Anita Li featured in Atkinson Foundation video: We invited millennial journalist Angelyn Francis to create this video "op-ed" to add her voice to the public conversation on the future of journalism -- and to encourage others to do the same. Follow #futureofjournalists to listen in.
Digital news was supposed to save the struggling newspaper industry. But companies like BuzzFeed and Vice, who were considered industry leaders, are now laying off thousands of staff. Will Canada's media bailout help or hinder the Canadian news landscape? To help assess that and other challenges facing the future of digital journalism, The Agenda welcomes: Canadaland’s Jesse Brown, Postmedia CEO Andrew MacLeod, Anita Li of The Discourse along with professor Colette Brin, a visiting scholar at the Ryerson School of Journalism.
Read for more: https://carleton.ca/sjc/journalism/about/women-in-journalism/
This panel will examine how technology is privileged in discussions about journalism startups despite evidence that structural power relations such as gender, race and colonialism matter as much or more in understanding the impact and future possibilities of the “crisis” in journalism. This panel tries to make sense of how unexamined power relations and the exclusions of peoples, relations, “neglected knowledge,” and “alternative conceptualizations” of the future have limited the possibilities for what journalism startups can and should do in the early 21st century (Felt 2017, 253). Specifically, we contend that the industry’s construction of innovation and technology as the main saviors of journalism have systematically excluded ways of knowing that destabilize hegemonic power relations and present questions for professional identities and well-worn epistemologies in the field of journalism. Alongside these exclusions, digital technologies have been reified to the extent that their role as ‘modernizing’ forces of journalism are relatively unquestioned despite scholarship from feminist, postcolonial and science and technology studies that suggests the need for a much more critical approach to the postcolonial logic legitimated by the “new technologic … man in the street” (Spivak, 1999). As such, this panel will be oriented around the question: “Who participates in imagining and shaping the future” of journalism through conversations with founders and researchers of journalism startups (Felt 2017, 253). Con: Candis Callison (University of British Columbia), Anita Li (director of communities Discourse Media), Minelle Mahtani (University of Toronto), Nikki Usher (George Washington University), Mary Lynn Young (University of British Columbia).
Read for more: https://www.journalismfestival.com/programme/2018/why-gender-and-colonialism-matter-in-journalism-startups
Anita Li navigates the evolving landscape of digital journalism by brainstorming creative ways to cover news online.
Anita's TEDx talk has been taught in universities around the world, reshared by reputable industry publications like Editor & Publisher, and written about in dozens of blogs and social media posts. It was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx
Anita Li is a Canadian journalist who has worked on both sides of the divide between traditional and digital news. After brief stints at The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star, she headed to Fusion Media in New York City. In this video, she shares her optimistic view of the future of journalism in an age of disruption.
Press Club: Objectivity in Canadian media, in the wake of Black Lives Matter
Massey College, November 10, 2020Television
The recent BLM movement has intensified the debate in Canada and elsewhere around how the media can better reflect the diversity of the communities it purports to serve. This question necessarily asks not just how news coverage is shaped, but also considers who is doing the shaping. Intertwined with this is an even more challenging but unavoidable question that takes aim at a core tenet of journalism: objectivity.
Are journalists being partisan if they say Black Lives Matter? Is it preferable or not for newsrooms to send an Indigenous journalist to cover a protest for Indigenous rights? Can reporters legitimately refuse to cover people who have unsavory views? Under what circumstances can journalists shed the need to adhere to “both sides-ism?” Is it possible to be both activist and professional, or are those roles incompatible?
Featuring panellists Anita Li, Rachel Giese, Adrian Harewood, Jeffrey Dvorkin and Duncan McCue.
Canada’s journalism industry is lacking diversity. Here’s what needs to be done to change that.
CTV's Your Morning, July 17, 2020Television
Anita Li from the Canadian Journalists of Colour explains why journalism is so behind the times, and what more can be done.
How to collaborate with underrepresented communities in your journalism
2020 Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) Conference, September 24, 2020Television
In this session, panellists share tactics and strategies for how journalists can include underrepresented communities in the investigative-reporting process in ways that are empowering and collaborative — not exploitative and exclusionary — and that will produce stronger stories. Moderated by Anita Li.
How to Engage with Reddit in the Time of COVID-19
ONA Insights, June 25, 2020Television
In a time of urgent and overlapping healthcare, policing and employment crises, Reddit’s “endless content” is both an unparalleled story-sourcing resource and an infamous informational haystack. Join this conversation with Reddit’s Gabriel Sands and moderated by Anita Li to gain insights into unearthing new voices to broaden your coverage, improve your journalism and meet your audience where they are.
