Meet the fellows for my yet-to-be-announced publication!
Plus: Musings on bad bosses and what it means to be a good leader.
Hey y’all! Anita here. Now that I’m managing four fellows for my yet-to-be-announced publication, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a boss and what it means to be a leader 👩🏻✈️
My insider’s approach
It’s been just over a month since three News Innovation Fellows and one Business Development Innovation Fellow joined my team. During that time, I’ve reflected on my experiences both as a manager and as a direct report in the hopes of creating a positive work environment for my fellows that’s flatter, collaborative and genuinely inclusive — in other words, modern.
When assessing my 11 years of full-time work experience to date, I’m hard-pressed to identify even a handful of bosses who were grounded, capable leaders. Granted, in my earliest roles, my inexperience navigating professional settings probably didn’t help my dynamic with higher-ups. But as a former manager who’s learned from past mistakes — both my own and my previous boss’ — I know the main reason why I felt these managers were subpar. It’s because they were subpar. They relied on dominance, aggression and manipulation rather than clear communication, expectation-setting and coaching to motivate employees.
As millions of Canadians contemplate leaving the workforce or switching jobs in the wake of pandemic-related epiphanies, there’s been much buzz about a “great resignation” looming on the horizon. After a long period of reflection brought on by the COVID-19 lockdown, people are reprioritizing their own needs, mental health, interests, values and loved ones. But they’re also sick of bad bosses, which as we all know, suck the life force out of you.
That’s why I’m taking great care to build my company on a foundation of transparency and flexibility. In a post-pandemic era of status quo disruption, the only sure thing is change, which is why respectful and honest two-way communication is essential for any company to thrive.
For more on my thoughts about modern management practices and work culture, read my Global News column, “Outside the 9 to 5.” Here are a few recent ones:
My outsider’s approach
I’m thankful for the talented young journalists who’ve dedicated their time to help me build my yet-to-be-announced publication. Right now is a critical period in the development of my outlet, so these four fellows are helping me lay down the groundwork that’ll define our core values and mission. So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce:
Kathryn Mannie, News Innovation Fellow
Kathryn is a fourth-year student at the University of Toronto and the deputy news editor at The Varsity, U of T’s oldest campus newspaper. She’s also currently interning at The Globe and Mail. I first met Kathryn in March after being introduced through a NASH83 coordinator, and was so impressed with her strategic mind that I invited her to be part of my core team of advisors.
Alex Varoutas, News Innovation Fellow
Alex is a postgrad student in Centennial College’s Contemporary Journalism program. He’s also currently interning at Beach Metro Community News. We met when I taught him a capsule on community-driven journalism earlier this year. I was taken by Alex’s sense of humour, openness to learning, fearlessness when asking questions and down-to-earth approach to communication. He’s also had interesting past lives as a former chef and stand-up comedian.
Stephanie Bai, News Innovation Fellow
Steph is a third-year student at the University of Toronto and the online managing editor at The Varsity. She’s also currently interning at Broadview Magazine. I met Steph through Kathryn, and was immediately impressed with her keen visual eye (she spearheaded this fantastic Varsity project) and intuitive understanding of audience engagement.
David Lochead, Business Development Innovation Fellow
David is a 2020 graduate of Carleton University’s Master of Journalism program. He's interned at Star Metro Halifax, Global News and The Hill Times. David is currently a business developer at Canada News Central. I met David in March after he sent me a Twitter DM asking for career advice. Our 15-minute conversation snowballed into an hour, after we realized we shared the same values and vision for the future of Canadian journalism.
Thanks to Hyperallergic, a New York-based arts magazine, for featuring my newsletter on memes in journalism in its required reading section!
Radio Cité 97.9, a Francophone community radio station based in Edmonton, asked me for referrals to consultants with expertise in developing news content strategies that attract younger audiences on digital platforms. Candidates must be fluent in French. If you’re interested, please reply to this newsletter with your resume.
In my community
Many people know about the Business Model Canvas, a strategic management template that helps you describe, design and analyze business models. But you might not be familiar with Outlier Media’s Community Canvas, which is even cooler because it helps you determine and then serve your community’s needs.
Check out Dialogue, an initiative by Southern California Public Radio to make its style guide more inclusive and accessible to readers. The first installation features an updated guide that includes guidance on gender-neutral language, protests, LGBTQ+ communities, crime reporting and more.
For those of you who attended RISE 2021, the inaugural joint conference hosted by Canadian Journalists of Colour and the Canadian Association of Black Journalists, videos from our event are finally available. Check your email for the password.
Cool stuff I like
Pick up a copy of I’m Leaving It and Other Stories, the latest book by my friend Paul Dore. His collection of short stories features love, death, car crashes and even a trip to the Olympic Games.
Pride Month may be over, but it’s never not a good time to shout out The 519, an iconic and long-standing charity in downtown Toronto that serves the local neighbourhood and LGBTQ+ communities. Donate to them today.
I’m officially obsessed with Zola, the highly anticipated film based on that infamous 2015 Twitter thread about “the greatest stripper saga ever tweeted.” From its fresh visuals and hilarious but realistic dialogue, to Janicza Bravo’s adept direction and Taylour Paige’s star-making turn as Zola, I adore everything about this movie.
How you can support The Other Wave
My professional mission has always been to support the global movement towards more thoughtful, impactful news coverage, and all the ways that manifests. If The Other Wave gets you to think even a little differently about journalism, especially in Canada, then I will have accomplished what I set out to do. And if TOW gets you to take action and support Canadian media outlets — especially ones that strive to be innovative and inclusive — I will have exceeded my expectations.
If my values and goals resonate with you, please consider supporting fiercely independent media analysis that fills in gaps in coverage of the Canadian journalism landscape. How? Feel free to provide feedback, pass along resources, donate money or simply share this newsletter with your friends.