Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity commits to continuing training program for investigative journalists

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BANFF, AB, November 22, 2017 – Following the success of the inaugural Investigative Journalism Intensive in October 2017, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity has committed to offering the literary arts residency again in 2018 and 2019. Applications for the 2018 residency will open in spring 2018 at banffcentre.ca/literary-arts 

“We are happy to provide time, space, and training in support of deeply researched reporting,” said Devyani Saltzman, Director of Literary Arts at Banff Centre. “There is a no more important time to support investigative journalism in light of the changes in the media landscape, including the rise of fake news and shrinking resources in newsrooms. Banff Centre is committed to supporting recent graduates and emerging and mid-career professionals in their endeavour to report these stories.” 

Led by expert faculty, the Investigative Journalism Intensive teaches 20 nonfiction writers and journalists to use investigative research techniques in the creation of their work. Through a combination of interactive seminars and workshops, participants will learn to identify research sources, extract the necessary information, and turn data and interviews into rich, engaging narratives. Recent graduates, freelancers, and those hoping to bring fresh details and new techniques to their work are encouraged to apply. Significant funding will be available. 

Participants in the 2017 residency came from Nunavut to Kenya to study with founding faculty  Patti Sonntag, Managaing Editor, The New York Times, News Services, and Robert Cribb, Investigative Reporter, The Toronto Star.  

"Bringing together 20 smart, talented journalists from around the world to hammer out ways of doing ambitious accountability journalism in the public interest was a career highlight for me," said Cribb. "It's a rare gift, made all the more special by the magic of the place. It is invaluable support at a time when this important work is under threat from the brutal economic realities of the profession. The benefits will reach far beyond the journalists who take part.  The real beneficiaries will be the countless readers and viewers who will be better informed and enlightened as a result of the journalistic training this program offers." 

An advisory committee consisting of Connie Walker, CBC Indigenous; Mike De Souza, The National Observer; and, Susanne Craig, The New York Times will advise on programming in 2018 and 2019.

The inaugural residency was attached to a public summit called The Democracy Project: Journalism in the Age of Alt-Facts. The summit invited writers,  journalists, and engaged citizens to gather at Banff Centre to discuss practical next steps in the critical conversation around media and democracy. Topics included: Journalism in the Post-Fact Age, When Social Media Is the ‘Paper of Record', Protecting Whistleblowers, and Reporting on Illiberal Movements. 

Literary Arts programs at Banff Centre have offered writers a space to hone their skills and develop new works with expert faculty since 1937, when playwriting was introduced into the theatre arts program.  

For more information about the Investigative Journalism Intensive and other Literary Arts programs, please visit banffcentre.ca/literary-arts

About Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity:  Founded in 1933, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is a learning organization built upon an extraordinary legacy of excellence in artistic and creative development. What started as a single course in drama has grown to become the global organization leading in arts, culture, and creativity across dozens of disciplines. From our home in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity aims to inspire everyone who attends our campus – artists, leaders, and thinkers – to unleash their creative potential and realize their unique contribution to society through cross-disciplinary learning opportunities, world-class performances, and public outreach. banffcentre.ca