Media Democracy Conference
– Fri Nov 16 Keynote Speakers

November 11th, 2012 by waawaashkesh 1 comment »

Fri Nov 16, 7:00pm at Montpetit Hall room 202, University of Ottawa (MNT building)

List of speakers:

  • Karl Nerenberg
    Parliamentary correspondent,
  • François Levesque
    Founding editor,
  • Dru Oja Jay
    Organizer and Board Member with the Media Co-op

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Media Democracy conference
– Sat Nov 17 Workshops / Panels

November 11th, 2012 by waawaashkesh 2 comments »

Note: Full descriptions for each workshop will be added shortly.

Location: University of Ottawa, ground floor of Lamoureux Hall (LMX building)

Schedule for the day


  • Opening / introduction


  • Indigenous Perspectives and Representations in the Media
  • Citizen Photojournalism and Social Media in the Arab Spring and the Iranian Green Revolution


  • Building Independent Media
  • Using Infographics to Craft Compelling Messages
  • Skills and Approaches for Radio Shows and Audio Reporting


  • LUNCH (provided)
    (quinoa and vegetarian chili, salad, pita and hummus, apples)


  • CUTV Coverage of the Quebec Student Movement
  • Multimedia & Multiculturalism Diversity Initiative
  • Writing and Inter-personal Communication for Independent Newspapers


  • Building a Media of Action
  • Suffering-free writing for social change
  • Climate Change, Social Media and Mainstream (mis)Reporing


  • The Rise of the Media Co-op
    featuring the film: Alternative Media Centers at Summits and Spectacles

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Detailed session descriptions



Indigenous Perspectives and Representations in the Media

A facilitated discussion on the intersection of Indigenous peoples and the media. What approaches do Indigenous media-makers adopt in doing their work? How well are mainstream and alternative media doing in considering and representing Indigenous perspectives to both Native and non-Native audiences? What work still needs to be done?

Jocelyn Formsma is a member of the Moose Cree First Nation and currently lives in Ottawa, ON. Jocelyn has extensive experience in children’s rights and youth engagement and has a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Public Administration. She is currently pursuing her law degree from the University of Ottawa and will graduate in 2015. She is a film maker and host of “The Circle”, a radio show featuring Indigenous artists and issues, on CHUO the Ottawa U campus radio station.

Jennifer David was born and raised in northern Ontario and is a member of Chapleau Cree First Nation. She has spent her career working in and supporting Aboriginal media in Canada, first at Television Northern Canada, then as APTN’s first Director of Communications, then as a consultant with Debwe Communications. Jennifer has a degree in Journalism from Carleton University and currently runs her own First Nation management consulting company called Stonecircle. She recently self-published a book about the launch of APTN (copies of the book will be available for purchase).

Howard Adler is an award winning writer, and an artist that has worked in diverse mediums, including visual art, sound art, stained glass, theatre, dance, video editing, and film. In 2009 he won the Canadian Aboriginal Youth Writing Challenge (19-29 age category) with his video script “Johnny Seven Fires”. He is currently the Co-Director of the Asinabka Festival, an Indigenous film and media arts festival that had its inaugural year in Ottawa in June 2012. Howard is Jewish and Anishinaabe and a member of Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation in North-western Ontario.


Citizen Photojournalism and Social Media in the Arab Spring and the Iranian Green Revolution

A presentation on the emerging role of citizen photojournalism and its intersection with social media, revolutionary contexts and democracy. Based upon a recent MA thesis entitled “Revolutionary Images: The Role of Citizen Photojournalism, the Citizenship of Photography and Social Media in the Iran Green Revolution and Arab Spring”

Joshua Boyter has researched the intersection between media and development over the course of four years, and has published his work on the images of Abu Ghraib in an edited volume. He currently serves as the Youth Engagement Coordinator at Journalists for Human Rights, and is working both on a national rights media magazine, Speak, and community journalism training projects called Voices.



Building Independent Media

A panel discussion on the experiences, challenges and lessons learned in working to build grassroots journalism projects.

Martin Cook is currently the assistant editor of Basics community news based in Toronto and is a middle school teacher.

Andy Crosby is the Operations Manager of the Leveller campus/community newspaper in Ottawa, a member of the newly formed Ottawa Working Group of the Media Co-op, and formerly was part of the Vancouver Media Co-op chapter.

Tim McSorley is a member of the editorial collective of the Dominion Newspaper / Media Co-op.