Documentary trailer: 'History of Journalism: From Reporter to Fake News'
Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée (CNC) and French journalist Bruno Masi, April 27, 2020Television
Directed by Paris-based journalist and writer Bruno Masi, the documentary is a compelling look at the evolution of the role of media in society. It also features interviews with journalism experts from around the world, including Anita Li, Alice Antheaume, Renate Schroeder, Alan Rusbridger, Jeff Jarvis, Victor Pickard and more.
Race and the Election Campaign
CBC News, October 19, 2019Television
What role has race played in this year's election campaign? Have race issues, and the way they've been handled, swayed your vote?
Trump tells Democratic women of colour to leave U.S. in 'racist' tweets
CBC, July 18, 2019Television
Anita Li on panel: U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday assailed a group of Democratic congresswomen of colour as foreign-born troublemakers.
Canadaland, November 12, 2020Radio/Podcast
Beware of the FANG! And how to cover Chinese infiltration — or anti-Chinese infiltration? Anita Li co-hosts this episode of Canadaland's "Short Cuts."
Creating Value With Memberships
ONA Insights 2018, May 11, 2018Radio/Podcast
Memberships offer a unique value proposition: rather than a straight pay-for-content play, they seek to create an online community people pay to join, with the understanding that a membership supports quality content in the process. Three experts, including Anita Li, share best practices — and fresh ideas — in their efforts to grow their membership programs.
'You can't change what you don't acknowledge'
CBC Radio One’s The Early Edition with Stephen Quinn, June 17, 2020Radio/Podcast
Canadian Journalists of Colour co-founder Anita Li, Ubyssey culture editor Danni Olusanya and Aboriginal People's Television Network producer Steve Sxwithul'txw speak with Stephen Quinn about what media organizations need to do to end systemic racism in their coverage.
Is the Canadian media systemically racist?
CBC Radio One's The Weekend Morning Show (Manitoba) with Nadia Kidwai, June 14, 2020Radio/Podcast
How the murder of George Floyd affected Black journalists here in Canada. Featuring an interview with Anita Li, co-founder of Canadian Journalists of Colour.
Theories on #InThisSkin, Comedic Intolerance and Diversity in Newsrooms
New Theory Radio (News Talk Sauga 960 AM), February 18, 2020Radio/Podcast
We close the show with some theories around Diversity in Newsrooms. Anita Li (Canadian Journalists Of Colour) and Nadia Stewart (Canadian Association of Black Journalists) stop by to talk about a white paper both organizations collaborated on pertaining to diversity and exclusion within Canadian media.
Putting Calls for Racial Diversity in Canadian Media into Action
Pull Quotes: The Ryerson Review of Journalism Podcast, February 13, 2020Radio/Podcast
Fast-forward to 2020 and Canadian journalists of colour are still fighting for racial equality in media dominated by largely white upper management and editorial teams, in stark contrast to a diverse readership. The lack of racial diversity in Canadian newsrooms and media coverage prompted the Canadian Association of Black Journalists (CABJ) and Canadian Journalists of Colour (CJOC) to publish the Canadian Media Diversity: Calls to Action on January 28. Featuring guest interviews with CJOC's Anita Li and CABJ'S Nadia Stewart.
Increasing diversity in Canada's media organizations — a plan of action
Rabble.ca, February 27, 2020Radio/Podcast
Increasing diversity in the newsrooms of the nation is a topic which has been talked about and strategized around for several decades. But has all that talk resulted in action which has increased the number of people of colour and Black journalists in Canada's news media? Our two guests on rabble radio today say there is still a long way to go. Anita Li of Canadian Journalists of Colour; and Nadia Stewart of the Canadian Association of Black Journalists say our newsrooms aren't there yet.
Canada Is Working Exactly As Intended
Canadaland, March 4, 2020Radio/Podcast
A front-page story tells us that Canada is broken. Is it, or is this exactly how the country was designed to work? And, as a senior editor leaves the CBC, our national broadcaster pivots to audience. Anita Li co-hosts this episode of Canadaland's "Short Cuts."
'Missing voices and missing perspectives': Trudeau blackface scandal renews calls for newsroom diversity
CBC's The Current, September 20, 2019Radio/Podcast
Many say Canadian newsrooms must tackle race head-on — and employ more diverse reporters. Anita Li appears on a panel.
