Second-year UBC Journalism student Maura Forrest has won the Norwegian High North Journalism Award.
Forrest is one of only two recipients of this award. She will participate in a five-week paid internship at the BarentsObserver, an English-language online daily located in Kirkenes, Norway.
“I’m honoured to have been selected for this award,” said Forrest. “The internship will be an amazing opportunity to do more northern journalism, and simply to learn about the Arctic.”
Kirkenes is located at the northern tip of Norway – just near the borders of Russia and Finland. During her stay, Forrest, alongside the award recipient from Carleton University, will have the chance to report on energy, business, security, nature, the Arctic, culture, borders and politics.
“Many of my interests – energy, natural resources, environmental change – are major issues in northern regions, and I’m excited to report for the first time from north of the Arctic circle,” she said.
Forrest will also be able to travel to cover regional stories and will have the opportunity to visit the Observer’s branch office in Murmansk, Russia.
Second time for UBC students
This is the second year the Norwegian High North Award has been offered and the second consecutive year a UBC Journalism student has won the award.
“We are thrilled to see another UBC student win this award,” said UBC Journalism professor Kathryn Gretsinger. “Our students continue to win prestigious awards because they consistently produce high quality journalism.”
“This is going to be a fascinating important experience early in Maura’s journalism career. It is such a great story of how hard work pays off,” she said.
Last year UBC student Jimmy Thomson was selected.
“Getting to spend some quality time in an Arctic community was incredibly valuable,” said Thomson. “It puts you right in the centre of so many issues, from indigenous rights to resource management and international politics.”
Thomson says the internship gave him the chance to work with Russian LGBTQ activists, Saami journalists, Norwegian crab fishermen, out-of-work Swedish coal miners, and Finnish tech entrepreneurs.
“There is a wealth of stories there and the BarentsObserver team gave us the freedom to explore whichever ones we were most interested in,” he said.