Tyee reaches fellowship goal: time for journos to apply

TyeeFundraising for the Tyee‘s
Fellowships for investigative and solutions reporting brought in over
$14,000 from people who want to see stories about issues affecting
British Columbia. Have an idea for a story? Anyone can apply until
September 30.

You don’t have to be a B.C. resident, although preference will be given to Canadian applicants.

In an article on the Tyee, editor David Beers writes (reprinted in full):

We are again inviting applications for Tyee Fellowships in Investigative or Solutions Reporting. The fellowships are $5,000 each, and go to independent journalists wanting to report a series of articles that educate citizens about important issues in British Columbia.

Entries for this round are due Sept. 30, 2010. They will be judged by an independent advisory board who will share only the winning entries with Tyee editors. Winners will be announced Nov. 30, 2010. The resulting series — each one consisting of three or more articles of at least 1,000 words each — will be published on The Tyee, and made available to other publications, pending approval by the authors.

A reader-powered initiative

The Tyee Fellowships for Investigative and Solutions Reporting are largely funded by our readers, who in the past month gave $14,906 in donations for the funds, exceeding our minimal goal of $10,000 by nearly 50 per cent. So, a very big thanks!! to the generous Tyee community, who proved their belief in independent journalism by funding this initiative.

In the process of giving, many of those readers shared their wishes for in-depth coverage they’d like to see more of in The Tyee. The top area was environmental issues, followed by local/provincial politics; privatization of essential services, education and social justice.

We were gratified to read quotes like these sent by readers along with their donations:

“Thanks for the stories you research and bring us. You are needed.”

“Media strongly tend to focus on problems, scandals, tragedies etc. that may leave us feeling frustrated and wanting to throw up our hands in despair. I like the idea that you want to look for stories of people working successfully on issues that are in some way relevant to our daily lives.”

As a result of our readers’ generosity, and because we had some money already in reserve, we are able to offer four fellowships this time around.

Aim high

It’s no cake walk to win a Tyee Reporting Fellowship. You don’t have to be a trained or practicing journalist, but you need be able to demonstrate that you can do rigorous, in-depth journalism. If you wish to incorporate multimedia, including video, audio and photographs, that is great but not required. Solid writing and reporting skills are a must. Some of Canada’s most experienced journalists have received Fellowships in the past. So have young people starting out. The quality of your application is what will set it apart from the rest, as judged by our blue-ribbon panel of journalism professors who arrive at their decision at complete arm’s length from the Tyee editorial team.

Click here for more information on the Funds and how to apply.

We look forward to being able to publish more work of the calibre of our previous fellowship projects. Previous Tyee reader-funded series have broken major stories, empowered citizens, and won national awards. Examples:

A highly influential news-breaking investigative series by Chris Wood: “Rough Weather Ahead: How global warming will hit BC.

A solutions series praised by Aboriginal leaders and widely read, by Sandra Shields: “Reconciling with First Nations: How the ‘New Relationship’ is faring in the Fraser Valley.

A wildly popular and vigorously debated solutions series by writer and activist Dave Olsen: “No Fares! Time for a free ride on public transit.

Public school teacher Nick Smith’s journey to seek out the best education minds and report on “Teaching that Inspires.

Amanda Euringer’s empowering series “Toxic Work: Know Your Rights,” a finalist this year for a National Magazine Award.

David Tracey’s far-ranging coverage of the urban farming revolution in B.C. and Chris Cannon’s guide to saving the planet with a new sharing economy.

And there’s one more Tyee Reporting Fellowship recipient’s series to come later this summer.

Donations still welcome

By the way, although our formal fundraising drive is over, we accept donations to the Tyee Investigative and Reporting Fellowships Funds on an ongoing basis. If you’d like to learn more about the funds, click here. To make a tax-deductible contribution now, please visit this page for donation information.