From Liberia to Kenya to the tiny island nation of Kiribati, three journalists will spread out across the globe this year to bring the world’s stories home to Canadians.
Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) and the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) are pleased to announce that Shannon Gormley of the Ottawa Citizen, Kayla Hounsell of CTV, and freelance journalist Marc-André Sabourin have been awarded the Fellowship for International Development Reporting.
They will each receive $25,000 to cover stories in the developing world.
“As an independent journalist, funding a story in a developing country is often difficult. By solving the financial side of the equation, the Fellowship for International Development Reporting allows me to focus on the main topic: the story,” says Sabourin.
He will explore a model of low-cost private education in Kenya, and its impacts on the quality of schooling for poor communities. His reporting will appear in L’actualité.
Gormley will travel to Kiribati to report on the intersection of migration and international law for populations affected by climate change. Her project will be published by the Ottawa Citizen.
“Newsroom budgets may be shrinking, but foreign reporting can’t get squeezed out. The world is too small to ignore our neighbours,” says Gormley. “Maybe that’s partly why my work focuses on the movement of people: migration is the great metaphor for how events in one part of the world eventually make their way to other places.”
Hounsell’s project for CTV’s W5 will look at the long-term impacts of the Ebola outbreak. She will report from Liberia, a country that lost more lives than any other West African nation.
“I think Canadians will be surprised to see how this developing country fights to come back from the rapid loss of 4,800 souls that devastated virtually every sector. My hope is that we will learn from their resilience,” says Hounsell.
The fellows were selected by an independent committee, chaired by Nick Taylor-Vaisey, president of the CAJ. Sitting on the jury were: Anyck Béraud, Radio-Canada; Jean-Thomas Léveillé, La Presse; Stephen Puddicombe, CBC; Rachel Pulfer, Journalists for Human Rights; and Robert Steiner, Munk School of Global Affairs.
The fellows have one year to complete their projects. The next round of applications will open in June 2016, with an autumn deadline for submissions.