Environmental Journalism in the Age of Climate Change

Judith Lavoie


Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 4:30pm

Marilyn Baptiste, a former chief of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation in B.C. looks over land in the Nemiah Valley that she fought to have legally declared as Tsilhqot’in territory. Photo Louis Bockner.

There is a thin line between telling a story with a point of view and activism. To retain credibility it is necessary to include different voices, with alternate points of view, in the narrative, but it is equally essential not to fall into the he said/she said style of journalism. The aim is to provide context and, sometimes, offer possible solutions. Such stories are particularly complicated when they are dealing with First Nations communities, where the reporter is an outsider, or issues such as the Trans-Mountain pipeline or logging of old-growth forests, where there is extreme polarization, jobs are at stake and there is no middle ground.

For Winter Quarter 2020 Huxley College is collaborating with the Salish Sea Institute for the Huxley Speaker Series, with a focus on the Salish Sea.

Photo of Judith Lavoie


Judith Lavoie trained as a journalist in England and worked on a variety of regional newspapers in the U.K before moving to Cyprus where I worked on the Cyprus Mail and also wrote stories from Beirut, Cairo and my home base of Nicosia for UPI. Married a Canadian and moved to Canada in 1972. Reported for the Fredericton Daily Gleaner in New Brunswick and then moved to Victoria, B.C. where I edited the weekly Goldstream Gazette before starting a long career at the Victoria Times Colonist. Legislative reporter in the B.C. Press Gallery for several years and then started specializing in environmental, climate change and First Nations stories. Numerous Webster awards and nominated for a National Newspaper Award and Michener Award. Retired from the Times Colonist in 2013 and started freelancing. Now working for The Narwhal, Focus Magazine and several other outlets.

BELOW: Jordan Wilson, a member of Heiltsuk Coastal Guardian Watchmen, is among those trying to establish an Indigenous-led marine response centre after it took 17 hours for help to arrive when the U.S.owned tug, the Nathan E Stewart, ran aground in Seaforth Channel on B.C.’s Central Coast. Photo Louise Whitehouse

Photo of Jordan Wilson (photo by Louise Whitehouse)


Location & URL

More Information

The Huxley Speaker Series is hosted by Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University.

The Series is free and open to the public.

Location & Time

Presentations are held each Thursday at 4:30 pm in the Academic Center West (AW-204) on the WWU campus in Bellingham, WA.


Complimentary parking for the Huxley Speaker Series is available in Parking Lot 12A after 4:00 on Thursdays during Winter quarter.


WWU is an equal opportunity institution.

For more information or disability accommodation contact stefan.


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