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Expand your skills and invest in your career.


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

There are many courses available in BC, across Canada and in the US that have previously been chosen by recipients from photo-journalism courses to writing/editing and digital workshops.  Of course, click here  to research courses on offer from the prestigious Poynter Institute in Florida, many of which are now available online due to COVID-19. Poynter programs. 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 BC 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 BC 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 BC reporter. This fellowship is designed for a BC-born journalist.  However, other fellowships are available for non-BC born candidates.

I’ve been back from Florida for a couple of days now I’m still working on processing what an amazing experience I had at Poynter. I can’t thank you and the Jack Webster Foundation enough for allowing me this amazing opportunity.

Stephanie Ip

2019 Professional Development Fellow

The call for submissions for 2021 Professional Development Fellowships is now closed. Submissions for 2022 will be accepted in January of 2022.


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, self-employed or freelance journalists whose work has been aired or published continuously over a three-year period are eligible for a Jack Webster Foundation fellowship. Applications from BC journalism educators are also welcome.


The Jack Webster Foundation will, for those attending the Poynter Institute, cover the cost of a course, flights, ground transportation 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 complete the following steps:

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 BC-born in order to be considered for the special Poynter fellowship for BC-born journalists.
  • If selected, you will then apply to Poynter for admission into the seminar that you wish to attend. The Poynter website outlines the steps necessary to apply. Your fellowship is subject to receiving admission approval from Poynter.
  • 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 Poynter 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 2021 Professional Development Fellowships is now closed. Submissions for 2022 will be accepted in January of 2022.


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 reserach-based/self-defined opportunities?

All projects will be considered. The fellowship allows BC 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, 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 include my BC birthplace?

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

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


Who has received a JWF Fellowship?

To see which BC journalists have received Jack Webster Foundation fellowships, click here.


Where can I receive answers to specific questions?

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


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

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

Clare Hennig
Freelance Journalist

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