Area of ExpertiseNarrative and feature writing, true crime, the Canadian justice system, domestic violence, trauma
Since joining The Globe in 2016, Jana G. Pruden has played a key role in coverage of many significant news events, including the stabbing massacre on the James Smith Cree Nation, the manhunt for two teen shooters in northern British Columbia, the Pope’s historic visit and apology to Indigenous people, Canada’s deadliest mass shooting in Nova Scotia, the Fort McMurray fire, the Humboldt bus crash, the Toronto van attack and the Orlando nightclub shooting.
Jana has focused on court and true crime reporting for the past 20 years, and is particularly interested in issues around wrongful conviction, domestic violence and the battered woman defence.
Her longform and narrative writing has been recognized internationally. Significant stories include her multi-year investigation into the sexual relationships of self-styled spiritual leader John de Ruiter and his followers’ acquisition of property in rural Alberta; in-depth reporting on the case of Matthew McKnight, an Edmonton man tried for 13 counts of sexual assault; the story of Jason Klaus, an Alberta man accused of murdering his family; a nuanced look at the life of the young man who became infamous as ‘Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker,’ and the story of Helen Naslund, who was sentenced for murder in the death of her abusive husband.
Her work on wrongful convictions has included examinations of the cases of Nerissa and Odelia Quewezance, Tomas Yebes, Phillip Tallio and David Milgaard.
Jana delivered the prestigious Minifie Lecture in 2020, and has written and spoken frequently about journalism, narrative writing, and the ethics of true crime, writing about trauma and working with victims. She is the author or co-author of four books, and a sessional journalism and writing instructor.
During the pandemic, Jana hosted The Globe and Mail’s online Craft Club. She also enjoys quirky and unexpected stories, including writing about wild boars, typewriters, the cold, Edmonton’s controversial elephant, Lucy, and the mystery of a newspaper-print scarf with one of her stories on it.
Why did you become a journalist?
I truly believe in the power of journalism and stories to empower, enlighten and bring about change.
Years in Journalism
Years at The Globe and Mail
Bachelor of Fine Art, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 1996
Master of Fine Art, Creative Nonfiction, Goucher College
Honours & Awards
2022 Canadian Association of Journalists Awards, finalist, Written Feature
2022 National Newspaper Awards, finalist, Long Feature
2021 Canadian Journalism Foundation Landsberg Award, Honourable Mention
2021 Digital Publishing Award finalist, Long Feature
2021 National Newspaper Awards, finalist (team entry), Breaking News
2020 National Newspaper Awards, Citation of Merit, Long Feature
2018 National Newspaper Awards, Citation of Merit, Long Feature
2019 Digital Publishing Awards, Best Feature Article: Long
2018 Top 5 Longreads of the Week, Longreads
2017 Society for Features Journalism, Second place, Digital Innovation (all divisions)
2017 Society for Features Journalism, Third place, General Feature (divisions)
2017 National Magazine Award finalist, Long Feature
2016 Digital Publishing Awards, Best Feature Article: Short
2016 Digital Publishing Awards, Best Social Storytelling
2014 Top 5 Longreads of the Week, Longreads
2014 Society for Features Journalism, First place, Narrative Writing
2014 Society for Features Journalism, First place, Specialty Writing Portfolio
2013 Notable Sports Writing, The Best American Sports Writing
2013 Best Crime Writing, Slate Magazine
2012 Eppy Award, Best News or Event Feature
Canadian Association of Journalists, Society of Features Journalism
English, some French