A new campaign by New Canadian Media is focused on bolstering the voices of immigrant journalists in Canada.
Called “The Missing,” the fundraising campaign is designed to help New Canadian Media continue to develop its core mission: Hiring immigrant and refugee journalists to write about Canada from an immigrant’s perspective. New Canadian Media has partnered with Toronto ad agency Barrett and Welsh to create the campaign.
Newsrooms in mainstream Canadian media are overwhelmingly white, with about 75.5 per cent of journalists identifying as white, according to statistics published in late November by the Canadian Association of Journalists.
Eighty-four per cent of newsroom supervisors identify as white, and about seven out of 10 newsrooms have no Indigenous or visible minority people in the top three leadership positions in newsrooms.
New Canadian Media publisher George Abraham acknowledges there’s an issue with Canada’s mainstream media.
As the news industry grapples with declining revenues, many newsrooms are being forced to downsize, preventing them from hiring new arrivals to this country.
“Important perspectives and voices are being ignored and silenced, even as Canada is transforming right before our eyes. New Canadian Media exists solely to correct this gap,” Abraham says.
With more than 200 newcomer journalists as part of a vast national freelance collective, New Canadian Media is a vital source of immigrant news, written from an immigrant’s perspective.
“The Missing” campaign focuses on these journalists, as they represent the typical experience of a newcomer journalist to Canada: No jobs, no opportunities to earn a living in journalism, and apart from newcanadianmedia.ca, no platform to share the important work that they do.
One of the “missing” is Dino Rozenberg, who wrote for Argentina’s largest newspaper starting at age 19 and was jailed for his work at age 25, then nearly arrested again.
“The military junta’s campaign against left-wing political opponents soon expanded to include journalists in its sights,” the campaign notes.
“Some were fired. Some were exiled or imprisoned. The unluckiest were simply ‘disappeared’. They were never heard from again.”
After fleeing Argentina, Rozenberg worked in Mexico, rising to some of the highest ranks in that country’s journalism, exposing corrupt politicians and confronting violent drug cartels.
He moved to Canada in 2020, expecting to continue in journalism. However, Canada’s media industry froze him out.
Isabel Inclan worked as a reporter and a broadcaster for radio and television in Mexico for more than a decade before moving to Canada in 1998 to work as a foreign correspondent for a Mexican newspaper. After 20 years, that job dried up, and Inclan looked for work in Canadian media. Despite awards and accolades, Inclan, like Rozenberg, was largely frozen out in Canada.
An Iraqi Kurdish journalist with more than 15 years of experience as a reporter, editor, and TV documentary researcher, Diary Marif is also featured in the campaign.
Marif dedicated himself to covering stories about Iraq’s authoritarian politics and tyrannical systems. Then in 2016, he was targeted by the Kurdish ruling class for the work he was doing on the Kurdish independence referendum.
He was branded a traitor, stripped of his job, prevented from teaching, and threatened with violence and arrest.
Like Rozenberg and Inclan, Marif was frozen out in Canada.
“In Kurdistan, the politicians did not allow me to work where I wanted because I was not part of them,” Marif says in The Missing campaign.
“In Canada, I am not allowed to work where I want because I am not part of the system.”
Over the coming weeks, NCM will be featuring more sidelined voices as part of its “Missing” campaign. These new voices are helping build a better country.
NewCanadianMedia.ca is Canada’s premier web site dedicated to news and views about the one-fifth of Canadians who are immigrants. You’ll find original journalism from an immigrant perspective along with content produced by our partners in Canada’s ethnic media. Our content provides fresh insights into developments in politics and society, enhancing your understanding of our diverse world.