Karina Zapata is an upper-year journalism student in Calgary, minoring in social innovation, with a passion to create space for the voices of marginalized communities. While she excels in socio-political reporting with a focus on minority communities and health issues, her work is extremely dynamic and always passionate.
Karina is a strong believer that if you tell your truth, people will gravitate towards your work. This doesn't only fuel her reporting work, but it is also the basis of her marketing and design experience.
Above all, Karina's mission is simple — to make a difference in citizens' lives by sharing their stories, and getting people to care about issues enough to make a difference.
2019 - Present
Institute of Investigative Journalism
2020 Fellow, Investigative Reporter
Over the course of a semester, I participated in the data-driven "Tainted Water" investigation, which uncovered elevated levels of lead in Canada's drinking water. Since then, the City of Calgary has proposed a plan to eliminate all lead services lines in the city by 2023. The investigation has won awards from the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ), Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and nominations for the Michener Award and the CJF Jackman Award for Excellence in Journalism. After participating for a second term with the IIJ, I was elected to be a 2020 Investigative Reporting Fellow, where I collected pandemic data and mapped COVID-19 cases with Project Pandemic.
2016 - Present
At the Calgary Journal, I produced top stories with exceptional digital engagement time, including an article on decolonizing mental health that garnered over 55,000 reads across the globe. I worked on stories that had never previously been reported on in Canada, such as an article on premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) in 2018 that is now making international headlines.
2018 - Present
Alongside my co-founder Sarah Green, I co-founded an annual print magazine designed to celebrate and empower women through the creative content of our contributors across Canada. We have published two issues, with the third to be released in January 2021. My role as co-founder at Femme includes (but isn't limited to) effectively marketing Femme on social media to maintain a professional brand and loyal audience, recruiting talented contributors to produce creative and vulnerable content for the magazine, editing and designing the print magazine, editing and designing all online graphics (on the website and social media), professionally collaborate with other businesses with shared values, and create content for the magazine.
2019 - Present
Publishing Editor (Past: Layout Editor, Arts Editor)
As the publishing editor of Mount Royal University's independent student newspaper, I determine editorial guidelines and oversee all content produced by editors and contributors. As the previous layout editor, my designs were hand-picked and approved by the Washington Post's digital design team at the 2019 National Media College Convention.
2019 - 2020
Working closely alongside the founder and owner of Sarjesa, a socially-focused tea company, I ran all social media platforms and the blog for the brand. In my time with the company, I increased online sales by over 400 per cent and helped reach 10,000 followers on Instagram.
2018 - 2019
Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation
Fashion & Race Relations Intern
As Fashion and Race Relations Intern at the Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation, I led a project to create a Racially Conscious Guide. Working closely alongside the CEO of the non-profit organization, my role was to do extensive research on cultural traditions and clothing, and write a guide centred on ensuring that consumers are being culturally sensitive and aware. The guide is going to be released with the Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation, both in print and digitally, in the fall.
National Music Centre
Development and Marketing Assistant
I'm currently working a split role between two departments at the charitable non-profit organization, the National Music Centre. My role at NMC includes (but isn't limited to) writing donor newsletters, stewardship reports, creating and maintaining relationships with donors, posting and scheduling social media, writing event pitches to news organizations and scheduling interviews between bands/artists and news outlets.
CBC News - Contributing Writer
In my second year of my journalism degree, my article on the lack of education on Indigenous history and culture for Calgary's newcomers was hand-picked by the editors at CBC News to be published online.
2016 - 2020
Mount Royal University - Bachelor of Communications
Major in Journalism, Minor in Social Innovation (GPA: 3.92/4.0)
Golden Key International Honour Society — High achieving students in the top 15% of their faculty
President's Honour Roll — Maintaining 3.75 GPA or higher while completing 24+ credits in a year
Dean's Honour Roll — Maintaining 3.50 GPA or higher while completing 12+ credits in a semester