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CAJ Fall 2023 mentorship program matches 70 journalists with mentors

Press Release

TORONTO, Oct 31, 2023 – The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) is pleased to announce 70 early and mid-career journalists have been successfully matched with mentors in the ninth round of its mentorship program.

Throughout the autumn and early winter, mentees will be working with mentors from across the country, mediums and platforms. Mentors had the option to select mentees for a full six-week individual or group mentorship, or have a one-hour conversation. This allowed flexibility for mentors’ busy schedules, and allowed for more young and mid-career journalists to participate in the program.

“Being able to match so many mentees with mentors in this round speaks to the important role this program plays in Canadian media,” said Brent Jolly, CAJ president. “Ongoing training and peer support are critical aspects in strengthening a journalist’s career development. Participating in the CAJ mentorship program helps our members advance in their careers and learn how to tell stories that have impact.”

The CAJ received a total of 102 applications for this round of the mentorship program. As a competitive program, applications were first evaluated by a panel of committee members and then shared with individual mentors. Mentors, then, made the final determination about which mentees they would work with.

The mentorship matches for this round are:

  • Elamin Abdelmahmoud – Cultural writer & podcaster, CBC
    • Sonja Hanson – Freelance journalist
    • Ryan Hook – Freelance journalist
    • Jeevan Sangha – Freelance journalist & research intern, Maisonneuve Magazine
  • Betty Ann Adam – Freelance journalist
    • Camilla Faragalli – Reporter, The Equity
    • Pippa Norman – Freelance journalist, CityNews
  • Alex Boyd – National reporter, Toronto Star
    • Erin Blondeau – Freelance journalist
    • Chris Berthelot – Freelance journalist
    • Benjamin Roth – Graduate, University of King’s College
  • Tom Cardoso – Reporter, The Globe and Mail
    • Kyla Cortez – Student reporter, The Varsity/University of Toronto
    • Bailey Martens – Student, Langara College
    • Farida Nekzad – Masters student, Carleton University
    • Naama Weingarten – Associate producer, CBC News Network
  • Falice Chin – Executive producer, CBC Ottawa
    • Daisy Xiong – Journalist, Business in Vancouver
  • Allya Davidson – Executive producer, CBC Fifth Estate
    • Shilpashree Jagannathan – Journalist, New Canadian Media
    • Mathangi Ketheeswaran – Freelance journalist
  • Charelle Evelyn – Managing editor, The Hill Times
    • Amira Benjamin – Student journalist, The Fulcrum/University of Ottawa
    • Lois Sampson – Editor, Second Opinion QB
  • Francesca Fionda – Reporter, The Narwhal
    • Yara El Murr – Freelance journalist
    • Xavier Richer Vis – Freelance journalist
  • Marcus Gee – Editorial/Feature writer & Columnist, The Globe and Mail
    • David Clarke – Assistant news editor, Excalibur Publications
    • Keith de Silvia-Legault – Opinions editor, The Fulcrum/University of Ottawa
    • Mekhi Quarshie – Managing online editor, The Varsity/University of Toronto
  • Emma Godmere – Producer, CBC Radio
    • Dane Stewart – Self-employed, Podcast producer & Host
    • Livia Dyring – Masters student, Toronto Metropolitan University
  • Jeff Gray – Reporter, The Globe and Mail
    • Natasha Baldin – Undergraduate student, Carleton University
    • Steve Cornwell – Reporter, Metroland Media
    • Sebastian Johnston-Lindsay – Editor-in-chief, Arthur Newspaper/Trent University
  • Tina House – Videojournalist, APTN
    • Arun Budhathoki – Freelance journalist
  • Kamil Karamali – Reporter and Anchor, Global BC
    • Julia Stratton – Masters student, Carleton University
  • Christopher Katsarov Luna – Freelance photojournalist
    • Ryan Persaud – Undergraduate student, Sheridan College
