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Investigative Journalism Bureau begins Black Journalism Fellowship

Fellowship aims to “make space for a range of voices and experiences”
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ANDREA ZHAO/THE VARSITY
ANDREA ZHAO/THE VARSITY

With the help of several sponsors, U of T’s Investigative Journalism Bureau (IJB) has partnered with the Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) to create the Black Journalism Fellowship, which will provide Black journalists with the opportunity to contribute a series of articles on “topics of critical public importance.”

The IJB is part of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and brings people from across journalism and academic organisations to work on investigative journalism stories. 

This is the fourth fellowship that the CJF has created to support Black journalists in collaboration with other organizations. The collaboration with the IJB intends to bring Black journalists to the IJB to work for six months on an ongoing investigative journalism project with the guidance of experienced bureau editors and senior reporters. CJF has also partnered with organizations such as CBC and CTV News to provide other types of fellowship opportunities. 

One Black journalist with one to 10 years of prior experience will be chosen to write, produce, and contribute to an article or series during the period of their fellowship at the IJB. In an email to The Varsity, Natalie Turvey, the CJF’s president and executive director, confirmed that “freelance or contract work over a calendar year” counts toward the years of experience required to apply. The CJF-IJB fellow will receive a full-time stipend for their work. 

Turvey wrote in an email to The Varsity that the partnership with the IJB is meant to “develop emerging investigative talent and make space for a range of voices and experiences from Canada’s diverse communities.” 

The fellowship is sponsored by several organizations, including Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector union, and the Jay and Barbara Hennick Family Foundation, a Canadian centre for promoting joint business and law scholarship and education. 

When asked why the fellowship is supported by these particular sponsors, Turvey responded, “Both Unifor and The Jay and Barbara Hennick Family Foundation saw the value in supporting this fellowship opportunity to foster the next generation of Black investigative journalists.”

Turvey wrote that the fellowships are being offered “as a way to ensure that the perspectives and experiences of Black Canadians are reflected in Canada’s major media and represent the populations they serve.”

Applications will be accepted until January 14, and the applicant chosen to receive the fellowship will be recognized at the CJF Awards in June.