Using Infographics to Craft Compelling Messages

A guided tour of methods for communicating quantities, statistics and other numbers in effective and entertaining fashion. This highly interactive workshop will look at examples of well-made infographics, and walk participants through the design process.

Dru Oja Jay is an organizer with the Media Co-op, and serves on the board of directors. He is the co-author of Paved with Good Intentions: Canada’s development NGOs from idealism to imperialism and has created several infographics for the Media Co-op. He lives in Montreal.


Skills and Approaches for Radio Shows and Audio Reporting

Introduction to radio journalism: interviews, research, hosting, basic technical skills using an H2 recorder and basic editing with Adobe Audition. We will discuss the different types of radio journalism (live in studio, live on the scene, pre-recorded) and discuss the particularities of this medium.

Stefanie is a member of the Montreal media coop and of CKUT 90.3 fm’s news collective. Last spring, she actively covered the student strike for CKUT, reporting from demos and actions and hosting roundtables on topics such as education, police brutality and social movements. She started doing radio at CHUO in Ottawa, where she co-hosted the feminist weekly show The Third Wave until 2011.



CUTV Coverage of the Quebec Student Movement

Founded only 2 short years ago, CUTV (Concordia University Television) has become the most prominent Campus/Community TV station in the country. From being watched only by Concordia news junkies, the station has boasted an amazing 80k viewers in one night, 8k of them simultaneously, during its coverage of the Quebec student strike.

Laith Marouf is a long time human rights and media activist. Between 2002 and 2012, he produced “Under the Olive Tree” the palestinian community radio show airing on CKUT 90.3fm in Montreal and CFRC 101.9fm in Kingston. In 2009 he won the “Best Special Programming” award at the National Community and Campus Radio Association for his work on a 12 hour radio marathon with stations from Palestine, England, Canada and the United States that commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakbah. He served as the Equity Officer of the NCRA in 2010-11. Since 2010, Laith has worked as the Executive Director of Community University Television (CUTV) made famous for it’s Quebec Spring live coverage imbedded within the movement.


Multimedia & Multiculturalism Diversity Initiative

The Multimedia and Multiculturalism Initiative (with UNA-Canada) is a multi-year, national programme that explores at the link between media and diversity in Canada. Working with 7 regions across the country, M&M builds regional networks working with Universities, colleges, community and mainstream media outlets to implement media literacy activities. What does this mean? It means creating media that adequately and proportionally represents ALL persons living in Canada. This interactive workshop will: Discuss the M&M initiative — Provide an M&M intern’s account of how she experiences media and multiculturalism — Ask you ask what you think…

Nouran Abdellatif: “I don’t remember a time when I couldn’t write and I always thought that’s how I would end up making my living. In 2009, I was half way through a university degree and lived in another country when I finally realized my heart lies in journalism. Naturally, I was going to move to Canada since I lived here until I was nine. I’m having the time of my life doing what I love most. Apart from that, I’m a bookworm and an animal lover.”

Chelby Marie Daigle is of French Canadian, German, and Nigerian Ijaw Ancestry. Being of mixed race has given her a unique perspective on issues of multiculturalism, immigration, citizenship, ”race”, identity, and belonging in Canada. Besides being the Ottawa Regional Coordinator for the UNAC’s Multiculturalism and Multimedia Project, Chelby works with organizations focused on young women’s empowerment and improved relations between police and Ottawa’s Aboriginal, Ethno-Cultural and Religiously Diverse communities. Her achievements include being honoured with a Leading Women, Building Communities Award by the Government of Ontario, being on the cover of the Ottawa Citizen’s Style Section offering a ‘funkier” image of hijab/Muslim veil-wearing women in the media, and having her first play premiered at the Ottawa Fringe Festival. Her blog is at


Written and Inter-personal Communication for Independent Newspapers

Written and interpersonal communication is the essential fabric of every independent media endeavour. It has to be constructive. In this workshop, you’re invited to learn some practical editing skills and explore how even grammar can be democratic. Also, you’ll practice how to tactfully and effectively communicate your suggestions for edits to an article.

Ajay Parasram is a co-conspirator (aka editor) with the Leveller newspaper and a PhD student in Political Economy and Political Science at Carleton University.

Fazeela Jiwa is a writer and educator from Vancouver who just moved to Ottawa!



Building a Media of Action

This workshop aims at looking at the role of independent media. Our goal is to discuss what we want to accomplish as indy media and gain understanding of what the group thinks the role of media producers are.

