Born in Bordeaux, in the southwest of France, Sophie Gaulin spent a good part of her childhood on a sailboat. This way of life pushed her to see the planet without too many borders. She moved to Winnipeg in 2003.
She took over the management of the Franco-Manitoban newspaper La Liberté in 2009. Her philosophy, ”Go Big or Go Home”, leads her to transform the challenges of local print media into new business opportunities.
Gaulin enjoys collaborating with her colleagues across the country. In 2011, she met Margo Goodhand and sealed an agreement with her colleague from the Winnipeg Free Press that will lead to an all-French article in the English-language daily. This agreement continues under the leadership of current editor Paul Samyn. She took advantage of the 100th anniversary of La Liberté to invite her colleagues from Canada’s century-old newspapers to Winnipeg and organize a conference on the transformation of the industry.
Gaulin has been a member of the News Media Canada Board of Directors for several years and on the Executive Committee for two years. She has also been a judge for many years at the National Newspaper Awards.
Gaulin is convinced of the importance of educating young people about reliable news consumption. She is involved in many initiatives to educate young people in schools, which she calls media intelligence workshops. Since the beginning of the pandemic, she has begun publishing children’s magazines on COVID, which opened the doors to an international French-speaking market. Since September 2022, she has signed a collaboration with the Coops de l’Info to provide and relay daily news for 8 to 12 year olds.
In recent years, she went to the Middle East with the Globe and Mail’s Director of Security and Innovation to help some newspapers improve their business model. She also enjoys lending a hand to her Canadian colleagues as she strongly believes in the need for a free, strong and independent press.
Rob Roberts is editor-in-chief of the National Post, where he has worked in various editing roles since it started up in 1998, minus a stint as Atlantic Bureau Chief for The Canadian Press from 2015-19.
He previously worked for his hometown Montreal Gazette, as well as the now-defunct Daily News in Halifax as a reporter and copy editor, and at CKCW-CFQM Radio in Moncton, N.B., where among other things he produced a Top 40 countdown.
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.
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 and a prime minister.
The graduate of the University of Winnipeg and Red River College helped lead the Free Press’s political coverage for a decade as its Ottawa bureau chief before being named city editor in 2007.
In the summer of 2012, Samyn was promoted to Editor, becoming only the 15th person to hold that office since the Free Press began publishing in 1872.
Janice Neil is the former chair of Toronto Metropolitan’s 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 journalism faculty at Carleton University.
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.
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.
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, two years after arriving in Canada as a new immigrant from Lebanon, he graduated from Cambrian College with an Electronics Engineering Technician diploma. In 2007, he was asked to join the Board of Governors of Cambrian College where he served as Chair of the Board from 2009-2011.
Abbas was honoured in 2011 with a Paul Harris Fellowship by The Rotary Club of Sudbury Sunrisers, the club’s highest recognition of service. In May 2012, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal for outstanding community service.
In March 2015, Abbas Homayed was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Sacred Letters from Huntington University, in Sudbury, for his dedication and passion for community service.