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Langara instructors recognized at 30th annual Jack Webster Awards

On the left, Kim Bolan, Langara Journalism instructor, accepting her award for Excellence in Legal Journalism from BC Attorney General, Suzanne Anton. Photo: Dave Thomson.

Reported by Michele Paulse

Kim Bolan, a Langara journalism instructor and Vancouver Sun reporter, won the Excellence in Legal Journalism category at the 30th annual Jack Webster Awards on Oct. 20.

The Jack Webster Awards recognizes journalists in print and broadcasting throughout B.C. for outstanding reporting.

Jack Webster had an influential career for over 40 years; in 1986 The Jack Webster Foundation was created in his honour. This year it took place at Vancouver’s Hyatt Regency.

Awards aren’t Bolan’s motivating factor

Bolan won her Jack Webster Award on her series about Jail Violence on the Rise, on inmate-on-inmate attacks over a period of 18 months.

“It’s nice to get the recognition for a story that was hard to do,” Bolan said. “I always say to my colleagues that I don’t want awards to be the focus of my life.”

Bolan said her win was a “crap shoot,” and also recognized the excellent work of her journalist peers.

“I write stories because I think they’re important and a lot of important stories don’t win awards but they’re still important stories,” she said.

Bolan said she spent a lot of the evening discussing with other reporters about the value of news and the importance of journalism effecting change throughout communities.

Former Langara journalism instructor also recognized for years of work

Founder of Langara Journalism Review and instructor, Rob Dykstra (middle), accepts the Bill Good Award from Jack Webster Foundation trustee, Deb Sweeney (left) and Bill Good. Photo: Dave Thomson.

Rob Dykstra, who taught in Langara’s journalism program for 32 years, until he retired last spring, received the Bill Good Award that honours a journalist or educator who makes a significant contribution to journalism in B.C.

“My first reaction was surprise. I was taken aback. I thought ‘who me?’” said Dykstra whose passion for feature writing led him to create the Langara Journalism Review, a magazine about journalism and the media.

“To be recognized by your peers is a real achievement,” said Dykstra who described the annual gathering of journalists as a family reunion.

Other Langara instructors and alumni were recognized throughout the evening, including Jon Woodward, another Langara journalism instructor and an investigative reporter at CTV.

He was nominated with co-reporter Kendra Mangione for excellence in digital journalism.

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