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 Ocean, 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 repeated the latter in 2018. 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 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.
Send me story ideas, interview requests and
rage-filled tirades constructive criticism at jameswsthomson (at) gmail (dot) com, or on twitter @jwsthomson