  • Brendan Kennedy – Investigative reporter, Toronto Star
    • Anushka Yadav – Graduate, Humber College
    • Nahira Gerster-Sim – Senior opinions editor, The Queen’s Journal/Queen’s University
    • Andrew Willimek – Sports editor, The Fulcrum/University of Ottawa
  • Sarah Lawrynuik – Senior producer, The Economist
    • Claire Robbins – Freelance journalist
    • Sofia Tosello – Assistant news editor, The Queen’s Journal/Queen’s University
  • Erica Lenti – Deputy editor, Chatelaine
    • Hannah Carty – Freelance journalist
    • Alyanna Denise Chua – Editorial assistant, Navigatr (Range Magazine)
    • Julia Mastroianni – Managing editor, Post City Magazines
    • Chelsea Nash – Interim digital editor/reporter, The Hill Times
    • Sarah Onyango – Undergraduate student, University of Regina
    • Paloma Pacheco – Freelance journalist
  • Samia Madwar – Senior editor, The Walrus
    • Vicky Qiao – Producer, Global News Halifax
  • Justin McElroy – Municipal affairs reporter, CBC Vancouver
    • Cassidy McMackon – Editor in chief, The Queen’s Journal/Queen’s University
    • Cara Nickerson – Journalist, CBC News
  • Christopher Nardi – Reporter, National Post
    • Nathan Fung – Masters student & CAJ Intern, Carleton University
    • Alexander Quon – Reporter/Editor, CBC News
  • Latif Nasser – Host, Radiolab
    • Michaela Cavanagh – Editor/Digital journalist, Deutsche Welle
    • Peggy Lam – Producer, CBC/The National
    • Sarah Melton – Producer/Associate producer, CBC
  • Tara Nelson – Anchor and Executive editor, CTV Calgary
    • Leanna Bressan – Undergraduate student, MacEwan University
    • Chaimae Chouiekh – Masters student, University of British Columbia
  • Brigitte Noël – Reporter, Radio-Canada
    • Anna Desmarais – Freelance journalist
    • Lily Dupuis – Journalist/Digital media coordinator, CBC Calgary/CJSW Radio
    • Sarah Tomlinson – Multiplatform reporter, Radio-Canada
  • Tyler Olsen – Managing editor, Fraser Valley Current
    • Stephanie Swensrude – Curator/Reporter, Taproot Edmonton
    • Lauren Vanderdeen – Digital reporter, Burnaby Now
  • Valérie Ouellet – Investigative reporter, CBC News Investigative Unit
    • Aldyn Chwelos – Managing editor, Climate Disaster Project/University of Victoria
    • Jill Moffatt – Freelance journalist
    • Carly Penrose – Reporter, Investigative Journalism Foundation
  • Aarti Pole – Network anchor, CBC
    • Serena Austin – President & Publisher, Wilfrid Laurier University Student Publications
    • Yasmine Ghania – Reporter, CBC News
  • Selena Ross – Reporter, CTV Montreal
    • Madison McLauchlan – News editor, Captivate
    • Geena Mortfield – Reporter, The Brandon Sun
    • Katie Teeling – Student journalist, The Gateway/University of Alberta
  • Jeff Semple – Senior correspondent, Global National
    • Zoe Bell – News editor, upday News
  • Naël Shiab – Senior data producer, CBC
    • Janyne Leonardi de Carvelho – Masters student, Concordia University
    • Kate Schneider – Reporter, Investigative Journalism Foundation
    • Emma Stuart-Kiss – Undergraduate student, Carleton University
  • Jen St. Denis – Reporter, The Tyee
    • Sobia Moman – Multimedia journalist, Black Press Media
    • Dan Taekema – Reporter, CBC News

The CAJ board of directors offers a sincere thanks to all the mentors who have made this program possible.

Applicants who did not match in this round are strongly encouraged to apply for the next session in Spring 2024. If you are a journalist interested in mentoring for the next edition of this program please get in touch with us.

The Canadian Association of Journalists is a professional organization that serves to advance the interests of journalists from coast to coast to coast. The CAJ’s primary roles are public-interest advocacy work and professional development for its members.

For more information contact: Brent Jolly, CAJ president, 289-387-3179,


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