UBC Journalism alumni Jodie Martinson has won a $15,000 bursary to report on the musical past of slaves who fled to Canada in the mid-1800s.
The Gordon Sinclair Roving Reporter Bursary was announced June 2 at the annual meeting of the Gordon Sinclair Foundation.
Martinson will accompany gospel singer Khari McClelland as he traces the journey of his great-great-great grandmother, Kizzy, who escaped slavery into Canada in the mid-1800s. She will join McClelland in the studio as his award-winning gospel trio, The Sojourners, re-interpret the old songs of escaped slaves.
“Khari wants to understand Kizzy’s world,” Martinson said, who plans to produce radio and television documentaries on his journey.
“The incredible risks Kizzy took to escape slavery inspire Khari to make his life count in a way that honours her memory.”
Martinson, who graduated from UBC Journalism in 2010, is an award-winning journalist and documentary maker. Her films have screened on CBC, PBS Frontline World, the Knowledge Network, and on local PBS stations in the US. Her radio documentaries have aired on CBC Radio’s The Current and Tapestry. Among her awards are an Emmy for Best Investigation and a Leo Award for Best Short Documentary (TV hour).
The Roving Reporter Bursary was created in memory of Gordon Sinclair, who made his name reporting for the Toronto Star in the 1930s. It is aimed at supporting a major research and reporting trip by an early career Canadian journalist who recently graduated from one of Canada’s university-level journalism programs.
Senior editors at the Toronto Star and the CBC will mentor Martinson as she gears up for her reporting trip and then to consider their work for publication or broadcast.