Marco Chown Oved is 2014 recipient of annual R. James Travers Foreign Corresponding Fellowship



Public-private funding of Canadian overseas development is focus of  2014 R. James Travers Foreign Corresponding Fellowship

A look at emerging partnerships between mining companies and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development  ( DFATD ) to fund overseas development projects has been awarded this year’s $25,000 R. James Travers Foreign Corresponding Fellowship.

The Fellowship, administered by the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University, was established in memory of Jim Travers, one of Canada’s pre-eminent foreign correspondents, editors and columnists for more than 30 years who died in March 2011.

On behalf of the Fellowship Awards Committee, Journalism School Director Christopher Waddell announced in Ottawa March 11 that Marco Chown Oved of the Toronto Star is the third recipient of the award. 

“The fellowship is fortunate in that, again this year, we received a wide range of story ideas from applicants touching on issues from all around the globe,” said Waddell. “We pay particular attention to proposals that address topics relevant to a Canadian audience, that have potential to impact Canadian public policy and that will be widely available to audiences.

“Marco Oved’s plans to examine the workings on the ground of DFATD ‘s partnerships with mining companies to fund development projects overseas, meets all those criteria.”

In the coming months, Oved will travel to Ghana, Burkina Faso and Peru to visit communities and development projects funded by Canadian mining companies operating in those countries.  His reports will be published in the Star and online later in 2014.

Previous recipients of the Travers Fellowship have looked at the troubles faced by refugees who seek to come to Canada by boat and at the dangers posed by cluster bombs left behind in former war zones such as Cambodia and at international efforts to outlaw their use.

About Marco Chown Oved

The 32-year-old Oved cut his teeth at the Associated Press in Paris, where in his first week he covered a world speed record in a train, scrummed Nicolas Sarkozy and got held up in the rough-and-tumble suburbs. This tumultuous start on the job was enough to hook him on reporting for life. Oved then worked at l’Equipe, France’s most widely read newspaper, covering rugby, and joined France24 television, helping to launch the French version of CNN, before landing as a reporter/producer at Radio France Internationale (RFI), where he started to cover African news.

At some point during his two years at RFI, Oved realized he was on the wrong end of the phone and turned freelance, shipping out to a then calm Ivory Coast, where he parlayed his experience into strings with the AP, RFI and France24. As one of the few western journalists on the ground while political tension wound up and social unrest broke out, his work would appear on Al Jazeera, CBC, Radio-Canada, Radio France, NPR and the BBC. After the 2010 contested election and short civil war, Oved fulfilled a dream by becoming the first journalist to walk through former president Laurent Gbagbo’s palace after it was liberated.

For the last year-and-a-half, Oved has been a general assignment reporter at the Toronto Star, where he has uncovered infected salmon approved for human consumption, a national park with more than half its area closed to the public and policies that allow asbestos to continue to be imported into Ontario.

“I am honoured to have my project selected for the Travers fellowship and I hope to contribute to debate over public-private partnerships in Canadian international aid delivery,” said Oved.


Star report on award.

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