Three Canadian journalists named International Development Reporting Fellows

OTTAWA, Feb. 1, 2016 /CNW/ – From Liberia to Kenya, and all the way to the tiny island nation of Kiribati, three Canadian journalists are about to spread out across the globe to bring the world's stories home to Canadians.

Aga Khan Foundation Canada and the Canadian Association of Journalists are pleased to announce that this year's Fellowships for International Development Reporting will be awarded to freelance journalist and Ottawa Citizen columnist Shannon Gormley, CTV's Kayla Hounsell, and freelance journalist Marc-André Sabourin.

They will each receive $25,000 to report from the developing world.

Gormley will travel to Kiribati to report on the intersection of migration and international law for populations affected by climate change. Her reporting will be published by the Ottawa Citizen.

Hounsell's project for CTV's W5 will look at the long-term impacts of the Ebola outbreak. She will report from Liberia, a country that lost more lives than any other West African nation, with nearly 5,000 deaths.

Sabourin will explore a model of low-cost private education in Kenya, and its impacts on the quality of schooling for poor communities. His reporting will appear in L'actualité.

"These important stories will give Canadians a deeper understanding of pressing issues in places where we don't often find Canadian correspondents," said CAJ President Nick Taylor-Vaisey. "The CAJ applauds AKFC's solid commitment to ambitious, global journalism, and we can't wait to see what Shannon, Kayla, and Marc-André produce."

An independent selection committee, chaired by Taylor-Vaisey, chose the fellows. The jury included Anyck Béraud, Radio-Canada; Jean-Thomas Léveillé, La Presse; Stephen Puddicombe, CBC; Rachel Pulfer, Journalists for Human Rights; and Robert Steiner, Munk School of Global Affairs.

"The developing world is evolving at a rapid pace, and journalists play an important role in making sense of the complex dynamics at work," said Khalil Z. Shariff, AKFC's chief executive officer. "This program invests in journalists who want to tell stories that illuminate the process of global development for Canadians."

In 2015, the inaugural fellowships were awarded to Marc Ellison, whose project on child marriage in Tanzania is currently under development for the Toronto Star, and Mellissa Fung, who reported on post-NATO development in Afghanistan for Global News.

The fellows have one year to complete their projects. The next round of applications will open in June 2016, with an autumn deadline for submissions.

The fellowship offers recipients $25,000 to undertake a substantial reporting project which helps Canadians develop a greater understanding of the complex issues facing the developing world. Fellows are encouraged to engage in ambitious foreign reporting during an era of tighter news budgets and be a part of fostering a community of Canadian journalists who share an interest in reporting original topics from the developing world.

The CAJ leads the fellowship selection committee, and contributes to the strategic direction of the program. Administration and funding for the program are provided by AKFC with additional funding from the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada.

AKFC is a nonprofit international development agency, working in Asia and Africa to find sustainable solutions to the complex problems causing global poverty. Established in 1980, AKFC is a registered Canadian charity and an agency of the worldwide Aga Khan Development Network.

The CAJ is Canada's largest national professional organization for journalists from all media, representing more than 600 members across the country. The CAJ's primary roles are to provide high-quality professional development for its members and public-interest advocacy.

SOURCE Canadian Association of Journalists

For further information: Rosemary Quipp, Public affairs officer, AKFC, 1-800-267-2532 ext. 107,; Nick Taylor-Vaisey, CAJ president, 647-968-2393 (cell),


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