2023 National Conference

October 19-21, 2023
Sheraton Centre, Toronto


Each year RTDNA Canada hosts a national conference and awards gala for news leaders and journalists to gather, connect with colleagues, and discuss the present state and future of journalism. This year’s National Conference and Awards Gala took place on October 19-21 at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto.

Friday, October 20

Bear Pit moderated by Farah Nasser

 Mainstream: AI, the Online News Act, What’s working? What’s shrinking?

There is no shortage of issues facing the news industry. Hear from the people who make the decisions.
GUESTS: Richard Gray (Vice President CTV News), Brodie Fenlon (Editor in Chief, CBC News), Amar Sodhi (Director, CITY News, OMNI News), and Ward Smith (Senior Vice President, Global News)

Journalism By The Numbers with Darrell Bricker, moderated by Beatrice Politi

In Journalism by the Numbers 2023, Ipsos’ Darrell Bricker will give us insight into how Canadians view news in this country. We’ll see the latest numbers of trust and confidence in Canadian media and where people are getting their news. We will also learn more about whether people are willing to pay for news, how much and on which type of content. Finally, we’ll take a look at how Canadians feel newsrooms are reflecting diversity and what place they feel Artificial Intelligence (AI) has in the newsrooms of today.
GUEST: Darrell Bricker (Global CEO of IPSOS Public Affairs)

Trust Me with Marissa Nelson, moderated by Cynthia Mulligan

Trust Me: Groundbreaking research by Magid, conducted for the U.S. RTDNA, offers tools and strategies to help journalists fight a growing lack of trust in the news we produce.
GUEST: Marissa Nelson (Vice President, Local Media, Magid)

Reconnecting with Canadians with Jaime Watt, moderated by Cynthia Mulligan

Canada’s go-to crisis communicator on what’s ailing the news business, and his own contribution to restoring trust.
GUEST: Jaime Watt (Executive Chairman, Navigator)

Lunchtime Keynote Speaker: Owen Ripley, moderated by Michael Serapio

Associate Assistant Deputy Minister to Minister of Heritage, Pascale St-Onge
One-on-One with Owen Ripley from Heritage Canada on the objectives of Bill C-18, the impact of Meta’s boycott, and what the Online News Act will mean for Canadian newsrooms. Michael Serapio, Anchor/Host, CPAC (Cable Public Affairs Channel) will be moderating.

Safe Space: How to Prioritize Mental Health While Getting the Story

As journalists, we have the privilege of being immersed in the unfolding of history. There are so many great stories that should be told and have to be told and journalists often put themselves into harm’s way as storytellers physically and mentally. In this session we explore how newsrooms can prioritize journalists’ mental health. We will explore the acknowledgement and importance of journalism-aware therapy and counselling, the grassroots peer support networks some journalism organizations are building and how we can build trauma awareness into the beginning of the storytelling journey – the assignment process.
GUESTS: Julia Glover (Registered Psychotherapist and former journalist), Dave Seglins (Journalist & Well-being Champion, CBC), and Anand Ram (Producer, CBC)

RTDNF Scholarship Winners

Presented by Brian Daly (University of Kings College)

Swipe Up, moderated by Lauren O’Neil

Ask anyone born after 1990 if they regularly watch a TV news broadcast, read a physical newspaper, or tune into a radio newscast and you’re likely to get a blank stare. Younger millennials and Gen Zers are far more likely to rely on social media platforms for their information. In this session, we’ll explore how to connect with younger news consumers, how to draw them from socials to Owned & Operated platforms, how to remain relevant in a loud and chaotic media environment and why Bill C-18 is making much of this far more challenging.

GUESTS: Alison Millington (Editor in Chief, Narcity Media), Anita Li (Founder, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, The Green Line), and Natalie Crowell (The National’s Senior Producer – Audience Experience).

Tech Trends moderated by Joanne McPherson

From using AI to create videos, to the latest in cameras and live techniques, innovators in news-gathering explain how to harness breakthroughs in technology to improve how you gather and present the news.
GUESTS: Bob Caniglia (Blackmagic Design), Arco Groenenberg (LIveU, Director of Sales, Central Region), Colleen Kimmett (Canada Teaching Fellow, Google News Lab), Ian MacInnes (CEO Let’s Go), Dan Benyamin (Founder, Project Aeon), and Stephanie Wilson Chapin (Strategic Partner Manager, News, Sports & TV, YouTube Canada)

President's Reception

In the Dominion Ballroom Lobby

Saturday, October 21

New Media Bear Pit, moderated by Karyn Pugliese

In our New Media Bear Pit, we will host three leading innovators in novel ways of reaching audiences and producing news. We’ll discuss which business models are working and why, the impacts of the Online News Act and how to find and retain the best talent committed to new media models. We’ll also talk about the recipes for success and the ingredients and pivots we see coming in the future.
GUESTS: Jeff Elgie (CEO, Village Media), Camille Dundas (Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief, ByBlacks.com), and Jordan Timm (Managing Editor, The Logic)

Reporting On Refugees and Asylum Seekers: UNHCR's Guide On Getting It Right, moderated by Omar Sachedina

How journalists report on refugees and asylum seekers is shaping the debate around one of Canada’s most pressing public debates. Whether it’s the Roxham Road crossing in Quebec, or asylum seekers sleeping on the streets of Toronto, the language and framing we use is of critical and growing importance. But are we always getting it right? The United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees (UNHCR) has created a guide and checklist to help journalists explore that question. This interactive session will use case studies of actual reporting and examine how we can report both accurately and ethically on some of the most complex and divisive issues of our time.
GUEST: Melanie Gallant (UNHCR, Head of Communications and Government Relations)

Diversity in News: From Words to Action, moderated by Brian Daly

Newsroom leaders and educators on how to move from setting goals in diversity and inclusion, to achieving them.
GUESTS: Nick Davis (Executive Director, Equity & Inclusion, CBC), Bhupinder Hundal (News Director/Station Manager, Global BC), Shari Okeke (Assistant Professor of Journalism at Toronto Metropolitan University)

Recruiting and Retention: Hear from the experts on how to find the right person, and how to keep them, moderated by Ramneek Gill

How to find the right people for your team and how to keep them in an ever changing industry.
GUESTS: Dan Shelley (RTDNA US), Michael Pham (LinkedIn Account Director), Eileen Chadnick (Big Cheese Coaching)

RTDNF Student Session

So you want to be a journalist? Go one-on-one with anchors to reporters to photographers and producers. Find out how they made it to the top of their field and the best way to stand out in the crowd.
GUESTS: Omar Sachedina (CTV News Anchor), Adrienne Arsenault (CBC National News Anchor), Brianna Carnegie (Managing Editor Online & Radio News Global News Toronto), Allya Davidson (Exec Producer The Fifth Estate CBC), Chris Dunseith (Camera Supervisor/Global News), Michael Goldberg (Exec Prod Global News Online), Kier Junos (CITY News VJ), Trevor Koroll (Reuters Digital Producer), Johanna James (CTV National News Producer), Ioanna Roumeliotis (CBC News Reporter), Mark Khouzam (CTV News Assignment Editor), Asha Tomlinson (CBC News Investigative Reporter)

RTDNA Canada Awards Gala

The RTDNA Canada National Awards gala is a night to celebrate the finest work produced by our member newsrooms and honour individuals who have made a difference to our industry hosted by CBC National News Anchor Adrienne Arsenault and CTV Toronto anchor Rahim Ladhani.

Conference & Award Gala Partners


Gold Level Sponsors

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Silver Level Sponsors

Bronze Level Sponsors