The Council

Executives

John Fraser

John Fraser

Executive chair

John Fraser, is the NNC’s executive chair. Until April 2018, he served as the founding president and CEO of the National NewsMedia Council. He is a Canadian journalist, writer and academic. He was editor of Saturday Night magazine from 1987 to 1994, where he pioneered the use of mixed circulation. He started his journalism career as a teen-aged copy boy for the Toronto Telegram, and became a noted dance and theatre critic. He has been a columnist, China correspondent, Ottawa bureau chief, national columnist, national …

Miller Ayre

Miller Ayre

Vice Chair, Eastern Canada - Public Member

Miller Ayre is President of Mansbord Incorporated, National Vice Chair of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council, a Director of the Canadian Deafness Research and Training Institute, the Quebec-Labrador Foundation, the Michener Awards Foundation, and the Science Media Centre of Canada. He is a member of the Order of Canada and received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Memorial University. He was educated at Prince of Wales College and holds an honours degree in Economics from Harvard University and a Master …

Ray Gerow

Ray Gerow

Vice Chair, Western Canada - Public Member

Ray Gerow is a former member of the B.C. Press Council. He served six years with the Canadian Armed Forces, including posting during the Gulf War. His work history ranges from construction to management, with extensive experience in economic and community development. He is vice-chair of the board of governors for the College of New Caledonia, a board member of the Northern Sports Centre at the University of Northern B.C. and the Nechako Kitimaat Development fund, and a former chair of …

Public Members

Anita Vergis

Anita Vergis

Public Member

Anita Vergis is a lawyer and a mediator.  Anita was a partner in a downtown Vancouver law firm prior to opening her own dispute resolution business providing mediators (to settle disputes), arbitrators (to rule on disputes) and custom dispute resolution design.  Currently Anita practices in the area of class action/mass tort law.  Anita has had the privilege of being counsel on several class actions including Zimmer Durom hip implant, hormone replacement therapy and Fosamax.  Most recently Anita has worked on …

Ann Dillon

Ann Dillon

Public Member

Ann Dillon is a graduate of the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto and practised corporate law as a partner of two major Toronto law firms for almost 20 years. After a sabbatical in which she raised her four children, she served as a Canadian Citizenship Judge in Vancouver where she participated in a number of national working groups and represented the Citizenship Commission on legal panels relating to citizenship. Ms Dillon has been a community volunteer, frequently …

Lucy Becker

Lucy Becker

Public member

Lucy Becker is a retired public affairs/communications executive who has an extensive background in the regulation of the investment, legal, health and bereavement sectors. Since retiring in 2021 from the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, a pan Canadian self-regulatory organization with oversight of the investment industry and trading on Canada’s capital markets, she was appointed by the Ontario Government to the Board of Directors of the Bereavement Authority of Ontario and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario …

George E. Lafond

George E. Lafond

Public Member

George E. Lafond is a member of the Muskeg Lake (Treaty 6) Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. He was raised in the community by his mother, one of the first women chiefs to hold office in Canada, the late Senator Alpha Lafond, and his father, a veteran of WWII and the Korean Conflict, Albert Lafond, along with his brothers and sisters and extended family. George has been involved in community development and service in a variety of roles during his professional …

Cheryl Palmer

Cheryl Palmer

Public Member

The Rev. Canon Cheryl Palmer is currently the rector of Christ Church, Deer Park (Anglican) in Toronto. Prior to that, she has served as Director of Cemetery Ministries for St.John’s Norway in Toronto, and was rector of St. Clement’s Anglican Church in North Toronto for sixteen years.  In the previous years Canon Palmer was the Anglican Chaplain at the Hospital For Sick Children, during which time she was an Honorary Assistant at Christ Church, Deer Park. She has also served …

Professional Members

Natasha Hassan

Natasha Hassan

The Globe and Mail

Natasha Hassan has been a journalist for 28 years, working for the Financial Post, National Post and The Globe and Mail respectively. She has been an editorial writer, comment editor and business editor. She is currently the Opinion editor of the Globe, overseeing staff columnists and freelance contributors, as well as the 12-page Saturday Opinion section.

Janice Neil

Janice Neil

Ryerson University, School of Journalism

Janice Neil is chair of the Ryerson School of Journalism, teaching students in the Bachelor of Journalism and Masters of Journalism programs. After joining the faculty in 2007, she served as Editor-in-Chief of J-Source.ca a national website providing information, commentary and resources on the Canadian journalism industry. Her earlier professional journalism career included working as the senior producer of CBC Radio 1’s Metro Morning, TVOntario’s Studio 2 and as a reporter for CBC in London (UK), Toronto and Regina. She was also a member of the …

Doug Cudmore

Doug Cudmore

The Toronto Star

Doug Cudmore is a senior Toronto editor at the Toronto Star, overseeing a wide range of files, including crime and justice, municipal politics, urban affairs, transportation and housing. A Ryerson journalism graduate, he has held a variety of newsroom management roles at the Star, including Business Editor, Deputy City Editor, and Entertainment Editor. He previously worked at The Globe & Mail.

John Racovali

John Racovali

Postmedia

John Racovali helped launch the National Post in 1998 and has since held a number of positions, including assistant managing editor. He currently runs the web team and oversees nationalpost.com. John is a previous winner of a William South Fellowship at Massey College.

Abbas Homayed

Abbas Homayed

Laurentian Publishing Ltd./Village Media

As Vice President of Laurentian Publishing Ltd. and Publisher of Northern Life newspaper, Abbas Homayed provides leadership direction to multiple media and events operations that deliver online and print coverage of local, regional and provincial news; promote the growth of local businesses; showcase the efforts of community organizations; and spotlight the contributions of community-minded individuals. He is the President of the Canadian Community Newspapers Association. He also served as President of the Ontario Community Newspapers Association from 2008 to 2010. In 1988, …

Paul Samyn

Paul Samyn

FP Newspapers

Paul Samyn has been part of the Winnipeg Free Press newsroom for more than a quarter century, working his way up after starting as a rookie reporter in 1988. And if you count the time he spent delivering the newspaper as a boy growing up in St. James, his connection to the Free Press goes back even further. As a reporter, Samyn wrote for every section of the paper, covered elections, wars overseas and the funerals of a royal princess …

Philip Wolf

Philip Wolf

Black Press Media

Philip Wolf has been a journalist on Vancouver Island for more than 25 years. He began his career at the Cowichan Valley Citizen and was the managing editor at the Nanaimo Daily News before assuming a similar role with the Vancouver Island Free Daily and the PQB News. He enjoys coaching a variety of sports.

Personnel

Brent Jolly

Brent Jolly

Managing director

Brent Jolly is the managing director of the National NewsMedia Council of Canada (NNC). He previously served as the NNC’s director of communications, research, and community management. Prior to joining the NNC in 2016, Brent worked as a journalist with a variety of news outlets as both a writer and editor. In addition to his work with the NNC, Brent also serves the national president of the Canadian Association of Journalists. He is a co-author of the study ‘Good News, Bad …

Cara Sabatini

Cara Sabatini

Director of Dispute Resolution

Cara Sabatini is the director of dispute resolution. She received a certificate in alternative dispute resolution from York University, and completed a program in data journalism from the University of King’s. She is the co-author of the joint study with Ryerson University, ‘Good News, Bad News, a snapshot of conditions at small market newspapers in Canada.’ As a freelance journalist and editor for academic manuscripts, her work primarily focuses on law and policy issues and has appeared in various North …