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Breaking News: Canadian Media Fails to Represent

In a time of global crisis that disproportionately impacts marginalized communities, diversity in newsrooms is necessary to provide more accurate and nuanced insight into what is happening on the ground.

Join us for a conversation about how Black, Indigenous and people of colour working in journalism are demanding and creating change within their industry, and how Canadian media can and should be more accountable to both their staff and the communities they report on. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the already weakened Canadian news media. Across the country, publications are amalgamating, reducing their output and laying off staff. Local journalism has been hit especially hard.

But the increased attention on anti-Black racism in recent weeks has again highlighted deeper problems within our journalism industry: Canadian news media fail to represent the racial diversity of the communities they serve. While many news organizations express a commitment to diversity, they don’t report on the demographics of their newsrooms or management. Without this transparency, it’s hard to have real accountability. And without diverse news teams, the perspectives of racialized communities risk falling through cracks in news coverage.

In January 2020, the Canadian Association of Black Journalists (CABJ) and the Canadian Journalists of Colour (CJOC) released seven calls to action to achieve true diversity and representation in Canadian journalism. They were largely ignored by establishment journalism organizations in Canada  until just recently, when the death of George Floyd prompted a moment of reckoning for the industry.

In this conversation – made all the more urgent in a time of crisis which is impacting the media sector – we’ll hear from a panel of journalists including some who contributed to the CABJ and CJOC’s calls to action. They’ll speak about their experiences and why racial equity in journalism is essential for both the people who tell news stories and the people who read, watch and listen to them.



  • Jessie Williams – Director of Indigenous Relations, SFU Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Nadia Stewart – Executive Director, Canadian Association of Black Journalists
  • Anita Li – Co-Founder, Canadian Journalists of Colour
  • Bethlehem Mariam – Reporter, News1130
  • Sonya Fatah – Assistant Professor, Ryerson School of Journalism


Access the multimedia recap of this event on our blog including a summary, video clips, powerful quotes from the speakers and links to further reading: Breaking News: Canadian Media Fails to Represent - A Multimedia Recap

A shout-out to graphic recorder Adriana Contreras of Drawing Change, who captured the conversation in this beautiful graphic.


July 02, 2020

12:00 - 1:15 PM


Online Event
A link and password to join the event will be sent to registrants via Eventbrite.


Registration and Password

A password to access this webinar will be sent to all registrants via email in the days and hours preceeding the event.

Technology requirements

This workshop will be presented in a participatory webinar format. To engage fully you will need:

  • A laptop, computer, or smartphone
  • A webcam
  • A microphone
  • Speakers or headphones

Protecting your privacy

To ensure that we are using online meeting technology in a privacy-conscious way, we are following best practices for this online event series:

  • We will only circulate the meeting link to those who are registered for the event
  • We will password protect the meeting
  • We will enable end-to-end encryption
  • We will not use attention tracking
  • We will lock the meeting at 12:10pm
  • We will ask that participants use their first and last name as their display name on the webinar, so we can check incoming participants against the event registration list

To protect your own privacy we suggest that:

  • You use a unique email address to log into the webinar. This is so that the webinar platform can’t cross-reference your profile with the rest of your digital profiles under your email address.
  • We suggest you do not use your Facebook profile to log into the webinar. This is so that the webinar platform can’t cross-reference you with your Facebook account.
  • We remind you that whatever you say in the webinar is public and recorded, so please do not share sensitive information about yourself or others, and do not say anything you do not wish to enter the public domain.

To protect the privacy of others we ask that:

  • You do not record or photograph yourself, other participants, or the hosts during the webinar, unless permission is requested and given.

We also ask that you respect our community guidelines:

  • Be as present as possible (turn video on, put away phone, close/mute tabs).
  • Thoughtful questions are welcome in the chat throughout the session. If your question is for a particular speaker, type “@name” at the beginning.
  • Don’t assume pronouns/gender/knowledge based on someone’s name or video image. We can refer to people using the usernames they provide!
  • Step up, step back: if you’ve asked a question or shared a comment, ensure that new voices are heard before you contribute again.
  • Practice self-care: if you need to get up or take a break, please feel free.

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments regarding this event’s accessibility or privacy, feel free to connect with us at


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