The Thunderbird is the official student publication of the Graduate School of Journalism. It showcases the work of students in the core first-year class, Integrated Journalism, in which they are taught the fundamentals of journalism across platforms. IJ students report on people and events that directly affect residents of Vancouver and the surrounding Lower Mainland, such as the debate over marijuana legalization and the push for affordable housing. But they also use local news as a springboard to tackle issues that stretch around the globe, like climate change and how to regulate sex trade. Moreover, they make full use of the Web medium. In addition to the text and photos, stories contain audio slideshows, video, interactive maps and other works of data journalism, as well as blog posts covering a wide range of topics.
Stories published on The Thunderbird have been nominated for Canadian Online Publishing Awards every year since 2009. In 2012, Meg Mittelstedt and Alexandra Minzlaff won gold in the Best Video or Multimedia Feature category for their video project “Liberia’s lost generation: A Vancouver photographer reconstructs the country’s past.” This year, Maryse Zeidler is nominated in the Best Video or Multimedia Feature category for her audio slideshow included in “Vancouver sanctions underground arts venues.” Jeremy Cothran and Blake Murphy’s story on the challenges of technology students trying to enter the professional field, Jimmy Thomson and Garrett Hinchey’s story about a charity’s efforts to create employment opportunities in the Downtown Eastside, and Matthew Parsons and Sebastian Salamanca’s profile of noise musicians landed a second nomination for the Thunderbird in the category of Best Article or Series of Articles.