About

Hi! Thanks for checking me out.

I’m a Victoria, B.C.-based freelance journalist working in print, audio and video.

You might be here for any of a number of reasons, so let’s play a little Choose Your Own Adventure™:

If you’re here because you saw a tweet or read an article of mine and you’re wondering, who is this guy? Scroll down for a whole pile of stuff about me and what I do. 

If you’re here because you know me from junior high or a conference or whatnot, and you’re wondering what I’ve been up to lately, click here for my Authory page or here for my Twitter.

If you’re here because you want to hire me to do something for you, boy have I got a link for you!

(Note: My journalism page, above, is hopelessly out of date; check out my Authory page instead for recent stories.) 

My video about Nooks Lindell, an Inuit designer, and the rediscovery of his culture through art.

Okay, here’s some stuff about me.

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).

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.

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 and 2019. 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.

A video I created for The Narwhal in Bella Coola, B.C.

I have also been on the other side of the microphone, interviewed by the BBC, TalkRadio UK, and been a guest on several CBC Radio shows across Canada about various projects. My work 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, 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. I have range.

Send me story ideas, interview requests and rage-filled tirades constructive criticism at jameswsthomson (at) gmail (dot) com, or on twitter @jwsthomson


Photography
The Globe and Mail
The Toronto Star
Canadian Geographic
CBC
Maisonneuve
Up Here Magazine
Up Here Business
UBC Global Reporting Centre

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

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

Awards
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 (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