SiriusXM's "Progress Presents": Millennial Issues
SiriusXM, March 10, 2017Radio/Podcast
One hour of a three-hour-long episode of "Progress Presents," featuring guests Anita Li and Alexandros Orphanides.
work x work ON AIR: Unheard Voices
work x work, February 12, 2017Radio/Podcast
For this hour, editor Anita Li of The Other Wave and previously of Fusion leads a discussion on the role storytellers of color can play in today’s social and political climate. Featuring HuffPo Black Voices Senior Editor Lilly Workneh, filmmaker and writer Dean Marcial, and the multi-talented creative producer Sahra V. Nguyen, this conversation shines a light on the ways we approach covering underrepresented communities, the sometimes difficult journey to find your calling, and how to help marginalized stories get told. Prior to Fusion, Anita worked as news director at Complex Media, weekend editor at Mashable, on-air reporter at CTV Ottawa, research assistant for The New Yorker's Beijing bureau, and reporter/photographer at The Toronto Star.
Why Canadian media need to talk more about race
CBC, November 18, 2016Radio/Podcast
Journalist Anita Li says media in Canada need to talk more about race. Now living in New York City, Li says while the discussion around race isn't perfect in the U.S., she argues there's a lesson to be learned in the frankness with which it is done.
Why Canada’s media industry is in more danger than you think — and what we can do to save it
The Toronto Star, November 9, 2020Print
Includes interview with Anita Li about revenue sustainability in Canadian media.
Ryerson Review of Journalism, July 23, 2020Print
Article featuring interview with Anita Li and the work of her organization, Canadian Journalists of Colour (CJOC): "The growing influence of community organizations and individuals who are working hard to boost inclusion in a still all-too-white profession."
Appel à une plus grande diversité dans les médias canadiens
Pieuvre.ca, January 28, 2020Print
Les salles de nouvelles du pays ne représentent pas correctement la diversité canadienne: voilà le constat mis de l’avant mardi par l’Association canadienne des journalistes noirs (CABJ) et le regroupement Canadian Journalists of Colour (CJOC), dans une lettre où ils appellent à agir rapidement pour corriger ce problème de représentation.
A post-election glimmer of hope for cultural pluralism?
Policy Options, October 25, 2019Print
Op-ed: Canadian voters largely resisted destructive populist narratives during the campaign, but will the country do the necessary work to dismantle racism?
Searching for Solutions
Ryerson Review of Journalism, May 29, 2019Print
Article featuring interview with Anita Li: "A new way to report on social issues."
Media Experts on how the World Views the U.S. Elections
Public Diplomacy Council, December 16, 2020Online
The USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy sponsored a “global conversation on how the US election is being explained to the world” on December 15 — the day after the United States’ Electoral College voted Joseph Biden as President-elect. Hosted by Adam Clayton Powell III, executive director of the USC Election Security Initiative, the panel featured: The Hon. Ashok Mirpuri, Singapore’s ambassador to Washington; Jeff Ballou, news editor for the Americas at Al Jazeera Media Network; Jacqueline Charles, Caribbean/Haiti correspondent for The Miami Herald; Vasily Gatov, Russian media researcher and author; Anton Harber, co-founder of South Africa’s anti-apartheid Weekly Mail newspaper; Insun Kang, deputy managing editor of The Chosun Ilbo; and Anita Li, journalism instructor at Centennial College in Toronto and the City University of New York.
Breaking News: Canadian Media Fails to Represent
SFU Public Square by Simon Fraser University, July 15, 2020Online
In this time of global crisis and increased attention on anti-Black racism, the lack of racial diversity in Canadian news media has become more apparent than ever before. Diverse newsrooms are needed to accurately represent Canadians and their experiences. Consequently, on July 2, we hosted a conversation about representation in Canadian media as part of our Distant, Not Disengaged event series, featuring panellist Anita Li.
Diversity and Solidarity in Media
Journalists for Human Rights, July 23, 2020Online
A discussion on what meaningful diversity in Canadian media looks like and the solidarity movement that's leading the way. Moderated by Karyn Pugliese, with panellists Adrian Harewood, Anita Li and Brandi Morin.
This Canada Day, the country must reflect on its history to write its future
Maclean's, June 29, 2020Online
Op-ed: Canada must return to its core values—sustainability, multiculturalism and human rights—which have not been upheld in recent decades.
Call to Action on Newsroom Diversity
Unifor Local 2000, February 11, 2020Online
News release announcing that Unifor Local 2000's executive members unanimously voted to support the call to action, published by the Canadian Association of Black Journalists and Canadian Journalists of Colour.
Media union backs call for newsroom diversity
CWA Canada: The Media Union, March 2, 2020Online
News release from CWA Canada endorsing a call to action on newsroom diversity by the Canadian Association of Black Journalists and Canadian Journalists of Colour.
