the mainstream for journalism?

Marc Ellison:

Marc Ellison is an award-winning journalist based in Glasgow, Scotland. Currently Marc is a data journalist for the BBC, and a freelance photojournalist. He has produced multimedia work from Canada, Mali, Mozambique, South Sudan, Uganda, and the United Kingdom.

Marc has a diverse background with a BA (Hons.) in History, an MSc in Computer Science, and a Masters of Journalism from Carleton University. With this unique skill-set, Marc bridges the disciplines of journalism and IT, and is passionate about building online databases, coding webscrapers, and using freedom of information laws to access data sets.

His other journalism experience includes work for 60 Minutes, Al Jazeera English, BBC, The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, The Vancouver Sun, CBC, The Guardian, VICE magazine, MTV Canada, Canadian Geographic, IDRC, Uganda’s Mega FM, South Sudan’s The New Nation, OpenFile Ottawa and Vancouver, The Ottawa Citizen, and The Vancouver Observer.

Marc won a Canadian Association of Journalists award for his work with female Ugandan child soldiers, the inaugural Canadian Open Data Innovation Award for his ‘Lobby Watch’ series in the Toronto Star, an IDRC Award for International Journalism, the Martin Newland Award for Print Reporting, and the World Bank’s 2013 Picture Inequality photo competition.

In 2015, he became one of the inaugural recipients of the Fellowship for International Development Reporting, supported by Aga Khan Foundation Canada and the Canadian Association of Journalists, to report on child marriage in Tanzania for The Toronto Star.

He has covered a broad range of topics: the reintegration of female child soldiers in Uganda; bed bugs in social housing; refugees in South Sudan; missing First Nations women in Canada; the prostitution highway in Mozambique; reality radio shows in Mali; gay rights; crisis mapping; mining; child soldiers living in Canada; African cyber-crime; crime; municipal and federal elections; education in Indian schools; and even burlesque dancing.

Aga Khan Foundation Canada:

Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) is a non-profit international development agency, working in Asia and Africa to find sustainable solutions to the complex problems causing global poverty. AKFC concentrates on a small number of specific development challenges in health, education, rural development and civil society. In Canada, AKFC raises funds, builds partnerships with Canadian institutions, and promotes discussion and learning on international development issues. Established in 1980, AKFC is a registered Canadian charity and an agency of the worldwide Aga Khan Development Network.

To help Canadians develop a greater understanding of complex global issues, AKFC works to promote informed, in-depth media coverage of the developing world.

AKFC regularly hosts events on topics of media and development with a range of audiences across the country, and works with individual journalists to support reporting on international development. The Young Professionals in Media fellowship launches the careers of young Canadian journalists, through eight-month reporting placements with Nation Media Group, East Africa’s leading media house. For more experienced journalists, AKFC collaborates with the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) to manage and support the Fellowship for International Development Reporting. This program provides journalists with $25,000 in funding to undertake reporting projects on developing world issues.

In partnership with Humber College – Lakeshore Campus.

Undertaken with the financial support of:


September 22, 2015
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Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat
199 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1N 1K6 Canada