Jonathan Rampley-Sturgeon

Fulbright Alistair Cooke Award in Journalism, Columbia University

Johnny is a boatbuilder and maritime storyteller from Yorkshire. He grew up sailing with his Grandpa and has been captivated by the wild and watery rogues of the High Seas ever since.  

After graduating from the University of Oxford in 2022 with a degree in History & Politics, he pursued an atypical post-graduate route by deciding to spend 20 months back North working in a boatyard. Living in a rural fishing village with a population of just 9 others, he single-handedly renovated a former oil-rig lifeboat into a floating tiny home to an audience of millions online. He has since moved ‘Orla’ to London where he lives onboard and continues to make videos about life afloat.  

Professionally, he hopes to one day combine this digital platform with his new position as a Fulbrighter to raise awareness of the vast swathes of maritime conflict oft overlooked in traditional journalism. From piracy and sea slavery to overfishing and environmental activism, Johnny hopes to use his time at Columbia Journalism School to improve his writing and be schooled in formal ethical and conflict-based procedures. As a student of the Documentary Specialization programme, he is also excited to gain further hands-on camera experience.