I am a researcher/analyst/writer by trade, journalist by experience, a photographer by desire, and a creative writer by nature. I’m driven by “Why?” and aspire to robust kindness.

Childhood memories: Clutching fat wax crayons in my toddler fingers, I colour the headlines in a newspaper. Age eight, I peck out stories on a typewriter – and am struck by a certainty: I will be a writer when I’m a grown-up.

I made my living for several decades as a reporter covering breaking news, social and economic policy, and science, for an international audience. Selected clips and a brief bio of my journalism are here.

I consider fictional storytelling as relevant as factual reporting to our quest for meaning, and desire to make sense of things. My fiction in progress includes work begun long ago and recently retrieved from dusty shelves, and a new series of short stories.

I have carried a camera since my first newspaper job, which required me to roll film, shoot a manual SLR camera, and develop, print, and lay my images out on pages.  While most of my journalism work is text, my news photos have been published locally and nationally in Canada, and globally by AFP/Getty. My main photography focus, however, is less journalistic: I aim to see, and show, stories beyond the realm of words.

This site is a work in progress. Please stay tuned for announcements about my creative works, and new journalism projects. If you wish, you can subscribe to new posts by email, on my blog page.


My own story, in brief:

I am the first Canadian born, a late boomer, to an European family forged by the World Wars, which migrated in search of a fresh start. My life experience is eclectic, my education interdisciplinary and continuing. Both serve free-range writing well.

Raised in Alberta and the Northwest Territories, I grew up reading, skiing, horseback riding, canoeing, and hiking and camping.

Before working in journalism I flipped burgers, learned to fly an airplane, worked as a first-aid attendant on bush planes throughout the Arctic, was an assistant museum curator in Yellowknife’s Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, slung beer in bars, and lived for months in the wilderness as a junior naturalist at Wood Buffalo National Park. Later, while a journalist, I taught skiing part time at Whistler.

After graduating from Sir John Franklin secondary in Yellowknife, N.W.T., I aimed to become a biologist, and write about science. Enthralled by a high school teacher who presented life science in its “accidental magisterium” wonder, I enrolled in zoology. Immature and unprepared, I was instantly lost amid the cavernous and sterile lecture halls at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, where the spell cast by my gifted teacher evaporated. I became a poster child for the motto, education is wasted on the young. Science is my path not taken; I fled after two years.

My thrall to a sense of wonder returned with a job at my home town newspaper the Yellowknifer, and having the Globe and Mail notice my work and recruit me to freelance. And in journalism, I found license to explore all of the magisteria, the marvelous myriad of whos, whens, whats, wheres and whys. I was hooked.

I continued freelance journalism when I resumed an undergraduate program, then left for a journalism job one course short of a major in any of biology, political science or economics. Years later, I read Jane Jacobs’ distinction between education and certification, and realized that it’s education that interests me, above certification. I am a lifelong learner, via intensive eclectic reading and lectures, adventures and salons, and structured courses ranging from computer programming to history to human physiology, martial arts and photography, to the stock markets. I studied Creative Writing at the University of Oxford, and hold a Master of Arts from Simon Fraser University.

My thinking is influenced by Hannah Arendt’s final works, communitarian and cosmopolitan ideas, Epicurus, and E.O. Wilson. I am, intentionally, a generalist. Areas of focus are civility, freedom of thought and expression, ecology – and play.

What invigorates my days is marvel at our rich existence on a rock spinning in space. What keeps me awake at night is fear: that we humans are too distracted and divided to appreciate that marvel, or tackle the life-and-death dangers facing our hard-won democracies, our fragile global environment, and our priceless agency. I fear that while every solution begs for cooperation, we brawl over Sigmund Freud’s “narcissism of small differences.” Marvel and fear are the main elements in my work.

What matters most to me is my family and friends, and all of our communities – human and other.


Deborah Jones taking photographs in Ecuador


Post: PO Box 46875 Station D, Vancouver, Canada  V6J 5M4

email: debs AT deborahjones.ca

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All images and words on this site are mine, except where otherwise noted.

Photo credits, in order of appearance:

On assignment for AFP at the Law Courts in Vancouver, Canada, in 2017, © Gavin Kennedy

In Santiago de Compostela, Spain, © Alexander Kennedy

At my desk in 1980, as a reporter at the TODAY newspaper in Fort McMurray, ground zero of Alberta’s oil sands. Photo Credit: TODAY

On Pichincha Volcano, Ecuador, © Gavin Kennedy