Journalism Conference 2024

Friday, July 12, 2024 at 01:00 PM through July 14, 2024


Novotel North York
3 Park Home Ave
Toronto, ON M2N 6L3
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Event contact

Event Manager

The Democracy Fund will host its third annual Student Journalism Conference and Job Fair in Toronto from July 12 to 14, 2024.

This year's theme is all about mis/disinformation, fact-checking, and reporting on "forbidden subjects."

Successful applicants will participate in a three-day intensive program and learn the fundamentals of modern journalism, with an emphasis on digital platforms. In addition to journalistic skills, participants will learn about Canada's civil liberties challenges in 2024.

Through lectures and interactive sessions, attendees will learn about the latest trends and best practices in journalism, as well as the importance of upholding journalistic integrity in the face of censorship.

A highlight of the weekend will be a journalistic group assignment that a panel of senior journalists will grade and offer helpful, practical feedback – with a grand prize for the winning group!

Successful applicants will have all their travel costs (economy class), accommodations, and meals covered while at the conference. This truly is a one-of-a-kind, all-expenses-paid opportunity for young aspiring journalists in Canada!

Lineup of guest speakers:

  • Ezra Levant
    Founder and owner of Rebel News and the host of The Ezra Levant Show. He is the author of multiple best-selling books, including Ethical Oil and most recently, China Virus.
  • David Menzies
    David “The Menzoid” Menzies is the Rebel News "Mission Specialist." The Menzoid is equal parts outrageous and irreverent as he dares to ask the type of questions those in the Media Party would rather not ponder.
  • Sheila Gunn Reid
    Sheila is the Alberta Bureau Chief for Rebel News and host of the weekly The Gunn Show with Sheila Gunn Reid. She's a mother of three, conservative activist, and the author of best-selling books including Stop Notley.
  • Andrew Lawton
    Broadcaster, columnist, managing editor of True North and author of “The Freedom Convoy: The Inside Story of Three Weeks that Shook the World.” Formerly hosted a popular radio show on 980 CFPL in London and contributed a national column to Global News. Known for his engaging interviews and incisive commentary, Andrew's work has been featured in prominent publications such as the Washington Post, National Post, Toronto Sun, and Global News. He has also appeared as a commentator on various television networks, including CBC, CTV, TVO, CTS, and BBC World. In 2018, Andrew ran as a Progressive Conservative candidate in Ontario's provincial election.
  • Tamara Ugolini
    Tamara is a human rights activist turned journalist and is the Senior Editor at Rebel News. Motherhood introduced her to parental rights advocacy and what it means to have true, informed consent. She critiques the shortcomings of "Big-Policy" on the individual and questions mainstream narratives.
  • Sue-Ann Levy
    An investigative reporter/columnist for the Toronto Sun/Sun Media chain, gained renown for her relentless advocacy for the marginalized and her staunch opposition to rising anti-Semitism and the BDS movement in Canada. With over 16 years of experience uncovering waste, mismanagement, and social injustices at Toronto City Hall and Queen's Park, she has earned two investigative reporting awards and nine Toronto Sun Readers Choice awards for her impactful news writing. Sue-Ann resides in Toronto and Florida with her wife, Denise Alexander.
  • David Freiheit (aka Viva Frei)
    David Freiheit is a former lawyer and political candidate for the People's Party of Canada and a renowned YouTuber known as Viva Frei. In 2019, Freiheit rebranded his channel to focus on law-related content and launched a second channel, "Viva Family," to maintain his earlier style. His nonpartisan approach to political commentary earned him a following with over half a million subscribers. 
    In 2022, Freiheit signed an exclusive deal with Rumble, expanding his presence and contributing significantly to the platform's content moderation policy proposal.
  • Elie Cantin-Nantel
    Elie is a Canadian journalist, columnist, and commentator. He currently works for True North, where he runs the Campus Watch series, featuring exclusive stories from Canadian academia. He also enjoys covering Quebec issues, federal politics as well as education. His multi-skills journalism includes investigations and on the ground reporting. He also conducts podcast interviews with people who are often ignored by the legacy media. Elie has also been published in The Post Millennial, The Epoch Times and C2C Journal.
  • And special guest, Tamara Lich.
    Tamara is a passionate advocate for the rights and freedoms of all Canadians, with a special focus on the oil & gas sector. She was instrumental in organizing the 2022 truckers Freedom Convoy, a protest against vaccine mandates that garnered international attention.

Meet our sponsors:

  • Rebel News
    Rebel News, founded in 2015, prides itself on telling the other side of the story. They follow the facts wherever they may lead — even if that conflicts with the official narrative of the establishment. Rebel News fights for freedom of speech both for themselves and for those with whom we disagree — that’s how freedom of speech works. They believe any and every idea ought to be open to criticism and debate. And they are not afraid to champion people who have been forgotten by the establishment. Rebel News is one of the few media outlets that has the power, freedom, and reach to challenge the views presented in the mainstream media.

  • True North
    True North is a Canadian digital media platform that seeks to provide Canadians with fair, accurate, truthful and fact-based news reports, analysis, investigative reports, podcasts, interviews and documentaries.

  • The Western Standard
    The Western Standard, founded in 2004, is an independent source of news and commentary fighting for a strong and free Western Canada, committed to the truth even when it hurts, and opposed to any government funding, regulation or intervention of the press.

  • The Independent Press Gallery of Canada
    The Independent Press Gallery of Canada (IPG) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to independent, non-governmental journalist organisations. IPG helps protect the rights of journalists and promote a culture of free and independent media in Canada. Providing member services that range from press credentials to internships, advice and other assistance, IPG strongly stands for the independence and rights of its journalists.

  • The Counter Signal
    The Counter Signal, founded by Keean Bexte, is an alternative to mainstream media that offers a news and culture podcast. Listeners can tune in to challenge media misinformation and access unbiased, non-government-funded news. The Counter Signal is dedicated to preserving freedom of speech and delivering the truth.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • The conference is open to Canadians, permanent residents and non-Canadians with valid work permits interested in pursuing journalism in any medium
  • Must be proficient in English
  • Vacancies are open to applicants 18 to 30 years of age

Selection Criteria:

  • Ambition and work ethic
  • Journalistic integrity
  • Would benefit personally and professionally from the conference and would be likely to make journalism a career
  • A commitment to civil liberties

This conference offers not only a valuable learning experience but also serves as a job fair where attendees can network and engage with prominent journalists and Canadian news outlets, paving the way for future career opportunities.

Applications are now closed.

A special thank you to this year's sponsors for their support in making our Student Journalism Conference possible. Their commitment to supporting independent media and advocating for freedom of the press is truly inspiring. TDF is deeply grateful for their partnership.

If you wish to support our conference, please click here to make a tax-deductible donation to fund our initiative.

For those interested in sponsoring our conference as a partner and participating in our job fair, please email [email protected]

Thank you for your contribution to the advancement of journalism and for empowering the upcoming generation of reporters and writers!

About The Democracy Fund:

Founded in 2021, The Democracy Fund (TDF) is a Canadian charity dedicated to constitutional rights, advancing education and relieving poverty. TDF promotes constitutional rights through litigation and public education. TDF supports an access to justice initiative for Canadians whose civil liberties have been infringed by government lockdowns and other public policy responses to the pandemic.