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The Tyee Names Jane Armstrong Its New Editor-in-Chief

Veteran Canadian journalist set to steer 'the best newsroom in British Columbia.'

Tyee Staff 22 Sep

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Jane Armstrong: New big fish at The Tyee has covered politics in BC, Toronto, Afghanistan and Moscow.

The new editor-in-chief of The Tyee is the experienced, highly decorated Canadian journalist Jane Armstrong. She will take over the day-to-day running of the editorial side of The Tyee as it deepens its coverage of British Columbia, broadens its reach with a new Parliament Hill reporter and grows its base of readers, including the Builders who help fund its journalism.

"It's a privilege to join The Tyee as the new editor-in-chief," says Armstrong. "It's the best newsroom in British Columbia and I look forward to working with its talented writers, editors and designers."

She adds: "The Tyee has shown there's a demand for independent, progressive journalism in Canada. It created a voice for working people and has consistently shone a light on public institutions and industries that have long been given a free pass from other media.

"I intend to carry on that tradition of hard news reporting, while at the same time, working to attract a new generation of Tyee readers in B.C. and beyond."

Armstrong brings to the role a wealth of experience. Her nearly three decades in journalism include covering city hall for the Toronto Star; and, for the Globe and Mail, tours of duty in B.C., Afghanistan and Moscow, where she was bureau chief. Among her many honours: a Michener-Deacon Fellowship in 2011 that enabled Armstrong to spend seven weeks in Kabul and Kandahar examining Canada's foreign aid legacy in Afghanistan, reporting that resulted in a series published by the National Post.

In 2010, Armstrong joined Open File, a multi-city experiment that invited readers to suggest story ideas to be pursued by reporters, her work garnering a Canadian Online Publishing Award. Open File is no longer publishing but the experience cemented Armstrong's conviction that the Internet remains the vital arena for independent journalism. This year she completed a master's degree in digital enterprise at the School of Journalism at King's College in Halifax.

Coming home

Armstrong views her new job as a homecoming, and the natural next step in her career. "I am thrilled to return to British Columbia," she says. "I spent nine years here as a national correspondent, travelling to every corner of the province. It's a region rich with stories and lively, varied voices. I look forward to once again talking to British Columbians about the issues that matter to them."

"We are very happy that Jane Armstrong now will be guiding The Tyee's newsroom," says Tyee founding editor David Beers, who helped lead the hiring process that attracted applications by journalists from not only many top news media organizations in Canada, but those as distant as New York and India. "In the end, Jane was the clear preference because of her smart, tough news sense, vast experience covering politics and social issues, thoughtful creativity in person, and the fact that everyone we spoke to who'd worked with her gave glowing recommendations."

Beers moves to a new role with a new title: executive editor. His primary focus will be expanding The Tyee's impact by seeking editorial partnerships and new financial opportunities. "In the fast-changing landscape of Canadian news media, The Tyee, entering its twelfth year, is no longer the new kid," says Beers. "Having proven ourselves, the time is right to seek new investment, new projects, new ways to collaborate with citizens and organizations to keep reinventing how journalism is done. That's a challenge I relish."

Armstrong agrees opportunities beckon. "As an online publication, The Tyee has an opportunity to introduce new forms of digital storytelling. In the coming months, expect to see more multimedia elements on The Tyee's website, tablet and mobile applications." She settles into her new seat on Oct. 20.  [Tyee]

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