Child Welfare Workshops for Journalists

Practice Point

Child Welfare Workshops for Journalists

January 10, 2024

JOURNALISTS IN CANADA HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY to join in on a series of workshops that was created through a project called “Spotlight: Child Welfare” and hosted by The Tyee (Independent News).

From the organizers of the series:

Too often, a disproportionately white mainstream media lacks the training, support, and community relationships needed to ensure coverage is anti-racist, trauma-informed, and meaningful to those most affected. Newsrooms lack the capacity for cross-jurisdictional investigative work that engages community members. It takes time to build relationships.

Youth and parents impacted by the system tell us they want nuanced stories that reflect their lived experiences and hold those in power to account.

In this series, you’ll receive guidance from advocates who’ve been through “care” (e.g. foster homes and group homes) and renowned Gitxsan advocate Cindy Blackstock — recipient of the World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child. They’ll talk about their experiences with journalists — the good, the bad and the ugly — and trauma-informed reporting practices. Journalists Melissa Ridgen and Kenneth Jackson will take us behind the scenes of impactful investigations, discussing barriers and ethical considerations.

These workshops are open to journalists across Canada, and the cost is to pay what you can. Funds raised will go toward speaker honorariums and Spotlight: Child Welfare’s ongoing work (e.g. community workshops and collaborative investigations.) Through this series, we aim to build a community of practicing journalists committed to supporting each other.

Spotlight: Child Welfare is a multi-year collaborative journalism project that brings journalists, youth, parents, and advocates together to improve media coverage of the so-called “child welfare” system. The project is hosted by The Tyee, with funding from the Inspirit Foundation, the McConnell Foundation, and the Law Foundation of BC. (Their support does not imply endorsement of or influence over content produced.)

WORKSHOPS (* You need to register for each workshop separately *):

1.) Cindy Blackstock: How journalists can better serve First Nations families
Date and Time: Wednesday, January 17, 2024 | 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST
Speaker: Cindy Blackstock
Link to registration

2.) Journalists panel — behind the scenes of child welfare investigations
Date and Time: Wednesday, January 31, 2024 | 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST
Speakers: Kenneth Jackson (APTN) and Melissa Ridgen (Global News)
Link to registration



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We acknowledge that the land on which we work is the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.