Something(s) new at the Star
By Roger Gillespie
Every September the Toronto Star newsroom buzzes as some of the best new faces in the business join us for our one-year intern program. Every year, newsroom veterans are gobsmacked by the skills and experience the new group brings.
On Monday, we will be joined by the class of 2010/2011. You can easily see why we love them.
One is nominated for an Emmy, two Emmys actually, for documentary film work.
Another learned Swahili while working in television for a year in Africa.
They have experience at newspapers and websites and book publishers.
All of them are old hands at digital work, several have produced film documentaries or websites. Many of them have first-rate personal blogs and are great photographers.
It goes without saying they know Twitter is not just the sound Billy Pilgrim heard at the end of Slaughterhouse Five.
Many have reported from Africa or Asia. Most speak at least two languages.
They are still looking ahead to their 30th birthdays.
You can tell just by talking to them that newspapers have a promising future. Meet the class of 2010/2011.
Allison Cross spent the past year chasing breaking news and reporting from Parliament Hill at Canwest News Service in Ottawa. Before that she was an intern at the Vancouver Sun and a community news reporter and photographer at the Nanaimo Daily News. While doing her master of journalism at the University of B.C., Allison traveled to China and Hong Kong to help produce an Emmy-nominated documentary that aired on PBS Frontline/World. Born and raised in Vancouver, she is also a staunch Canucks fan.
Amy Dempsey is back for more after an intense 12 weeks as a Star summer reporting intern. She is a graduate of Carleton University’s master of journalism program and has reported for the Ottawa Citizen, CBC Radio’s Mainstreet and The Canadian Press. Amy has interned at Contact FM in Kigali, where she spent her off-hours learning how to dance like a cow and finding adventure in the Rwandan countryside. Last June, she trekked across Ghana to investigate child slavery in the country’s fishing industry for her multimedia master’s research project. Amy grew up in an oceanside Cape Breton village and studied literature at Dalhousie University, where she wrote for the Dal Gazette.
Chloe Fedio has worked as a journalist in four major Canadian cities and two African countries in the past two years, bouncing between television, radio and print. She started reporting at the campus newspaper at the University of Alberta while completing a B.A. in political science. Since then she has worked as a news assistant at Global Edmonton, a chase producer at CBC Newsworld, a radio host for a current affairs program in Rwanda, and a reporter at the Ottawa Citizen and the Montreal Gazette. This spring, she produced a multimedia website about sustainable agricultural practices in sub-Saharan Africa as part of her master of journalism degree at Carleton University. In her spare time, she plays Scrabble and takes long runs through the park while listening to podcasts of RISK! and This American Life.
Cynthia Vukets is a Winnipegger who has lived in Kitchener, Ottawa, rural Quebec, Atlantic Canada, Europe, Rwanda and Kenya. A Carleton journalism grad, Cynthia worked in print and TV for three years before arriving at the Star. She enjoys cooking, yoga, and going to the cottage. Her most embarrassing journalism moment was nearly getting run over by a herd of goats while shooting a stand-up in Nairobi in
front of about 50 curious Kenyan onlookers.
Dan Robson returns after spending two summers with the Star, first in the radio room and then as a reporting intern. He holds a master of journalism degree from Carleton University, and did his undergrad and B. Ed at Queen's University. As a journalist and teacher has worked around the world, in places like Ireland, Guyana and Rwanda. Previously he has worked with CBC Sports and The Canadian Press.
Dominique Jarry-Shore comes to thestar.com from The Canadian Press where she spent the summer working as a reporter/editor on the Ontario desk. Before that, Dominique spent a year reporting on development issues from Mexico and Central America, contributing to The New York Times, The Canadian Press and CBC Radio's Dispatches. In her first career, Dominique worked as a social worker in the Yukon and Australia before switching gears and becoming a journalist. She has a graduate diploma in journalism from Concordia University.
Jayme Poisson is excited to be continuing as a reporter at the Star after this summer. Born and raised in Toronto she studied political science at McGill. Jayme has worked for a documentary film production company in New York and written for Hello! Canada magazine. Last fall she began a master of journalism at Carleton University where she had the chance to travel to Nepal to make a documentary film about fallen womb, a debilitating condition affecting 600,000 women in the fragile South Asian country. She also got to trek to Anapurna base camp. Jayme is currently trying to figure out what to do with 33 hours of footage.
Jenni Dunning is a reporter at heart, loves multimedia journalism and working with the web. She joins the theStar.com after working at the Hamilton Spectator as a general assignment reporter. She also managed thespec.com website on weekends. Before that, Jenni worked at CBCSports.ca and The London Free Press. She has a blog at nowherewithyou.wordpress.com. Jenni has a master of journalism from Western.
Kate Allen is happy to be back home in Toronto after finishing her master of journalism at UBC. She also has a B.A. in Classics -- she spent 10 years studying Latin. She spent the summer as a national reporter for the Globe and Mail and previously worked for the Globe's B.C. Bureau. Recently, she travelled to Thailand to film a documentary for PBS Frontline about shrimp farming. She has also worked for Toronto Life, the Vancouver Sun, B.C. Business magazine, and the Tyee.
Nicki Thomas is a recent graduate of the master of journalism program at Carleton University. She moved east from Edmonton, where she worked as a general assignment reporter at the Sun. She spent this past summer at the Ottawa Citizen, where she was awarded the Diane King Stuemer Fellowship. She used the award to travel to Iqaluit and report on HIV/AIDS and sexual health among Inuit.
Sarah Millar joins the Star on the web team. Throughout her (short) career, Sarah has worked both in print and online at papers big (the National Post), medium (the Hamilton Spectator) and small (the Kincardine News a community weekly). She blogs, tweets and Facebooks, but can also carry on a conversation in real-life.
Jonathan Whitehead graduated from the graphic design program at Fanshawe College in 2004 then went into publishing with an educational book design house in North York. In 2005, he moved to an academic publisher based in downtown Toronto. He also maintained a strong and dedicated client base as a freelance graphic designer. He has a broad range of work experience that includes print, branding and web-based projects.