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New Round of Tyee Fellowships

Journalists invited to apply for $5000 grants.

By David Beers 12 Oct 2007 | TheTyee.ca

David Beers is founding editor of The Tyee.

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Tyee editor David Beers.

Last year our readers made it possible to launch an experiment in supporting independent journalism, one that attracted international attention and yielded groundbreaking articles.

We are again inviting applications for Tyee Fellowships in Investigative or Solutions Reporting. The fellowships are $5000 each, and go to independent journalists wanting to report a series of articles that educate citizens about important issues in British Columbia.

Entries for this round are due Dec. 19, 2007. They will be judged by an independent advisory board who will share only the winning entries with Tyee editors. Winners will be announced Jan. 31, 2008. The resulting series -- each one consisting of three or more articles of at least 1000 words each -- will be published on The Tyee, and made available to other publications, pending approval by the authors.

Click here for more information on the Funds and how to apply.

The Tyee Fellowships for Investigative and Solutions Reporting are largely funded by our readers, who last year gave over $21,000 in charitable deductible donations. What seemed to help spur that giving was a generous pledge by the Endswell Foundation to match the first $15,000 donated, dollar for dollar. This year we are seeking a similar matching arrangement with a philanthropic donor, and plan to launch a new fundraising drive in the near future. In the meantime, journalists are invited to apply and can be assured up to four new fellowships will be awarded in January.

We look forward to being able to publish more work of the calibre of our first fellowship projects, which have included:

Rough Weather Ahead: How global warming will hit BC. Veteran science writer Chris Wood not only explained why we should brace for a flood-increasing whipsaw of heavier snows and deeper droughts, he broke major news that the Fraser River dikes weren't capable of holding back predicted flow levels. His story led the TV news in B.C. that day.

Reconciling with First Nations: How the 'New Relationship' is faring in the Fraser Valley. Author Sandra Shields respectfully documented in-depth the efforts to forge a better understanding between aboriginals and non-natives in her community, focusing on schooling, timber harvesting, and treaty-making. The series was linked to from the BC Treaty Commission's web page as emblematic of the kind of journalism needed to help bring about reconciliation.

No Fares! Time for a free ride on public transit. Transit activist, consultant and writer Dave Olsen made a detailed case for eliminating fares on public transit, citing success stories in Washington State, Belgium and elsewhere. The series attracted so much attention it crashed The Tyee site, and gleaned tens of thousands more readers when it was picked up on the U.S. Alternet.org site.

Soon to be published: Rhiannon Coppin's investigative series on an international legal tangle centred on a B.C. mining firm.

And then, let us hope, a new round of important journalism helping British Columbians better understand the issues, and possibilities, we face together. Independent journalists with energy, vision and a dedication to the craft, please consider applying for a Tyee Fellowship.

And if you'd like to make a tax-deductible contribution now to the funds, please visit this page for donation information: http://thetyee.ca/About/Donate.  [Tyee]

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