Dannielle Piper – 2021

By Dannielle Piper

2021 CJF-CBC Black Women’s Journalism Fellow

The year 2021 was the first time that the Canadian Journalism Foundation launched the Black Journalism Fellowship.

I, along with two equally talented young black women, were chosen from a pool of applicants from across Canada to be the first three recipients. For six months, I worked in a newsroom, networked with various professionals and received career mentorship from other journalists in the field. It was the game-changer for me and my career, and the jumpstart I needed to define my goals, network with the right people and receive the mentorship that I deserved.

During my time at the Canadian Broadcast Corporation, I chose to spend five weeks each with five different departments. I worked with the What On Earth podcast and radio Show, the investigative units in both Toronto and Vancouver, and the social media and the entertainment and education teams.

I was able to pitch, create and collaborate on original, integrative and innovative journalism that focused on a diverse array of individuals. One piece that I am undeniably proud of includes my story on the history of the KKK in B.C., their effects on the Black community, and the continuance of hate crimes in the province.

Another piece focused on the future of online learning, the new and innovative technologies and strategies being created throughout Canada and their benefits to students who lived in remote communities, had anxiety disorders or who were working full time to provide for families while studying.

Both pieces represent the explorative journalism that I wish to continue pursuing. To ask questions that no one else seemed to be asking and to find answers that no one else had found before. It’s the type of journalism that I’m attracted to and the type of journalism I intend to continue doing.

Lastly, I am so indescribably grateful for the teams that I worked with and the supervisors that I was able to work under. Special thanks to Manusha Janakiram, Fiona Hopewell, Jim Williamson, Irene Thomaidis, Arti Patel and of course, my mentor Kat McMorrow for a truly indelible experience. Without their guidance and support, I would not have been able to shape and execute my ideas, develop my skills and contribute to CBC’s coverage of local and national issues.

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