Who’s behind the conference?

Academics who have experience in professional or community journalism, and whose research touches on public policy issues.

The lead team is made up of four PhD students – three at McGill University (Christine Crowther, Gretchen King, and Errol Salamon), and one at Université Laval/Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3 (Simon Thibault).

We have recruited faculty from two universities to the organizing committee: Dr. Mike Gasher and Dr. Lisa Lynch from the Department of Journalism at Concordia University, and Dr. Colette Brin from le Département d’information et de communication at Université Laval.

A team of researchers and media practitioners, headed by Thomas Ledwell, are charged with running the communications efforts and managing the discussion in the lead up to the conference.


Dr. Colette Brin

Colette Brin, Ph.D., is a professor at the Département d’information et de communication, Université Laval. A former Radio-Canada (Manitoba) journalist with experience in radio, TV and print media, Dr.Brin’s research focuses on the sociology of journalism and media institutions, particularly in regard to recent and ongoing changes in professional and industry practices. She has published several articles and book chapters as well as two co-edited books, Nature et transformation du journalisme (2004) and Cross-Media Ownership and Democratic Practice in Canada: Content Sharing and the Impact of New Media (2011, forthcoming). Her current projects include studies of verification practices among Canadian newspaper journalists and the restructuring of major French-language newsrooms in Montreal. Colette Brin is also the founding editor-in-chief of ProjetJ, the French-language arm of the Canadian Journalism Project.

Dr. Mike Gasher

A former newspaper reporter and editor, Mike Gasher is a professor in the Department of Journalism at Concordia University in Montreal.  His principal research interests are news geography, media representation, political economy and journalism education.  He is the principal investigator of the SSHRC-funded Geography of News Project and co-author of the textbook Mass Communication in Canada.


Dr. Lisa Lynch

Lisa Lynch works broadly at the intersection between culture, technology, and political change. From 2004-2006, she was the co-director of the Guantanamobile Project, a multimedia documentary about the U.S. detention of prisoners at Guantanamo. Her academic writing on topics including Guantanamo, the representation of genetic science and post-cold war nuclear culture, and the circulation of classified documents has appe
ared in journals such as American Literary History, New Literary History and Journalism Practice. She is currently at work on a book about how journalists negotiate the ever-increasing boundary skirmishes between traditional notions of facticity and newer, technologically mediated, ways of acquiring and establishing evidence. 


Christine Crowther

Christine Crowther is a doctoral student in Communication Studies at McGill University, and a part-time lecturer in Journalism at Concordia University.  She has undergraduate degrees in Political Science and in Journalism from the University of Regina. She has a masters degree in Media and Communication Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Christine has worked as a broadcast journalist for fifteen years – primarily with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation but also with commercial broadcasting companies. Her academic work revolves around media and democracy issues. Her doctoral research focuses on developing methodologies for journalism assistance in post-conflict settings.

Gretchen King

Currently a second-year doctoral student in the Communication Studies Department at McGill University, Gretchen King has also worked extensively as a community media practitioner. Before gaining nearly a decade of experience as the Executive Producer in CKUT’s award-winning News Department, Gretchen helped to co-found the Independent Media Center online at, an open publishing
news website for media activists, and worked as the Assistant Editor at Seattle’s street newspaper Real Change, a bi-monthly news magazine written by and for homeless and poor people. Gretchen has also organized with Radio Taktic, a micro-fm and web radio station, which amplified popular mobilizations in Montreal. She recently published a chapter on these experiences in a book called Islands of Resistance: Pirate Radio in Canada (New Star Books 2010). In Canada, Gretchen helped to launch GroundWire, a nationally syndicated community news program, currently airing on more than 30 campus and community radio stations. Her research interests include community media practices in the Middle East, focusing on the relationship between social movements and community radio. Her fieldwork is scheduled to begin in May 2012 in Amman at Jordan’s first community radio station, Radio Al-Balad.


Errol Salamon






Errol is a PhD student in communication studies at McGill University in Montreal. He is interested in critical discourse studies of communication governance, civil society institutions, and labour crises. He studies the ways in which communication workers could intervene in policy processes following lockouts. Errol has worked at SPIRITlive, a student-produced radio station in the School of Radio and Television Arts at Ryerson University in Toronto.


Simon Thibault

Simon Thibault is pursuing a joint PhD at Laval University and Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris III. His thesis investigates the efforts of the international community to reform the media environment in conflict-riddled societies, focusing on Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo. He has published articles in scholarly journals and conference proceedings. He has presented his work in several conferences in Canada and abroad. Simon Thibault has also co-authored studies published by the United Nations and the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Prior to his PhD studies, Simon worked as a journalist for different media organisations (Radio-Canada/Manitoba, Télé-Québec). As a freelance reporter, he also covered the war in Afghanistan, the Darfur refugee crisis and the war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006. Prior to his career in journalism, Simon worked as an evaluation consultant in Washington, DC, and in Montreal, travelling to more than 20 countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

| Media |

Thomas Ledwell








Thomas Ledwell is a journalist and media strategist. He has bachelor’s degrees in History and Contemporary Studies as well as Journalism from the University of King’s College in Halifax. Thomas worked as a broadcast journalist for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in the Maritimes, Quebec, and London, England. He has also worked as a producer for the British Broadcasting Corporation. He has recently returned to Montreal after earning a master’s degree in Politics and Communication from the London School of Economics and Political Science. His master’s thesis focused on changes within journalism brought about by the collision of traditional and new media in the context of the Egyptian revolution.