Wairimu Gitau is from Mathare, in Nairobi Kenya, a grad student in the journalism program at Carleton University. She is by and large interested in social justice issues especially in slums like Mathare hence her involvement with independent media work in Mathare through Liberation Cooperative Organization and Mathare Radio. But most importantly, a mother to one amazing ten-year- old chap called Kamau.

Ajay Parasram is a co-conspirator (aka editor) with the Leveller newspaper and a PhD student in Political Economy and Political Science at Carleton University.


Suffering-free writing for social change

The capacity to write with ease, joy, and fluidity is crushed in us; this serves current oppressive social relations well. Still, writing is a vital tool for struggle. In this workshop, I offer some strategies and tactics for writing with less suffering. Topics include: dealing with anxiety, procrastination, and panic about writing; organizing the material realities of the writing process; stopping writing; communicating well with people who can give you feedback; setting up support structures for writing.

Alexis Shotwell has been offering writing workshops to anarchists, activists, and academics for the last five years. An anti-authoritarian writer, queer, dyslexic, activist, potter and teacher, she thinks that writing can be more fabulous than we know.


Climate Change, Social Media and Mainstream (mis)Reporting

An introduction to where we’re at with climate change, followed by an analysis of mainstream coverage of this issue with respect to that. And how we can use social media to counter problematic coverage of this problem. — with Paul Beckwith.



The Rise of the Media Co-op
AND a film: Alternative Media Centers at Summits and Spectacles

A special session featuring members of the Media Co-operative, detailing its history and vision — as well as specific tips for those interested in being involved in the creation of a offical Media Co-op chapter here in Ottawa.

The Film: Alternative Media Centers at Summits and Spectacles was part of an MA project for the Department of Communication at SFU. Along with an accompanying paper, the film looks at the intentions, challenges and results of setting up independent media centers as part of the Vancouver 2010 anti-Olympics protests and the Toronto 2010 anti-G20 convergence. The film talks to both media activists and convergence organizers to flesh out the similarities and differences between grassroots coverage of a large-scale summit (the G20) versus and a media spectacle (the Olympics).

The Filmmaker: Isaac K. Oommen, MA is a multidisciplinary media maker currently located in the Unceded Coast Salish Territories. He is co-founder of the Vancouver Media Co-op and specializes in multimedia coverage of resistance struggles.


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Media Democracy Day in Ottawa – Fri Nov 2nd – and launch of

October 30th, 2012 by waawaashkesh No comments »

Please join us to celebrate putting control of media into people’s hands and not corporate control.

7pm Friday Nov 2nd, at Octopus Books Centretown
251 Bank St, 2nd floor – Under One Roof

Speakers and discussion, on different media issues as well as local alternative media projects.

And the official launch of the website of the Ottawa Working Group of the Meda Co-op,

Free or by donation,
all proceeds will go to the upcoming Media Democracy Conference being held Nov 16-18 at the University of Ottawa: http://

Looking for partners/sponsors: Media Democracy conference in Ottawa, mid-November

October 12th, 2012 by waawaashkesh No comments »


We are contacting you about a Media Democracy Conference on November 16-18, at the University of Ottawa, that we are putting on. We are looking for your support.

We are members of the Ottawa Working Group of the Media Co-op, along with the group Organizing For Justice.

And we are wondering whether your organization would like to be a partner and support this conference?

This conference is intended for media makers, activists and others who are interested in learning more about alternative media and developing some reporting skills. It will address different issues with the media as well as providing training for media making.

The format of the conference is a Friday evening of keynote speakers and presentations, a full-day Saturday with issue- and skills-based sessions (panel discussions and workshops), possibly a Saturday evening film screening, and a Sunday afternoon meeting specifically for those interested in being involved with the Media Co-op.

What we are looking for in terms of support / partnership:

  • Help spreading the word about the conference (distributing emails to your networks, posters in key locations, possibly links on your website to the conference)
  • Programming suggestions and connections (for speakers, workshops, etc)
  • Funding support (possibly $100-200, or whatever works for your organizations budget)
  • Media organizations: PSAs and/or feature coverage in the leadup to the conference
  • Participation in the planning process, and/or volunteer support on the days of the conference

If you are able and willing to become a partner and support this conference, please let us know!

Thank you,
the Media Democracy Conference planners

—- Contact: or 613-656-5498 —-