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Date: June 16, 2008

Writing from the Inside

Journalist and social activist Jody Paterson— the University of Victoria’s second Harvey Stevenson Southam Lecturer in Journalism and Non-Fiction—will share her award-winning interviewing techniques with UVic students this fall.

Her class, “Changing Perspectives: Writing from the Inside”, (http://finearts.uvic.ca/writing/courses/314.html) is open to all students who have second-year status, and explores techniques and issues in “experiential journalism”: non-fiction writing that engages as closely as possible with the experiences of those at the centre of a story or issue without sacrificing balance or facts.

“If you can engage with the subjects at the centre of a story by sharing their experiences and bringing their perspective to life, you’re going to get a much deeper understanding of the broader issues at play and a much more compelling ‘read’ for your audience,” Paterson explains. “But it takes a different kind of interviewing, a clear knowledge of ethical boundaries and a commitment to balance and fact-gathering.”

Paterson is a writer, editor and communications strategist. She writes a weekly opinion column for the Victoria Times Colonist, and has 22 years of experience as an award-winning newspaper journalist at Kamloops and Victoria daily papers. Honours for her writing include Best BC profile writer, Western Magazine Awards (2005), Best BC columnist, BC Newspaper Awards (1996), Best BC editorial BC Newspaper Awards (1986).

The former executive director of the Victoria non-profit Prostitutes Empowerment Education and Resource Society, Paterson sits on the coordinating committee of the Greater Victoria Commission to End Homelessness as well as the advisory board of UVic’s Centre For Addiction Research and Office of Community Based Research.

The annual Harvey Stevenson Southam lectureship is made possible by a $250,000 gift from one of the country’s leading publishing families. Harvey Southam, a UVic alumnus and journalist, was an heir to his family’s publishing empire when he died in 1991. The gift was made by his mother, Mrs. Jean Southam.

Media contacts:
Jody Paterson (Writing) at 250-881-4792 or patersoncommunications@gmail.com
David Leach (Writing) at 250-721-7310 or dleach@uvic.ca
Maria Lironi (UVic Communications) at 250-721-6139, cell 250-213-1705 or lironim@uvic.ca

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

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