$1.5 million donation for UBC’s Global Reporting Program

Generous grants from Mindset Social Innovation Foundation, The Giustra Foundation, and the Angus Reid Institute totalling $1.5 million will afford 250 students over the next ten years the opportunity to study, practice and advance global reporting, and produce impactful works of journalism in partnership with major media organizations.

Kassidie Cornell reports on a new curriculum in Kenya for students with physical and intellectual disabilitiesMindset Foundation is a two-time supporter of UBC’s commitment to educate and train future global journalists. The foundation’s generous support made the first ten years of the International Reporting Program (IRP) possible, and they have renewed their commitment to support a further ten years of its successor, the Global Reporting Program.

“It was a high-impact donation, with an impressive outcome of highly-recognized works that helped to affect policy change in environmental, health and human rights areas,” said Mindset Foundation founder and CEO Alison Lawton. “It was one of the most rewarding and significant donations I have made to date. Mindset is delighted to fund another ten years of the expanded iteration of the program, and looks forward to equally high-impact results.”

“The current pandemic crisis has underscored how globally connected we are,” said Professor Peter Klein, who founded and runs the program at the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media. “These generous donations will allow students all over the world to delve deep into complex global issues, with the goal of impacting discussions and policies on topics that are often ignored by the media.”

“As our world becomes more complex and dangerously polarized and we face truly global challenges – pandemics, climate change and inequality – quality journalism that seeks to foster greater understanding of international issues is increasingly important. For this reason, The Giustra Foundation is proud to provide substantial support for the GRP,” said Frank Giustra.

Producing impactful journalism

Each year, the University of British Columbia’s Global Reporting Program (GRP) offers up to 25 select students from journalism, policy and academic departments at UBC and partner universities the opportunity to study a global issue for one term, do field reporting together, and spend a subsequent term working collaboratively to create impactful works of multilingual journalism.

Abi Hayward reports on the fishmeal industry in West Africa.jpgThe work of the 2019 cohort on the hidden costs of the global fishmeal industry won the Digital Publishing Award gold prize for best digital editorial package, as well as the Emerge Media Award’s best multimedia production. The NBC segments and multimedia online story were the work of fellows from UBC, University of Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia, and Nanjing University, in China.

Dr. Angus Reid, Chairman and founder of the Angus Reid Institute, says the rigor, depth, and quality of the GRP’s reporting projects were a crucial factor in his decision to support this program. “Now, more than ever, journalists are needed to bear witness to seismic events gripping the world,” said Reid.

UBC and the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media are truly grateful for the trust and support of Frank Giustra, Alison Lawton, and Dr. Angus Reid. “Your donations will help to provide students with on-the-ground experiences and necessary skills to tell impactful stories that shape our collective awareness and move the needle to a more just society,” said Faculty of Arts Dean Gage Averill.

The GRP grew out of the successful International Reporting Program (IRP) at the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media, which launched in 2009 with a $1 million grant from Alison Lawton and Mindset Foundation. Over a decade the IRP fellows have created an extensive body of work that has won top awards from professional journalism organizations, including an Emmy for Best Investigation, several Murrow awards, the Sigma Delta Chi, the Online Journalism Award, and the Webby honour.

In this new iteration of the program, journalism and policy graduate students from UBC are joined by graduate students from partner universities worldwide to form cross-cultural, cross-linguistic, multi-disciplinary teams.

Guided by faculty members at UBC and partner institutions, the teams do fieldwork in each other’s countries to produce collaborative journalism projects on a complex global issue. This new approach brings broader perspectives and increased depth to the reporting and the resulting works of journalism.