Meet the people behind The Green Line
Spotlighting my fantastic team: Julia, Alex, Dupe, Aloysius, Meral, Shaki, Amit, Yutang and Danish.
Hey y’all! Anita here. This long Labour Day weekend, I’m thinking about the people who’ve been the most integral in helping me build The Green Line: my team. ✨
Shortly before The Green Line first started publishing on Instagram, I shouted out four fellows who helped me lay the early foundation for my publication. Today, I want to publicly thank my team of nine who’ve not only helped me take TGL to the next level, but who’ve also helped me grow as a leader and as a human being.
Alex Varoutas is a reporter who later took on the role of producer for our community show with CityNews Toronto. He’s also one of my OG news innovation fellows who’s stuck by my side for over a year now. Alex and I first met when I taught him about community-driven journalism at Centennial College, and as Scarborough natives, we immediately bonded over our hometown. As a former chef and comedian, Alex lived several lives before becoming a journalist, and has amassed an impressive array of interpersonal and technical skills over the years. He’s a fan favourite and never fails to make anyone laugh, myself included. 😂
Aloysius Wong is a technology innovation fellow but that title doesn’t do justice to everything he does for TGL — and he does a lot. Aloysius is a tech whiz who helps me manage the backend of TheGreenLine.TO, and who levelled up online engagement by creating TGL’s Discord community, his brainchild. But he’s also contributed reporting, pitched in with editing and just never fails to step up. Aloysius and I first met when I taught him about journalism innovation at Toronto Metropolitan University (he was one of my best students). He’s unfailingly conscientious and quick to laugh at my bad jokes. 💻
Amit Nehru is a business development innovation fellow who’s relatively new to the team. But in just a few short months, he’s already contributed a lot of value to TGL’s bizdev strategy. Amit is the kind of person who gets infectiously excited at the prospect of learning something new, and consistently has fresh approaches to tackling problems. He’s thoughtful and articulate, so we inevitably end up having fun chats about philosophy or big ideas during our work meetings. Amit, who happens to be Aloysius’ childhood friend, was also a fan of TGL before applying to be a fellow. 📈
Danish Anwar is our resident comedian who’s also been by my side for well over a year. After seeing Danish host standup shows across Toronto, including the famed Your Hood's A Joke at Yuk Yuk's, I approached him to collaborate. Beyond his obvious comedic prowess, he impressed me with his political knowledge and collaborative spirit. 🎤
Dupe Badejo is a reporter who later took on the role of producer for our community show with CityNews Toronto. She hit the ground running as soon as she joined our team, quickly becoming a fan favourite for her engaging and hilarious TikTok series, “Subway Sounds” and “Subway Smells.” Dupe and I first met when she submitted a #TheGreenLineTO video (one of our most popular) as part of TGL’s soft launch; its humour, great visuals and musicality caught my eye, and the rest is history. If you ever meet Dupe IRL, she’s impossible to miss, as she’s guaranteed to light up a room. ☀️
Julia Lawrence is our social media and audience engagement manager. But really, her title should be “the backbone of The Green Line” because that’s what she is. Julia is the brains behind all the visuals and captions you see on our Instagram and TikTok accounts. She’s helped me develop the strategies for TGL’s soft and hard launches in addition to every Action Journey we’ve produced so far. Julia is mature beyond her years, juggling school, multiple jobs and extracurricular leadership roles at Toronto Metropolitan University where she studies. As someone who’s unfailingly responsible and deeply decent, she’s also an absolute pleasure to work with. Julia and I first met when she corrected my grammar in an Instagram post for The Other Wave that predates TGL, making her my oldest team member. I appreciate a person with cojones, so it was like at first sight. 🌟
Meral Jamal is our newsletter strategist. She’s a seasoned and acclaimed reporter who I first met while she was working at Liisbeth, where I served as a board member. Meral worked tirelessly on Liisbeth’s award-winning newsletter, so I knew I wanted her to spearhead our newsletter strategy — a role she’s taken on with gusto. She’s also a leader in her own right who takes it upon herself to coach other TGL team members. With a deep commitment to our mission and a cheerleading mindset, Meral is the kind of journalist who makes me hopeful for the future of Canadian media. 📣
Shaki Sutharsan is a news innovation fellow. Self-directed and a fast learner, Shaki quickly earned my trust after proving her mettle as a reporter. She’s also unfailingly polite and passionate about the craft of journalism. Shaki impressed me so much during her fellowship interview, that I knew I wanted to hire her immediately after it ended. She also gave my favourite answer (so far) to my favourite interview question, “What is your life philosophy?” 🏃🏾♀️
Yutang Song is a news innovation fellow and the newest member of our team. In just a few short months, she’s become an asset, helping adapt TGL’s articles on Instagram to our website. Yutang’s enthusiasm, limitless energy and eagerness to learn won me over. Equipped with a growth mindset and a commitment to self-improvement, she has what it takes to go the distance. 😄
Thank you. The Green Line wouldn’t be what it is today without you.
Paid opportunities: TGL Fellows and freelance reporters/photographers
The Green Line is hiring Election Fellows who are interested in reporting on underrepresented communities and the city councillors serving those areas in the leadup to the 2022 Toronto municipal election on Oct. 24.
The Green Line is also looking for a talented investigative and/or feature reporter based in Toronto who specializes in housing issues. We’re interested in long-form pitches that tackle a systemic housing issue in the city through a solutions lens. In addition, The Green Line is looking for experienced freelance photographers for our long-form features. We offer competitive freelance rates.
If you want to learn more about any of opportunities, feel free to contact me for more information. Or if you’re interested, please send me your resume, cover letter and links to three clips (multimedia is preferred for Fellowship applicants, longform is preferred for housing-reporter applicants and edited photos are preferred for the photographer applicants).
Quick and Clean
“In my community” and “Cool stuff I like” will be back…
In this episode of LION Publishers’ News Guest podcast, I talk to host Candice Fortman and Letterhead co-founder Rebekah Monson about how researching and understanding the communities you serve can help grow your audience.
Apply to join the Journalism Creators Program at CUNY by Sept. 6! I loved helping develop and teach part of the curriculum for this innovative program, which teaches participants how to build a news product from scratch.
There's still time to register for the 2022 Online News Association conference! The Getting Closer rate has been extended through Sept. 6, so be sure to get your discounted #ONA22 conference pass before it’s too late. See you in L.A.!
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.