Hi! Thanks for checking me out.
I’m a freelance journalist and deputy editor at The Narwhal, based in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. I have reported from nine countries – including seven in the Arctic – on topics ranging from climate change to war refugees to a budding Chinese environmental movement.
I have 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 I’ve slept on converted Russian spy ships, Chinese farmers’ plank beds, and in a tent under the midnight sun. I’ve surfed, swum, and scuba dived in the Arctic, my work has been translated into Chinese, French, Russian, Inuktitut, Chipewyan, Slavey, and Gwich’in, (and, once, a nationally syndicated comic strip) and I was a member of two of the most significant Canadian Arctic expeditions in recent years: on the search for John Franklin’s lost ships, for which I received the Erebus Medal, and the Canada C3 expedition, a Canada 150 signature initiative.
My writing is mostly for print, radio, television and online stories, but in February 2017 I had a neuroanatomy paper accepted by the Journal of Comparative Neurology and a film screened at the Dead North Film Festival. I contributed to The Canadaland Guide to Canada, a “nausea-inducing” #1 Globe and Mail/Amazon/Toronto Star bestselling book published in Spring 2017 by Simon and Schuster. My drone video work will be included in the upcoming English/Bush Cree/South Slavey/Chipewyan film adaptation of the graphic novel Three Feathers. I have also been on the other side of the microphone, interviewed by the BBC as well as CBC’s The National, and been a guest on several CBC Radio shows about various work.
Find my work in
The Globe and Mail
The Toronto Star
Canadian Institutes of Health Research Communications Grant ($35,000)
2014 Norwegian High North Journalism Award
Susan M. Boyce Graduate Scholarship in Journalism
2014 International Development Research Council journalism grant ($10,000), declined
Sigma Delta Chi Award from the American Society of Professional Journalists
Edward Murrow Regional Award
Online Media award from the Canadian Association of Journalists
Canadian Online Publishing Award
Co-recipient of Bert Cannings Award for Best TV Newscast – Small Market from RTDNA
I participated in Canada’s only Indigenous Reporting program and the Global Reporting Centre’s International Reporting Program, as well Canada C3, a coast-to-coast-to-coast expedition to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary and discuss the ongoing issues of colonialism. I launched Mandalit, an experiment in ephemeral fiction publishing, and was the interim editor-in-chief at the humour magazine the Syrup Trap.
Send me story ideas, interview requests and
rage-filled tirades constructive criticism at jameswsthomson (at) gmail (dot) com, or on twitter @jwsthomson