Hi! I’m Jimmy Thomson, a Victoria, BC-based journalist and journalism teacher working in print, audio and video, and specializing in stories about how communities interact with their environments. 

Here are some of my favourite things I’ve written: 

Salt Spring Island’s duelling crises — Capital Daily
The frontline of conservation: how Indigenous guardians are reinforcing sovereignty and science on their lands — The Narwhal
Grizzlies at the Table — BESIDE Magazine

A career highlight is a three-part investigation of the abuse of at-sea observers, which led to a change in national fisheries policy.

I can be reached at jameswsthomson [at] gmail [dot] com, or on twitter. My work is archived on my Authory page

Get in touch if you want to hire me or send me story tips or just because.

For complaints about my work, or to tell me climate change is a hoax, please write your message down, fold it up very small, and use it to prop up a wobbly table at a bar. Don’t forget to tip your server.

A video I made about Nooks Lindell, an Inuk who struggled with his identity until he discovered art.

I have also been on the other side of the microphone, interviewed by the BBC, TalkRadio UK, German TV station RTK, Ryan Jespersen, and been a guest on several CBC Radio shows across Canada about various projects. My work has been cited by the Washington Post, the BBC, Smithsonian Magazine and others, and I have been the subject of articles and profiles by The Globe and Mail, the University of British Columbia Graduate Studies department, the Ryerson Review of Journalism, J-source, The Guardian, France24, and CBC’s The National.

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 struggles 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. I also make awesome pop-up greeting cards that celebrate the North.

The Globe and Mail
The Toronto Star
Canadian Geographic
Up Here Magazine
Up Here Business
UBC Global Reporting Centre
Far North Photo Festival

Video production
PBS NewsHour
The Narwhal
UBC Global Reporting Centre
Dead North Film Festival
Portland Comedy Film Festival
The Three Feathers (film)

Radio production
CBC (reporter, guest and producer)
The World from PRX (reporter)
Talk Radio UK (guest)
BBC Radio (guest)
Alliance 2030 (contributor)
Radiolab from WNYC (tape sync)

Awards and Grants

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research Communications Grant ($35,000)
  • 2014 Norwegian High North Journalism Award (Fellowship)
  • 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 (China’s Generation Green, writer)
  • Online Media award from the Canadian Association of Journalists
  • Canadian Online Publishing Award (2015)
  • Canadian Online Publishing Award (2018)
  • Northwest Territories Professional Media Association Award for Best Short Documentary (2019)
  • Northwest Territories Professional Media Association Award for Best Advertisement (2019)
  • Co-recipient of Bert Cannings Award for Best TV Newscast – Small Market from RTDNA
  • Rising Youth grant to conduct a video workshop in Yellowknife, NWT
  • Pulitzer Center and Humber College StoryLab grant for data journalism
  • Webster Award for Business, Industry, Labour & Economics Reporting (Finalist) 2020
  • Canadian Association of Journalists Award for Environmental and Climate Change Reporting 2021
  • Canadian Association of Journalists Award for Labour Reporting (Finalist) 2021
  • Canadian Association of Journalists Award for Daily Excellence (Finalist) 2021
  • National Magazine Award for Investigative Reporting (Silver) 2021
  • Canadian Online Publishing Awards (5 as editor: 4 Gold, 1 Silver) 2022
  • Anthem Award (Silver, 2022) for Turning Points project (field producer, Global Reporting Centre)
  • Edward R. Murrow Award (National—Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, 2022) for Turning Points project (field producer, Global Reporting Centre)
  • Jack Webster Award for Excellence in Multimedia Journalism 2022
  • Canadian Association of Journalists Award for Daily Excellence, 2023 (Finalist)
  • Canadian Association of Journalists Award for Investigative Online Media, 2023 (finalist, editor)
  • Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative partner grant, 2023 ($5,000)
  • National Newspaper Award for presentation and design, 2022
  • National Newspaper Award for Indigenous Issues-Climate Change, 2022 (finalist)
  • Canadian Journalism Foundation Award for Climate Solutions Reporting 2022 (team entry, finalist, TBA)
  • Digital Publishing Award for Best Feature Article 2023 (gold)
  • Digital Publishing Award for Best Digital Design 2023 (silver)
  • Digital Publishing Award for Best Digital Editorial Package 2023 (finalist)

Fun facts

  • In February 2017 I had a neuroanatomy paper accepted by the Journal of Comparative Neurology
  • I’ve had three films screened at the Dead North Film Festival, and eventually won four awards at that festival including Audience Choice.
  • 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 is included in the English/Bush Cree/South Slavey/Chipewyan film adaptation of the graphic novel Three Feathers.
  • I was a recipient of the Erebus Medal for my (vanishingly small) part in the discovery of Sir John Franklin’s ship, the Erebus, in the High Arctic.
  • I have gathered audio from a Tsleil-Waututh sweat lodge, photos of a Syrian prosthetics workshop, video of crab fishing on the Russian border, and all three from across the Canadian High Arctic.
  • My work has been translated into Mandarin, German, French, Russian, Norwegian, Inuktitut, Chipewyan, Slavey, Gwich’in, and Italian (and, once, a nationally syndicated comic strip).
  • I have reported from nine countries — including seven in the Arctic — on topics ranging from climate change and mining to war refugees to a budding Chinese environmental movement.
  • I was once held ransom aboard a ship that would later make headlines for a completely different reason. I wrote about it here.