“Supporting the English-speaking community in West Quebec”

March 3rd: Coffee Chats- Panel: Youth in local media


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A panel of youth working in local media will join us on Thursday, March 3rd at 10:00 am for our Coffee Chats. Join the conversation and hear from Zainab Al-Mehdar (The Equity), Stuart Benson (The Low Down to Hull and Back), and Caleb Nickerson (CHIP 101.9)!

Click here to register

More about our guests:
Zainab Al-Mehdar is a reporter at The Equity. She is a recent graduate of Algonquin College’s journalism program. She also completed a bachelor's degree in Communications at the University of Ottawa. She has tried her hand in the digital marketing and communications world but always gravitated towards writing. One of the things she loves about journalism is learning something new about people and places. And with a community paper, she gets to report on so many different issues and topics which have helped her grow her portfolio. One of her favourite memories from her undergrad was meeting Rosemary Barton while on a tour of CBC offices.
She currently has bylines in The Hill Times, Glue Magazine, Algonquin Times, The Fulcrum, Maclean's and Ottawa Show Box.

Originally from Barrie ON, Stuart Benson attended Barrie Central Collegiate High School. While attending, he was a member of the rugby program, Classics Club, theatre department, as well as first baritone saxophone for the Sr. Band and Jazz Band.
Stuart moved to Ottawa in 2010 to attend the University of Ottawa where he received a Bachelor of Arts focusing on classical literature and cultures. After graduating, he worked in a number of restaurants before returning to school to pursue journalism at Algonquin College.
During his journalism program at Algonquin, he was a reporter for the school's newspaper and wrote for its magazine Glue, serving as Entertainment editor for both, which gave him the opportunity to interview some of his favourite Canadian performers, including Kenny and Spenny, USS, and The Fast Romantics.
Stuart was also one of three contributing reporters who worked on a year-long investigative report examining Algonquin College’s failed Jazan campus in Saudi Arabia.
Shortly after graduating in 2020, he found his position as a reporter for The Low Down to Hull and Back newspaper, beginning work on Feb. 12, a month and a day before the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Stuart is interested in political, health, and human interest reporting, as well as breaking news and live reporting events.

Caleb Nickerson has been a community journalist in the Pontiac area for nearly six years. He is from the town of Brighton, Ontario, and moved to Ottawa for school, where he completed a four-year joint journalism program at the University of Ottawa and Algonquin College. 
During his final semester of college, he completed a 6-week work placement at The Equity newspaper in Shawville and was offered a job following graduation. Caleb moved to Shawville in August 2016 and has lived there ever since.
While Caleb began as a reporter, he started taking on some editing duties about 2 months after he started, and fully took on the editor role in March 2019.
Caleb decided to move to radio journalism in the summer of 2021, nearly five years to the day that he started at The Equity and he started at CHIP 101.9, Pontiac's community radio station in Fort Coulonge in mid-July 2021. He had known the manager there for some time through his role at the paper and thought it was the right time in his career to learn some new skills and improve his French. Currently, he writes and translates news stories for their website, as well as conducts interviews for the air and records the local news bulletin for their afternoon programming. Caleb shared that it's quite a change of pace, but it's been a great experience thus far.