Second-year UBC School of Journalism student Emily McCarty is the inaugural recipient of the Uncharted Journalism Fund, a new initiative funding independent journalism in British Columbia.
McCarty received the $3,000 grant for her proposal to produce a documentary on the isolation felt in the transgender and gender non-conforming communities living in the Yukon.
“Transgender issues are being covered more and more but we rarely hear from the isolated communities in Canada’s North,” said McCarty.
“The people in the Yukon are eager to share their stories. It’s extremely courageous for them to put themselves on film and this just illustrates how important they see the issue that needs to be shared.”
The documentary sets to explore the migration trend that sees transgender Yukoners move away from their jobs and communities to cities like Vancouver that offer more educated healthcare staff and have a larger transgender community.
‘Bold and uncharted’
Phillip Smith, who initiated the idea for the Uncharted Journalism Fund and is one of the trustees, said that McCarty’s project was chosen from 49 applicants.
The Uncharted Journalism Fund was set up last year to provide financial support for journalism projects that are experimental either in their reporting practices, storytelling forms, distribution methods, or approaching an important story from a new, novel, or untried perspective.
The fund is created, run and current funded by 10 trustees, made up of journalists, editors, documentary filmmakers and media entrepreneurs from the Vancouver area. McCarty is the first to receive the grant. The group plans to finance three more projects this year.
UBC alumnus Mike Lakusiak and second-year student Lauren Kaljur were also among the seven projects shortlisted.
The next round of applications for the Uncharted Journalism fund opens on January 31.