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An epidemic of interview requests — and she’s still standing!

In the spring of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, Winnipeg-based epidemiologist Cynthia Carr began receiving many media calls. Although she had a lot of experience sharing her knowledge in public talks, she recognized that media interviews were an entirely different beast. Unable to wait for the next scheduled Informed Opinions’ workshop that would […]

Giving media interviews through trauma — and giving back to community

  Lori Campbell, newly appointed Associate Vice President, Indigenous Engagement, at the University of Regina has a long history of advocacy. A survivor of the infamous “Sixties Scoop”, she has used her voice to amplify issues affecting Indigenous peoples for many years, responding to media interview requests despite the challenges of doing so.   We […]

Why are some people such jerks online? And how do you respond to social media attacks?

Is social media snark the gateway drug to full-on trolling? I wondered this a lot last month, scrolling through the hate-tweets directed my way. Had I condemned a respected religious leader? Body-shamed a feminist icon? Described COVID as a viable form of population control?  No, I’d had the temerity to confess in a Toronto Star […]

I can no longer celebrate Canada Day

NOTE: This piece was originally published on the Toronto Star’s website on 23 June 2021, and in the paper’s print version the following day. It became the site’s most-read story, and generated significant response. Although I knew my thesis would be controversial, I was still taken aback by how incredibly hostile many people’s defensiveness made […]

Four communication lessons from Doug Ford and Jason Kenney

Doug Ford’s mis-management of the COVID-19 crisis has put the Ontario premier in the crosshairs of parents, teachers, restaurant owners and frontline workers alike; it’s caused health care leaders to publicly weep in frustration. Governing effectively in uncharted pandemic territory is like leading a country in wartime: the challenges are legion and unpredictable. Addressing them […]

It’s not radical to expect political parties to field as many women candidates as men

(Originally published in The Hill Times 15 February 2021) When Justin Trudeau shuffled his cabinet in January, he retained the gender balance that earned him headlines back in 2015. No one commented, because six years on, it’s become the default for the federal Liberals. That’s good news for the roughly 50 percent of the population […]

Reframing Imposter Syndrome

and Sweta Rajan SHARI: Sweta, when we spoke for the first time recently about how we might collaborate, you vented a bit about the whole notion of “imposter syndrome”. This is something that comes up in our workshops all the time — the extent to which many educated, experienced and competent women feel like they’re […]

Should journalists quote women as often as men?

Do you think journalists should be compelled to quote women as often as they quote men? The proposition sounded a bit radical, even to me, back in 2014 when Edelman CEO Lisa Kimmel invited me to defend it in a public debate.  Seven years on, it’s no longer a radical idea. Journalists and newsrooms across […]

6 tips for editing your own work — and why you should solicit feedback from others

Be honest: if you sent me a piece of your writing, and I sent it back marked up like the page at the right, would you feel insulted? I know it’s sobering to see words you’ve carefully committed to paper marked up in red ink by a critic who deems your prose something short of […]

So you have reservations about declaring yourself an expert…

I often joke that I became president of MediaWatch (Informed Opinions’ predecessor) by going to the bathroom at the wrong time, and returning to discover I’d been elected president.  The line reliably nets me a laugh and a lot of “been there” nods from audiences of women (because a lot of us have been volunteered […]

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