Thank You to our past Contributors

Their work has been invaluable to the progress of the project

Project staff

Rithika Shenoy
Project Manager, GJIL
Rithika Shenoy was the GJIL project manager. She holds a bachelors degree in law and social work from the Gujarat National Law University in India, and a masters in journalism from the University of British Columbia. She has previously worked in the areas of corporate law and public opinion. Her areas of interest include digital media rights, foreign policy, diplomacy, and international relations.
Hanako Smith
Project Manager, TMU
Hanako is a PhD candidate in the Communication and Culture program at York University and TMU. She received an MSSc in Media Management from the University of Tampere, Finland, focusing on audience engagement and the Canadian broadcast television industry. She obtained her BA from McMaster University in Communications. She has experience teaching youth culture, and politics, policy and media. Her current studies are focused on the co-creation of patient experiences in virtual healthcare.
Sabrina Wilkinson
Project Manager, UOttawa
Sabrina Wilkinson is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Law, Technology and Society. She obtained her PhD in Media and Communications from Goldsmiths, University of London.
Felicia Chiappetta
Marketing & Communications Assistant

Felicia is a second year MJ student who has a research background in neuroscience behaviour on social media. She is also interested in journalistic behaviour both online and offline, and is a science communications enthusiast. In her spare time, Felicia dances professionally and plays the piano.

Research Assistants

Catherine Zhu
Catherine is a graduate of the UBC Master of Journalism program, and a graduate of the UBC Bachelor of Media Studies program. Since she was young, she has had an immense passion for writing, building community, and amplifying the needs of those with quieter voices through storytelling.
Bethany Rochester

Beth Rochester is a graduate of Master of Journalism at UBC. She completed her undergraduate in psychology at King’s College London where she interned as a content and digital producer for Sashkeys Media. She is interested in the intersection between psychology and business.

Kikachi Memeh
Kikachi Memeh is a journalist, multimedia producer, writer, and graduate of the journalism master's at the University of British Columbia. She received her Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from Covenant University, Nigeria. As a journalist and producer, Kikachi is interested in exploring various forms of storytelling to unearth and amplify glocal stories. 
Megavarshini Somasundaram Gnanasundari
Megavarshini is a second-year Master of Journalism student at the University of British Columbia. She holds a Master of Science in Media Sciences from Anna University, Chennai, India. She reports on various beats - gender, arts and culture, environment, education, court, and lifestyle, among others. 
Please feel free to get in touch with Megavarshini at
Arjun Srinivas
Arjun Srinivas† was a PhD Candidate at Queensland University of Technology’s Digital Media Research Centre. His research investigated the role that recommender systems of leading social media platforms play in the curation of news and other critical information. He also worked as a data journalist with The Hindustan Times, a leading media entity in India.
As part of the GJIL, Arjun was studying the global distribution, engagement and impact of explanatory journalism platforms like The Conversation.
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Sara Esayas
Sara Esayas is an MA student in the Communication & Culture joint program at X University & York University. She received her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Toronto where she completed a double major in Political Science and Book & Media Studies with a minor in French. Sara’s research interests include: audience studies & media ethnographies, cultural studies, journalism & news, political communication and race, ethnicity & media.
For the Explanatory Journalism and Uptake Project, Sara is working alongside Dr. Frauke Zeller, researching the news coverage and framing of BIPOC communities in North American print news media.
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Ollie Nicholas

Ollie is a graduate of the masters of journalism student at the University of British Columbia, specializing in audio journalism. He has long been interested in innovations in journalism, setting up his own website Dropout in 2017 to experiment with different forms of online storytelling.

Ibrahim Daair

Ibrahim Daair is a journalist and the Culture and Society Editor at The Conversation Canada, and was a past research assistant at the University of British Columbia's School of Journalism, Writing, and Media. He is a graduate of the Master of Journalism program at UBC. He holds a BA in Politics and International Relations and MA in Conflict Analysis from the University of Kent.

Sama Nemat Allah

Sama Nemat Allah is a Tkaronto-based undergraduate journalism student at X University's School of Journalism. She works as a research assistant for the Journalistic Role Performance project under the supervision of Dr. Nicole Blanchett to examine the evolution of ideals and practice in the contemporary journalistic world.

For the Explanatory Journalism and Uptake Project, Sama researched the evolving roles and ideals of journalistic practice and how academic authors writing content within a journalistic framework are pushing boundaries in the field of media.
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Eleni Vlahiotis
Eleni Vlahiotis is a second-year Master of Journalism student at the University of British Columbia. She has previous research experience in the areas of gender, race, and sport at the University of Toronto, and previously started a Master of Social Justice Education at U of T before changing academic paths to studying journalism and media.
Her current research interests are, broadly speaking, the power and politics of media in the global north. More specifically, she is interested in how the media upholds or subverts current power structures through things like media framing and coverage.
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Steven Zhu

Steven Zhu is a graduate of the Master of Journalism Program at UBC. He is interested in researching novel storytelling formats and funding models for journalism startups, particularly in the coverage of local news.

Juliana Pandurević

Juliana Pandurević is a student at the School of Journalism at TMU. She has a background in linguistics and foreign literature. She is worked as a research assistant for Dr. Nicole Blanchett and moderated the XJO Explanatory Journalism Podcast. Juliana also works for Bell Media Radio. She was the recipient of the Canadian Turning Points Writing Scholarship.

Outside of her TMU studies, Juliana works with WWII veterans from her native country of Serbia, compiling her interviews with them into a book.
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