Sean Holman

Sean Holman
Position
Associate Professor, Wayne Crookes Professor of Environmental and Climate Journalism
Writing
Contact
Office: FIA 223
Credentials

BA (UVic), MJ (Carleton)

Area of expertise

Environmental journalism, investigative journalism, solutions journalism, community building journalism, government and corporate secrecy, freedom of information, and more.

Biography

Sean joined the faculty in 2021 from Mount Royal University, where he was an associate professor of journalism. Before entering academia, Sean was an investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker in British Columbia. As a journalist, he was best known as the founder and publisher of the pioneering online public affairs news service Public Eye, as well as the host and producer of the syndicated talk show Public Eye Radio. His bylines have appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Vancouver Sun, and the Times-Colonist. Sean is a frequent commentator on climate change coverage and government secrecy. His research focuses on how we use and misuse information, particularly against the backdrop of catastrophic climate change and biodiversity loss, as well as democratic decline.

Select professional and creative achievements

Sean has a lengthy record of high-impact investigative journalism, which has resulted in the departures of at least eight different public or party officials, as well as major policy and legislative changes. In 2005, he received the Jack Webster Award for an investigation that resulted in the resignations of the minister of children and family development and the head of Community Living British Columbia, as the well as the firing of the deputy minister of children and family development. In 2012, he received a special mention in the Canadian Newsperson of the Year competition for “using using new and emerging media technologies to expand the number of journalistic voices in this country and to redefine the relationship between journalists and citizens.”

Sean is also the director and producer of the documentary Whipped: The Secret World of Party Discipline, which aired on the Cable Public Affairs Channel. And he served as the vice-president and Alberta/Northwest Territories regional director for the Canadian Association of Journalists. In 2019, he authored a widely-shared open letter calling on the Canadian news media to treat global warming with the urgency it demands. Since then, he has continued that work both nationally and internationally. Sean is currently exploring how journalists and climate scientists perceive climate change coverage and developing a project to help climate disaster survivors share their oral histories.