What readers miss out on when newsrooms aren’t diverse
Canadian Media Diversity: Calls to Action
J-Source, January 28, 2020Online
CABJ and CJOC on how to improve media representation and inclusion, now. These calls to action were written by Anita Li of the Canadian Journalists of Colour (CJOC) and Nadia Stewart of the Canadian Association of Black Journalists (CABJ).
Prince Harry and Meghan would find friendlier media in Canada but impossible to escape scrutiny
Reuters, January 10, 2020Online
Article about how Canadian media would cover the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, featuring interview with Anita Li as a media expert/analyst.
The Overwhelming Maleness of 'Silicon Valley'
The New York Times, June 2, 2014Online
A New York Times op-ed referenced my television criticism.
Canadian media lacks nuance, depth on racial issues
Policy Options, September 10, 2019Online
Op-ed: The Canadian media is complacent about discussing our evolving cultural identity. We shouldn’t avoid tackling issues of race during the election.
The Discourse claims to be a leader in diversity. Here’s how we’re really doing.
Poynter, June 4, 2019Online
Op-ed: "These days, wherever you look, companies across industries are rolling out their diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts with lots of fanfare. D&I has become such a trend that 'diversity' in 2019 is a buzzword that’s nearly lost all meaning."
Meet Anita Li, this week's Featured Member
Gather: An Engaged Journalism Collaborative, September 5, 2018Online
Profile of Anita Li in Gather's newsletter.
How representative are Canadian newsrooms, actually?
J-Source, November 19, 2018Online
Article featuring interview with Anita Li: "Racialized journalists are trying to create change in a predominantly white industry, but say support needs to come from the top."
A guide to building deeper relationships with the communities you cover
Poynter, December 20, 2017Online
Explainer by Anita Li and Sam Ford: "When newsrooms think of communities as their 'audience,' we often imagine their existence only in relation to the products and services we offer. Of course, journalists know that the people who read, watch and listen to our stories don’t only exist in this vacuum. However, when we talk about the people who engage with our work every day as 'traffic,' 'followers,' 'commenters,' 'subscribers' and 'members,' it’s easy to lose sight of who they actually are, and think about the metrics rather than actual people."
Canada as a global leader in journalism
Policy Options, February 7, 2017Online
Op-ed: With the news media under attack in the US, Canada has an opportunity to lead with quality, cutting-edge journalism.
Community-Centered Journalism: Engaging People, Exploring Solutions, and Building Trust
by Andrea Wenzel
University of Illinois Press
August 31, 2020
Andrea Wenzel models new practices of community-centered journalism that build trust across boundaries of politics, race, and class, and prioritize solutions while engaging the full range of local stakeholders. Informed by case studies from rural, suburban, and urban settings, Wenzel's blueprint reshapes journalism norms and creates vigorous storytelling networks between all parts of a community. Envisioning a portable, rather than scalable, process, Wenzel proposes a community-centered journalism that, once implemented, will strengthen lines of local communication, reinvigorate civic participation, and forge a trusting partnership between media and the people they cover. Featuring expert insights from Anita Li.
Beyond Facts: Increasing Trust In Journalism Through Community Engagement and Transparency
by Mazi Javidiani
Published by OCAD University
April 1, 2018
Interview with Anita Li featured: "The shift in media ecology has disrupted the journalism ecosystem, exposing many of the challenges it faces today. In the economy of scale, local news faces great financial adversity. The concentration of power, the alarming influence of powerful individuals over journalism, lack of transparency, and the lack of diversity have all contributed to alienating the public, ultimately resulting in a loss of trust. This research identified two key leverage point that would help journalism build trust with communities: Engagement and Accountability. Through effective engagement, journalism can tap in to the collective wisdom, approaching issues from a more humble stance that would allow for a diversity of voices to be reflected, ultimately resulting in solution oriented stories that resonate with the realities of different communities. Transparency allows for a track record that can demonstrate the sensitivity of the journalist towards the community, while also acknowledging the possibility of wrong doing."
The Shattered Mirror: News, Democracy and Trust In The Digital Age
by Public Policy Forum et al
Published by Public Policy Forum
January 1, 2017
Profile of Anita Li featured: "The Public Policy Forum has some bold suggestions for how independent, trustworthy news can survive in the digital age."
Anita Li is a media strategist, commentator, and consultant based in Canada. She is also a journalism instructor in the Greater Toronto Area and at the City University of New York. Li teaches media executives around the world about audience engagement and industry revenue models as part of the CUNY Newmark Graduate School of Journalism's programs. She also trains undergraduate and graduate students in community-driven journalism at Centennial.
