Fellowships for Professionals

APPLICATIONS FOR 2023 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FELLOWSHIPS ARE NO LONGER BEING ACCEPTED, however click here to see more about the 2023 recipients and scroll down below.

Be ready to apply, next time, in January of 2024 and until then review what you need to do and what you can apply for, for next year.

Expand your skills and invest in your career

The Jack Webster Foundation offers eligible B.C. journalists and journalism educators the opportunity to attend a course for short-term professional development or to create a self-defined fellowship for research or enhancement of skills.

There are many on-line or in-person courses available in B.C., across Canada and in the U.S. that have previously been chosen by recipients from photo-journalism courses to writing/editing and digital workshops.  Click here  to research courses on offer from the prestigious Poynter Institute in Florida, many of which are now available online for easy access. Also keep checking the Poynter site as new courses are announced from time to time.

Of course, you may also request funding for other courses or research.

Since the program’s inception in 2001 numerous B.C. journalists have received fellowship funding from the Jack Webster Foundation. Journalists have attended Poynter courses such as the Summit on Reporting and Editing, TV Reporting Academy and the Leadership Academy. Others have created their own programs or attended specialized journalism courses. From an investigative camp at the Missouri School of Journalism to research for a documentary, the Jack Webster Foundation welcomes applications that assist B.C. journalists in pursuing professional development.

Each year, one of the fellowships awarded will be presented in the name of the late Don Matheson, a former B.C. reporter. This fellowship is designed for a B.C.-born journalist.  However, other fellowships are available for non-B.C. born candidates.


A British Columbia news journalist that is a resident and/or a full time employee or correspondent for a B.C. print, broadcast or an online news organization is eligible to apply. Also, eligible are self-employed or freelance journalists whose work has been aired or published continuously over a three-year period. Applications from B.C. journalism educators are also welcome.


Choose to apply for either a short-term course to enhance your skills, or for a research-based/self directed fellowship under the section “How to Apply” below.


The Jack Webster Foundation will, for those attending the Poynter Institute or other institutions, cover the cost of a course, and if travel is necessary will cover the cost of flights, ground transportation, baggage and accommodation with the total amount subject to final approval by the Foundation. The recipient will cover his or her own personal costs including food, etc. For those requesting funding for self-defined fellowship, please submit a detailed budget.


The Jack Webster Foundation announces the recipients in March of each year. Recipients will have until the end of February of the year following the announcement of their award to complete their fellowships, though recipients may request an extension.


Please read below how to prepare for and complete the following steps to apply for funding to take a short-term course for professional development or apply for a self-defined professional development program.


Step 1
Fill out the online application form here

Step 2
Attach the following entry requirements in your application form:

 A current resume

 A letter from your employer supporting the application and confirming your availability to participate

 A statement or essay of 250-500 words (maximum) describing your daily duties, the relevance of the seminar to your job, your goals for the seminar and how you will apply the training back in your newsroom.

Step 3
Click submit form and wait for confirmation.


  • Please indicate on the application form if you are B.C.-born in order to be considered for the special fellowship for BC-born journalists.
  • Should the deadline for application or the actual date of the course you wish to take fall before the Foundation fellowships are announced in March (so courses with dates of Jan.,Feb. or March), and if you take the course/are accepted, you may still apply for a fellowship and if you are chosen, funds will be reimbursed to you, after the fact, for the following: airfare, hotel, transfers from home to airport, airport to course location and return, any baggage fees, and the course fee. Copies of receipts must be submitted in order to be reimbursed for these costs.


Please complete the following steps:

Step 1
Fill out the online application form here and indicate if you are applying for a research-based or skills enhancement fellowship. Fill out the online application form.

Step 2
Attach the following entry requirements in your application form:

 A current resume

 A letter from your employer supporting the application and confirming your availability to participate

 Two reference letters

 A project outline (up to four pages) which includes:

  • purpose, timing
  • details of the project or special courses/studies to be undertaken
  • output including future use of the material, benefits to applicant, media and community
  • budget, including a breakdown of your expenses such as travel, course fees, etc.

Step 3
Click submit form and wait for confirmation.


The call for submissions for 2024 Professional Development Fellowships will open in January of 2024.


How is the successful applicant chosen?

The selection committee comprises members of the Board of the Jack Webster Foundation who will consider each application based upon its merits. For research-based/self-defined applications the committee considers the tangible outcomes, the timeliness of the subject matter, the degree to which public knowledge and understanding of issues is advanced and the efficient use of funds.

What kinds of projects will be considered as research-based/self-defined opportunities?

All projects will be considered. The fellowship allows B.C. journalists to create self-defined opportunities to upgrade or acquire new knowledge or skills. For example, you may apply to an educational institution and acquire knowledge in a specific area, such as law, health, business, or economics or may create a self-defined opportunity to learn more about a specific current issue. Alternatively, the journalist may upgrade his/her skills to meet rapidly evolving technologies or may request funding for an approved special project journalism story/feature.

How will the successful applicant receive the funds?

