The Canadian Journalism Foundation announced its new board members last October 1, 2021: Desmond Brown, Susan Harada, Farah Nasser, Sunny Puri, and Connie Walker.
“We are delighted to welcome these five new members to the CJF board,” said CJF board chair Kathy English. “Each of these distinguished individuals brings extensive experience and expertise to our mission of promoting excellence in journalism. Together, they provide tremendous breadth and depth of leadership to the ongoing challenges facing Canadian media.”
Desmond Brown, who is the son of activist Bromley Armstrong, launched his first business venture at age 12: a Toronto Star paper route on Coxwell Avenue in Toronto.
At age 38, Brown fulfilled his life-long dream of becoming a journalist by attending Ryerson’s School of Journalism. He went on to have a career in the media for more than a decade as a reporter for CTV News Toronto (CFTO), Global Toronto, the National Post, Toronto Star and the Ottawa Citizen. Along with heading a small real estate team, Brown hosts his own real estate podcast called Sold In the 6ix and is the volunteer past president of the board for Beach Metro News, a popular community newspaper in Toronto’s Beach area.
Speaking to Brown he said “I’m very humbled and honoured to be named to the board of the CJF. I left CTV News about 13 years ago, but the journalist is still within me. Kathy English, the chair of the CJF and my former professor at Ryerson’s School of Journalism, says my journalism background along with my business career which is now in real estate, will be an asset in helping the foundation move forward.”
“The Black and Indigenous Fellowship Programs that the CJF established has been instrumental in getting more diverse voices and perspectives into the newsrooms of major media outlets across the country. Initiatives like this, along with advocating the importance of reporting the truth and debunking the many conspiracy theories we’ve seen in politics and during this Covid-19 pandemic, are very important in ensuring the credibility of journalism survive. Right now, I’m doing a lot of listening in an effort to figure out where I fit in best to contribute. ”
Susan Harada is a founding member and Chair of J-Schools Canada / Écoles-J Canada, the organization
Farah Nasser is an award-winning journalist and the anchor for Global News at 5:30 and 6pm
Sunny Puri is principal and portfolio manager at Anson Funds since 2013.
Connie Walker is an award-winning investigative reporter and host of the Gimlet Media podcast, Stolen: The Search for Jermain.
The Canadian Journalism Foundation was established in 1990. The Foundation promotes, celebrates and facilitates excellence in journalism, and runs a prestigious annual awards and fellowships program featuring an industry gala where news leaders, journalists and corporate Canada gather to celebrate outstanding journalistic achievement and the value of professional journalism.
Through monthly J-Talks, a public speakers’ series, the CJF facilitates dialogue among journalists, businesspeople, academics, and students about the role of the media in Canadian society and the ongoing challenges for media in the digital era. The foundation also fosters opportunities for journalism education, training, and research.