On most days, you can find Jessica Botelho-Urbanski filing quick missives from the Manitoba legislature, keeping readers informed about what’s happening in provincial politics.
When the legislative assembly isn’t sitting, she prefers to dig a little deeper, working on stories and investigations as long as her last name.
Her long-form work has included analyzing the root causes and possible solutions to Manitoba’s addictions crises (reporting that was nominated for a National Newspaper Award in 2018) and an in-depth look at the impacts of Winnipeg’s 1919 General Strike, 100 years later.
After four reporting internships with the paper, Botelho-Urbanski joined the Free Press in December 2017 as a general assignment reporter. She covered everything from crime and courts, to human rights abuses and animal rescues on any given day, then moved to cover the Manitoba Legislature full time in May 2018.
Before the Free Press, Botelho-Urbanski was a reporter and photographer at Metro Winnipeg, a daily paper that bit the dust in 2017. Earlier in her career, she worked as a producer at CBC Radio in Winnipeg. Her writing has also appeared in the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, OutWords Magazine (rest in peace), The Uniter and Grazia U.K.
Botelho-Urbanski graduated from Red River College and the University of Winnipeg with a joint communications degree and diploma. She is the co-founder of Broadsheet WPG, a series of networking events for female and non-binary journalists, and the Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario director for the Canadian Association of Journalists.