The Jack Webster Foundation will enter into an arrangement with the successful applicant to provide the funds in a manner consistent with the applicant’s project. For example, if the successful applicant is attending Poynter or another institution, the Jack Webster Foundation will either pay the tuition to the organization directly or reimburse the fellowship recipient. All other eligible costs will be reimbursed upon providing receipts to the Jack Webster Foundation.

Please note that a report of the successful applicant’s fellowship experience is required.

What other organizations have recipients attended besides the Poynter Institute?

Interest has been expressed in the Missouri School of Journalism seminars, investigative reporters and editors’ seminars and for courses at the Banff Centre. The Jack Webster Foundation welcomes applications to attend any organization offering short term professional development.

Why do I have to indicate where I was born?

The Jack Webster Foundation was fortunate to be the recipient of funds from the late Don Matheson, a B.C. reporter. The bequest stipulates that the recipient be B.C.-born.

This B.C.-born requirement applies to only one of the fellowships offered. If you are not B.C. born, you are still eligible to apply as other fellowships are available each year.

Who has received a JWF Fellowship?

To see which B.C. journalists have received Jack Webster Foundation fellowships over the past few years, see below.

Where can I receive answers to specific questions?

Janet Mitchell
Executive Director
Jack Webster Foundation
T. 604-603-4218
[email protected]


To read more about the 2023 recipients, click here.

Tamara Baluja, of Vancouver B.C. First Person Producer CBC News

Ms. Baluja’s funding will help fund her Master’s in Creative Nonfiction at the University of King’s College, Nova Scotia.

Alistair Taylor of Campbell River, B.C.
Editor, Campbell River Mirror

Mr. Taylor has enrolled in the Stylistic Editing course offered through Simon Fraser University.

Tallulah, of Vancouver B.C. Freelance Photojournalist / Documentary Photographer Presented by the Estate of Don Matheson

Tallulah is pursuing a self-defined fellowship that will assist her further studies of documentary filmmaking at UNBC.


Nora O’Malley of Ucluelet B.C.
Reporter, Photojournalist, The Westerly News

Ms. O’Malley will take part in the Poynter Institute’s course, Will Work for Impact:  Fundamentals of Investigative Journalism.

Shalu Mehta of Victoria, B.C.
Lead Reporter, The Discourse

Ms. Mehta’s Fellowship will afford her the opportunity to take part in the Poynter Institute’s course, Lead with Influence.
(Photo Credit:  Philp McLachlan)

Janis Cleugh, of Coquitlam B.C.
Reporter/Copy Editor/Paginator, Certified Professional Proofreader,
Tri-City News

Ms. Cleugh’s Fellowship will see her taking part in the Poynter Institute’s course, Writing Online Headlines: SEO and Beyond.


Francesca Fionda
Investigative Journalist

Ms. Fionda’s Fellowship affords her the opportunity to take part in the IRE (Investigative Reporters & Editors) Online Data Bootcamp for Educators.  Ms. Fionda’s Fellowship is in the name of the late B.C. reporter, Don Matheson, whose estate endowed professional development awards for B.C. born journalists.

Manusha Janakiram
Senior Producer
What on Earth, CBC Radio One

Ms. Janakiram’s Fellowship will contribute to the cost of her Graduate Certificate in Values Based Leadership from Royal Roads University in Victoria, B.C.

Jennifer Leask
Instructor, Langara & Adjunct Professor, University of British Columbia

Ms. Leask’s Fellowship will also see her taking part in the IRE (Investigative Reporters & Editors) Online Data Bootcamp for Educators.

Ethan Morneau
Vista Radio

Mr. Morneau will take part in the Poynter Institute for Media Studies online seminar Will Work for Impact:  Fundamentals of Investigative Journalism.

Moira Wyton, Health Reporter, The Tyee
Moira Wyton
Health Reporter
The Tyee

Ms. Wyton will take part in McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences course Epidemiology 101 for Journalists.


Mike Hager
Mike Hager
The Globe and Mail

Mr. Hager will attend the prestigious Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg Florida where he will take the course, Summit for Reporters and Editors.

Stefan Labbé
Digital Reporter
Tri-City News

Mr. Labbé will also attend the Poynter Institute to take the course Summit for Reporters and Editors. Mr. Labbe’s fellowship is in the name of the late B.C. reporter, Don Matheson, whose estate endowed professional development awards for B.C. born journalists.

Clare Hennig
Freelance Journalist

Ms. Hennig is the recipient of a self-defined fellowship in order to further study video journalism.


Your support today makes a big difference and will help us continue the Jack Webster Foundation and celebrate excellence in journalism to protect the public interest for British Columbians.

Your donations go to support Student Journalism Awards, Professional Development Fellowships, free Masterclasses for journalists, journalism educators and students, and to support the costs of funding the annual Webster Awards.

As the Jack Webster Foundation is a registered Canadian charity, tax receipts will be issued for donations of $20 or more. Should you wish to make your donation by cheque, please contact us by sending an email at [email protected].