Apr 12, 2021

Vancouver, BC – The Jack Webster Foundation has named Langara College Journalism instructor Jennifer Leask as one of five recipients of a Professional Development Fellowship for 2021.

“I am so excited to try new things in the classroom to help budding journalists uncover new angles and write engaging stories with impact. The support of the Jack Webster Foundation means that we are able to bring new, high quality data journalism teaching techniques to Langara students.

“Understanding numbers, and the people and stories behind them, has never been more important. When data is paired with a solutions journalism approach, the reporting uncovers both what the story is, and what the public can do about it to improve things."

Jennifer will attend the Solutions Journalism Educators Academy at the University of Oregon, whose faculty includes some of the leading voices in academic research on solutions journalism. She will work in a cohort of journalism instructors from across North America to learn how to use Solutions techniques in the classroom.

The Academy covers teaching the four qualities; framing, sourcing and finding solutions stories; advocacy, rigor and impostors; community engagement and interviewing; story structure; creating learning goals and objectives; and refining assignments and instructional activities.

Jennifer Leask is a part-time instructor at Langara’s Journalism School. She started her public broadcasting career in Regina as a radio news reporter and went on to work producing television news and current affairs in in Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver. Later, she was one of the first multi-media journalists in the Vancouver bureau, piloting the network’s first “citizen journalism” initiative, and writing for online platforms while also producing stories for radio and television.

As a network news and current affairs producer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, she specialized in field production and special programming (The National), investigative consumer affairs and health reporting (Marketplace), as well as breaking news and  feature interviews (News Now with Ian Hanomansing.) She has produced stories from locations across Canada and the US.

Jennifer left the CBC to pursue an academic career and completed a Master of Arts in Communication and Technology at the University of Alberta. Her MA capstone project explored data journalism education in Canada.

Her research interests include an exploration of types of collaborative journalism, shifting journalism norms and how those values are taught in the classroom, as well as solutions-based journalism. She also volunteers as a Member-At-Large of the Executive Committee of J-Schools Canada, where she is working on projects that will bring more equity, diversity and inclusion to journalism schools across the country. 

About Langara College
Located in beautiful Vancouver, B.C., Canada, snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College provides University, Career, and Continuing Studies education to more than 23,000 students annually. With more than 1,700 courses and 130 programs, Langara’s expansive academic breadth and depth allows students of all ages, backgrounds, and life stages to choose their own educational path. Langara is also known as snəw̓eyəɬ leləm 'house of teachings', a name given to it by Musqueam, on whose unceded traditional territory the College is located.

Learn more.
Mark Dawson
Manager, Public Affairs
Langara College