Two Canadian journalists named International Development Reporting Fellows

OTTAWA, Dec. 8, 2016 /CNW/ - Two Canadian journalists are headed to Africa and Asia, to cover critical health and environmental issues facing the developing world.

Aga Khan Foundation Canada and the Canadian Association of Journalists are pleased to announce that Fellowships for International Development Reporting have been awarded to freelance journalist Frédérick Lavoie and Toronto Star reporter Jennifer Yang.

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

Lavoie will travel throughout Bangladesh in a project profiling Bangladeshis from diverse walks of life. He will explore the complex development issues they face, and how those issues link back to an essential element: water. His reporting will be published by Le Devoir.

Yang's project for the Toronto Star will explore efforts to fight Rh disease in the developing world. Rh disease kills an estimated 100,000 infants each year, but is virtually unknown in wealthy countries thanks to its eradication decades ago by a team of Canadian researchers. She will work in partnership with the Global Reporting Centre.

"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 Jennifer and Frédérick produce."

An independent selection committee, chaired by Taylor-Vaisey, chose the fellows. The jury included Jane Armstrong, CBC; Anyck Béraud, Radio-Canada; Pierre St-Arnaud, La Presse Canadienne; 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."

The fellows have one year to complete their projects.

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 non‐profit 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 nearly 500 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 Manager, AKFC, 1-800-267-2532 ext. 107, rosemary@akfc.ca; Nick Taylor-Vaisey, President, CAJ, 647-968-2393 (cell), nick@caj.ca

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