James (Jimmy) Thomson is a Vancouver-based freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Globe and Mail, VICE, the Toronto Star, National Geographic, BCBusiness Magazine, The Tyee, Canadian Geographic, CTV, and CBC Radio. He is currently the web editor and producer for the Hakai Institute, a coastal science research institute in British Columbia, and an editor at the humour magazine the Syrup Trap.
He has reported from eight countries – six of them in the Arctic – on topics ranging from climate change to war refugees to cannibal rat-infested ghost ships. He has gathered audio from a Coast Salish sweat lodge, photos of a Syrian prosthetics workshop, and video of crab fishing on the Russian border. In the pursuit of a good story he has slept on converted Russian spy ships, Chinese farmers’ plank beds, and in a tent under the midnight sun. He has surfed, swam, and scuba dived in the Arctic, his work has been translated into French and Russian, and he played a minor role in finding John Franklin’s lost ships, for which he received the Erebus Medal.
James’s graduate studies were supported by a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and he is a recipient of the 2014 Norwegian High North Journalism Award as well as the Susan M. Boyce Graduate Scholarship in Journalism for his dedication to “preserving the value and integrity of the written word,” and a 2014 International Development Research Council journalism award.
Recently he won a Sigma Delta Chi Award from the American Society of Professional Journalists, an Edward Murrow Regional Award from the RTDNA, an Online Media award from the Canadian Association of Journalists, and a Canadian Online Journalism Award for his parts – the introduction and a section on food scandals – in “China’s Generation Green.”
James has participated in Canada’s only Indigenous Reporting program and UBC’s International Reporting Program, and launched two publications with varying degrees of success: WORST, which was featured on CBC’s The National, J-source.com, and others, but alas did not make it to official launch, and Mandalit, a brand new experiment in ephemeral fiction publishing.
James can be contacted at jameswsthomson (at) gmail, or on twitter @j_ws_t.