By Kiernan Green
By Kiernan Green
2022-23 CJF Black Journalism Fellowship Final Report
Prior to this fellowship, I spent a year working as a regional reporter in Victoria, B.C. The experience I had in B.C.’s capital was vital for my growth as a journalist. But in spite of my gratitude for that position and its team, and given some of what we were told about the state of journalism industry in school, I was anxious that the chance had passed me by to be a part of the nationally and globally focused journalism which I had had in mind to do when I graduated TMU’s School of Journalism a year prior.
The opportunity for a six-month fellowship in collaboration with CBC Toronto allowed me exactly that chance. During this time, I worked in four of my true reporting interests: with both the business and the investigative news units, on the What On Earth podcast on climate change, and with the CBC’s chief political correspondent at Rosemary Barton Live. I’m proud to have gained skills pitching original stories, writing complex topics and producing interviews for the eye and the ear (some samples of which are included below). I made close connections and colleagues with journalists at the top of their game across these beats; heard them discuss considerations and competing angles of story coverage and learned what they watch and read in the news cycle to feed their perspective. Each of these instances has already proven valuable beyond measure. After, and thanks in great part to, this CJF fellowship, I’ll be taking another six-month fellowship position with The Canadian Press (thankful to again be focused in print, this time at the national level), but am already keeping in close touch with the people I’ve met at the CBC — particularly in the business unit, the Toronto local news unit and Ottawa’s parliamentary bureau.
There are two distinctive aspects of the CJF’s fellowship that I think deserve special mention. They are the fellowships’ designation for Black journalists and sponsor stipend. After a year, I found Victoria B.C. to be an incredibly, practically intentionally, non-diverse Canadian city. I know the same can be said of several cities outside of Canada’s provincial metropolitan centres. Most (myself especially) would like to live in a country where opportunities specifically for Black Canadians aren’t necessary or are out of mode. But I think it’s worth mention that, personally, the CJF’s opportunities specifically for Black journalists gave me the confidence and encouragement to initially form my application for and to eventually benefit from this opportunity. Even within the CBC, I’ve found that Black Canadians (Black men in particular) are massively under-represented among full time staff: Not including the group at our orientation, which was specifically intended to introduce us to BIPOC employees at the CBC, I met just one Black male producer at the CBC during my six months. Additionally, the CJF’s generous stipend, which is well above the starting rate for newer reporters, gave me a genuine sense of security the past six months. Not only for my personal life (with the ability to live comfortably while saving a significant amount for the future) but for the viability of my career in journalism, as someone who’d like to one day own a home, start a family and retire reasonably. These aspects of the CJF’s fellowship are two that I sincerely hope another young, Black journalist can benefit from in the future as I have unquestionably over the past six months.
“How Somalia’s drought has put the squeeze Somali-Canadian remittance spending.” CBC’s What On Earth climate podcast. Jan. 29, 2023.
“LinkedIn experiment changed job prospects for millions — and it raises red flags: privacy experts.” CBC Business. Oct. 23, 2022.
“The pandemic changed how we work. Now, mothers want it to stay that way.” CBC Business. Oct. 10, 2022.
Details on the 2022 CJF Black Journalism Fellowship Program.
THANKS TO THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF FOUNDING SPONSOR:
|77 Bloor St. West, Suite 600, Toronto, ON M5S 1M2|
|Charitable Registration No. 132489212RR0001|
Founded in 1990, The Canadian Journalism Foundation promotes, celebrates and facilitates excellence in journalism. The foundation runs a prestigious awards and fellowships program featuring an industry gala where news leaders…
Ⓒ2022 The Canadian Journalism Foundation. All Rights Reserved.
powered by codepxl