Li has a decade of full-time experience as a multi-platform journalist in three markets: Toronto, New York City and Ottawa. She started her career as a reporter and editor at Canadian legacy publications, including The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail and CBC. After that, she worked in strategic, management-level roles at American digital media outlets, such as Complex, Fusion and Mashable. Most recently, she was director of communities at The Discourse, a disruptive new player in the Canadian media scene that fills in gaps in news coverage for underserved communities. As a writer/reporter, she has been published in New York Magazine, Poynter, Policy Options and other publications across North America.
In October 2018, Li co-founded Canadian Journalists of Colour, a rapidly growing network of racialized media-makers in Canada, which now boasts more than 900 members. She's also a member of the 2020-21 Online News Association board of directors, among many other industry associations.
Li is an expert in audience engagement, media business models, newsroom diversity, media ethics and journalism innovation; she's spoken on these topics in press interviews and at conferences worldwide. Subscribe to her newsletter, The Other Wave, which is all about challenging the status quo in Canadian journalism: https://theotherwave.substack.com/
Online Journalism Awards Finalist for 2018 Feature, Small Newsroom | Professional
For more about our nominated series, The Discourse's #FirstNationsHousing, read this: https://awards.journalists.org/entries/first-nations-housing/
Poynter-NABJ Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media | Professional
Member, 2016 class for Poynter-NABJ Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media
Additional Titles and Affiliations
Durham College journalism program
Instructor, Advanced Reporting I
Centennial College journalism program
Instructor, Newspaper Laboratory 2
Online Journalism Awards
Judge, Online Journalism Awards 2019
Digital Publishing Awards
Judge, 2018 Digital Publishing Awards
Online News Association
Member, Board of Directors
Member, Advisory Board
Member, Journalism Program Advisory Committee
Canadian Association of Journalists
Member, Ethics Committee
The Media and Racism: An Online Round-Table
Centre for Race and Culture (https://cfrac.com/events/the-media-and-racism-an-online-round-table/)
Edmonton, AB, August 18, 2020
Community Engagement Tour at The Discourse-Scarborough
Assocation for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) 102nd annual conference (http://aejmc.org/events/toronto19/theme/)
Toronto, ON, August 8, 2019
Why gender and colonialism matter in journalism startups
International Journalism Festival 2018 (https://www.journalismfestival.com/programme/2018/why-gender-and-colonialism-matter-in-journalism-startups)
Perugia, Italy, April 13, 2018
Now and in the future: Promoting greater diversity in media and higher education
Worldviews on Media and Higher Education 2019 Conference (https://worldviewsconference.com/2019-conference/sessions/)
Toronto, ON, June 14, 2019
Innovations in journalism and newsrooms
Worldviews on Media and Higher Education 2019 Conference (https://worldviewsconference.com/2019-conference/sessions/)
Toronto, ON, June 14, 2019
How to cover underserved communities (co-presented with Katherine Ellis of the American Press Institute)
Solutions Journalism Summit 2018 (https://solutionsjournalismsummit.org/)
Sundance, UT, November 9, 2018
Getting it Right: Community-driven and solutions journalism at The Discourse
2018 ORCUP Regional Conference (https://www.evensi.ca/orcup-regional-conference-victoria-college/270296216)
Toronto, ON, October 5, 2018
Whose news? Building a media industry that truly serves Canadians
RightsCon Toronto 2018 (https://rightscon2018.sched.com/event/EHnz/whose-news-building-a-media-industry-that-truly-serves-canadians)
Toronto, ON, May 16, 2018
Getting Around 360 Video
NASH 80: Connect (https://nash802018.sched.com/event/D74e/getting-around-360-video)
Toronto, ON, January 6, 2018
Towards a New Exciting Era in Journalism: Transparency, Empathy, Inclusion and Genuine Public Engagement
Nordjyske Medier's "Future of Publicism" journalism conference
Aalborg, Denmark, September 19, 2017
Time to Get Real about Virtual Reality Journalism
National Association of Black Journalists convention 2017 (https://www.nabjconvention.com/2017/profile.cfm?profile_name=session&master_key=C2C143C2-894C-E711-80CC-001517B05C0F&page_key=63BDD2E9-7199-4AF5-9A22-54F3EB9DDFC3&xtemplate&userLGNKEY=0)
New Orleans, LA, August 10, 2017
How the rise of 360/VR content is influencing a new form of storytelling for journalists
2017 RTDNA Canada National Conference (http://www.rtdnacanada.com/2017-program/)
Toronto, ON, May 26, 2017
Who Gets Connected? A Panel on Inclusion & Tech
Toronto for Everyone: Community Hub (http://torontoforeveryone.com/community-hub)
Toronto, ON, February 25, 2017