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This fall we launched Out of the Shadows, an ongoing reporting project on challenges and solutions to addressing mental illness around the world. This project grew out of a yearlong student-led International Reporting Program project for The New York Times, which resulted in a video and print story about mentally ill people chained in Togo, and a video project about efforts to address PTSD amongst Syrian refugees. The GRC developed a documentary for Al Jazeera focused on Dr. Vikram Patel and efforts to develop community-based mental health care around the world. We are building a website on innovative solutions to addressing mental illness - the largest global burden of disease.

We are indebted to the expertise and guidance of Dr. Videsh Kapoor, Director of Global Health at UBC's School of Medicine, who traveled with us and guided students and staff throughout the reporting and producing process. We are also thankful to our funders, primarily Mindset Social Innovation Foundation, which funds IRP, and our crowdfunders, who helped make this project possible.

 
We have commissioned story-tellers throughout Europe to document the rise of xenophobia, for a new crowdsourced project entitled Strangers At Home - a timely documentary we launched the week after the Paris attacks. Project director Peter Klein wrote about the series in an op/ed for The Globe & Mail.
We have developed our award-winning project on illegal logging into a documentary series on the hidden costs within global supply chains. Hidden Costs is short-listed for a $2.5 million grant.
Unseen Enemy is a feature documentary for CNN Films about the challenges of global pandemics, featuring leading epidemiologists throughout Asia and Africa, as well as Larry Brilliant (who helped wipe out smallpox) and Peter Piot (co-discoverer of Ebola). The GRC is partnering with director Janet Tobias to develop a digital platform to accompany the film.
Al Jazeera's former Egypt bureau chief, Mohamed Fahmy, was freed after more than a year in prison, and is now serving as Global Reporting Journalist in Residence. He has been speaking with policymakers, journalists and students all over the world about press freedom, and is developing new projects with us.
The GRC is  working with Jonathan Schienberg to develop Thais in Exile, a film and multimedia project about the crackdown on dissidents in Thailand, and the largely-unnoticed exodus of activists.
China's Generation Green has been honoured by four of the top journalism awards, including the Edward R. Murrow, Sigma Delta Chi, Canadian Association of Journalists Award and the Canadian Online Publishing Award. We are expanding this project, on the emerging environmental movement in China, into a larger series by Chinese journalists, for a Chinese audience.
We are growing the Global Reporting Centre into a leading organization focused on reporting on under-covered global issues, innovating how global journalism is practiced and developing new methods of distributing content.

A major focus of the GRC is to empower storytellers around the world. For Strangers at Home, we used funds from a crowdfunding campaign to commission a range of storytellers in Europe to produce short videos about the rise of anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, anti-Roma and anti-immigrant sentiments throughout the continent. For a new project called Through Somali Eyes, we are equipping Somali radio journalists
with wearable cameras to document their daily activities, to convey to the world the challenges of living and reporting in Mogadishu. China's Generation Green was a reporting partnership between UBC Journalism students and Chinese journalism students from Shantou University.

Another focus of the GRC is to  pair reporting with scholarship. We have partnered with academics and experts on a variety of projects. The GRC is currently short-listed for a $2.5 million Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Partnership Grant, which would allow reporters and scholars to collaborate of a major project about the environmental and human rights costs of global commerce. Unseen Enemy is a feature documentary directed by Janet Tobias, a global health professor at NYU's College of Global Public Health and Mount Sinai Hospital, in collaboration with top epidemiologists all over the world.

Engaging audiences with complex stories on neglected issues is our main objective, and we are pleased to report that this past year we reached millions of readers and viewers. The IRP project on China's emerging environmental movement reached one million readers through a four-page spread in the Toronto Star. The accompanying website had the widest and deepest engagement of any of our projects, and won a national Edward R. Murrow, the Sigma Delta Chi from the Society of Professional Journalists, a Canadian Association of Journalists Award and a Canadian Online Publishing Award. In addition, IRP fellow Umbreen Butt produced a lead story on CBS News Sunday Morning, which had record viewership.

Teaching and mentoring the next generation of journalists is another priority for the GRC. We have secured an $80,000 Mitacs grant to provide internships to students from journalism, film production and public health to build a digital platform about global pandemics. We are also applying for funding to grow the International Reporting Program at UBC into a more ambitious Global Reporting Program, which would partner North America-based students with journalism students all over the world, to collaborate on major reporting projects.

We are thankful for all the support from our Honorary Advisory Board, as well as from the University of British Columbia, which has provided significant support to the Global Reporting Centre. And none of this work would have been possible without our philanthropic funders, especially Alison Lawton of Mindset Social Innovation Foundation, who provided an initial $1 million grant that launched the International Reporting Program.

We have big plans for 2016, and look forward to updating you on projects as they are launched.

 
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