RTDNA Canada (Radio Television Digital News Association) has announced a new 28-member Board of Directors as it pushes forward with an ambitious plan to boost its membership amidst a challenging time for journalism.
Inclusive of leaders in broadcast and digital newsrooms from coast-to-coast, new directors for 2022-23 are Donna Carreiro, Producer, CBC Radio Manitoba; Espe Currie, Supervising Producer, CityNews Vancouver; Ramneek Gill, General Manager, CTV News Toronto/CP24; Michael Goldberg, Executive Producer, Global News Ottawa; Bhupinder Hundal, News Director/Station Manager, Corus Entertainment, BC; Trevor Koroll, Lead Digital Producer, Thomson Reuters; Sarah Mills, Provincial News Director, 980 CJME/650 CKOM; Janice Neil, Associate Professor, Toronto Metropolitan University; Mary Nersessian, Executive Producer, Audience Growth & Development, CTV News; Jumy Ogunsola, Journalist and Producer, CTV Vancouver; and Mark Solnoky, Executive Producer, APTN.
New to the RTDNF (Radio Television Digital News Foundation), the RTDNA’s scholarship arm, are its President, Brian Daly, Assistant Professor of Journalism, University of King’s College; and Trina Roache, who holds the Rogers Chair in Journalism, at King’s.
President Lis Travers says each board member brings a unique perspective to the association at a time when journalism is being challenged by evolving news industry models. The organization has been focused on aggressively boosting its membership, which has surged from a low of just over 100 at the start of the year to 720 active members over the last few months.
“Membership numbers started to decline when advertising revenue went into free fall, and with it, budgets,” Travers told Broadcast Dialogue. “Typically, there were multiple people in each individual market holding RTDNA Canada memberships, and who would often travel to attend the conferences. When the economy tanked jobs were lost, travel and memberships erased from many budgets. At its height in 2007, RTDNA Canada had 500 members, but those numbers dwindled steadily. By January 2023, membership was down to 108.”
“One of the main goals of the new board was to make membership more available to all,” explained Travers, the former General Manager of CTVNews.ca. “We changed the structure of membership to give more people access. The second goal was to provide value through professional development, recruitment and creating a forum for the exchange of industry news, best practices and helping to mentor the next generation of journalists.”
The 438% increase in members was accomplished by making annual memberships more accessible to journalists, including incentivized group rates for newsrooms.
Next month, RTDNA will launch a series of training webinars for young journalists and students supporting ongoing skills development and mentorship, among other planned initiatives.
“RTDNA Canada has an ambitious plan, and this board represents some of the best minds in the business. The board members are looking forward, seeing opportunities amid the challenges, and collectively finding ways to become a foundational and valuable resource to members, in addition to our robust awards program and national conference,” said Travers.
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