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Independent Advisory Board

Journalists will be invited to submit proposals for an Investigative or Solutions Fellowship to research and produce a series of articles. A blue ribbon, independent advisory board will select winning entrants. The resulting journalism will be published first on The Tyee, but will be available for publication elsewhere, the findings rippling out well beyond The Tyee’s readership.

The advisory board, to operate at arm’s length from Tyee editors, comprises UBC Journalism Professor Mary Lynn Young, Langara Journalism Professor Ross Howard and nationally recognized journalist Vivian Smith.


Mary Lynn Young is director of the British Columbia graduate School of Journalism. She completed her PhD at the University of Toronto in 2005. Dr. Young was a reporter and editor for almost a decade at newspapers in Canada and the United States, including The Globe and Mail, The Vancouver Sun, The Hamilton Spectator, and The Houston Post. Dr. Young's research interests include sociology of the newsroom, media representations of the economy and crime, gender issues and media credibility. She is also an award-winning university educator, a public speaker on current media and policy issues, and a media commentator.

Ross Howard is an award-winning Canadian journalist who has worked in newspapers, radio and television for three decades. He formerly was assignment editor for Vancouver Television News (now CTV); prior to that he was for 15 years a National Correspondent for The Globe and Mail newspaper, spent a decade as a reporter with The Toronto Star, was a government speech-writer, Director of Alumni Affairs for his alma mater York University, and started his career reporting for the Toronto Telegram in 1970. Among his journalism kudos are a National Newspaper Award for political reporting; a Governor-General’s Conservation Award for environmental reporting; and a Canadian Association of Journalists Award for Investigative Reporting. He also teaches journalism at Langara College and is president of Media & Democracy Group, which specializes in journalism development in conflict-stressed countries and emerging democracies. He has recently conducted journalism training missions in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Cambodia, Rwanda and Burundi and is author/editor of several studies and books on journalism development, for organizations including IMPACS, International Media Support, Panos Paris, UNESCO and Search for Common Ground.

Vivian Smith is a nationally-known journalist, newsroom coach, teacher and communication consultant based in Victoria, B.C. She began her career at the St. Catharines Standard, then spent 14 years in various posts at the Globe and Mail in Toronto. Smith held many posts in The Globe's newsroom, advancing to become National Beats Editor. She wrote the paper's Family column, produced special reports for the news and business departments, was front-page features editor in Report On Business, and, as a reporter, covered social trends, consumer issues, business profiles and general assignment news. While National Beats Editor, Smith also headed coverage for Toronto, served on the management committee and was a founding member of its Women's Readership Committee. As National Edition Editor, she toured Canada to talk to community, business and political leaders about the paper's national vision. Smith, who has an MA in journalism, has taught students at four Canadian universities. She also coaches reporters and editors in newsrooms, as well as at conference seminars, and is now a PhD candidate at the University of Victoria, and the associate editor of Boulevard magazine.