Rental scams target students in Waterloo region

Students might ignore warning signs during desperate apartment hunt

By Clare Bonnyman, CBC News Posted: Aug 15, 2017

By searching the internet for photo use and discovering identical images were included in multiple scams from across Ontario, Erin Doyle avoided falling victim to an apartment scam “too good to be true.” (Kijiji)

Continue reading “Rental scams target students in Waterloo region”

Thunder Bay girls basketball program celebrates 10-year anniversary

The Lakehead University based program is celebrating a decade of teaching girls how to dribble.

By Clare Bonnyman, CBC News Posted: Apr 16, 2016 8:00 AM ET

2013 Jr Wolves Team Induction
The 2013 U18 Jr. Wolves team was honoured for their achievements at the RBC Spring Social in early April in Thunder Bay, Ont. The team went undefeated and captured both the Ontario Basketball Association Championship and the Minneapolis Youth Athletic Services Championship. (Lakehead University)

Jon Kreiner is celebrating a decade of teaching girls across Thunder Bay, Ont. how to compete on the basketball court.

Coach Kreiner has run the Jr. Wolves program in the city for the past 10 years, working to “develop basketball at a grassroots level in Thunder Bay.”

Based out of Lakehead University’s athletics facilities, the program is the only dedicated girls basketball development program in the city. Over the past decade it’s given more than 400 girls the opportunity to develop their skills at a competitive level.

In 2007 Kreiner formally started the Jr. Wolves program, hoping to “raise the awareness of basketball, the level of basketball, the numbers playing basketball,” among female players.

Coach K
Lakehead Women’s Basketball team coach Jon Kreiner instructing plays on the court. (Lakehead University)

“Girls can be just as high level or involved as the boys in basketball here in Thunder Bay,” he said.

Today the development program runs from October to March, and includes girls from Grades 3-6. The club program, for girls Grades 5-12, starts as soon as the high school basketball season ends in December.

To date, the program has produced over 30 players who have gone on to play basketball at a University level.

Some coaches have also come out of the program, including Katie Ulakovic, assistant coach for Hammerskjold High School’s varsity girls team, and Carolyn Fregale, an OUA All-Star, now a head coach for the Junior girls team at St. Ignatius High School.

Ulakovic was a player on the first Jr. Wolves team that ever played.

“Seeing our girls give back at the high school or the club level, that’s the next evolution of what you’re going to see,” said Kreiner.

Girls can be just as at high a level or involved as the boys in basketball here in Thunder Bay– Coach Jeff Kreiner

The past decade has been all about growth, and creating a space for talent at home, said Kreiner.

Now “we can develop our own players right here in our backyard in Thunder Bay,” he said.

This month the program’s success was toasted at the Lakehead Athletic’s RBC Spring Social, with a visit from local MP and Minister for the Status of Women Patty Hajdu.

The Price of Unpaid Internships

By Clare Bonnyman

The voices of students used in this piece were collected anonymously from a sample of 37 post-secondary students that have completed unpaid internships.

Today’s graduating students struggle.

Many earn a degree, but have little or no technical experience, and an obvious solution is an internship.

Today, unpaid internships are becoming infamous, warranting headlines and strong reactions.

“I think they are so insidiously evil,” said Bridget Eastgaard, creator of personal finance blog Money After Graduation.

“There is this mind set of the people that have completed unpaid internships. They act like it has made them a better person because they had to struggle so much,” she said.

Eastgaard calls it “The Bootstrapping Millennial Martyrdom Complex”, and has written about it in her blog. Essentially, those who suffered in the early years of their career see it as a rite of passage, and believe all others should too.

And with discussions within federal government trying to protect young workers, the limits of student suffering are up for discussion.

Today, more than ever students are paying to work, giving in to the ‘hidden costs’ of unpaid internships.

The hardest cost is deciding between paid work or an unpaid internship, but for Eastgaard, the benefits of working for free is not worth doing full time.

“I don’t want to see young people working 100 hours a week because they have to have two full time jobs,” she said

More than 50 per cent of the post-secondary students surveyed had part time jobs, and more than half kept those jobs while completing an unpaid internship.

Current proposed federal legislation would allow unpaid internships of four months or less. Originally proposed under the Harper Conservatives, the proposed changes to the Canada Labour Code focus on internships in federally regulated sectors that are “primarily for the benefit of the intern.”

Advocacy groups representing students pulled out of the consultations due to this proposed change.

The average part time job is 15 hours a week, and minimum wage in Ontario is $11.25 an hour; the average student taking four months off of work loses out on at least $2,700 dollars over 16 weeks.

Full time hours would earn them at least $6,300.

Internships can push students to work overtime, creating a struggle to balance budget and build a decent resume.

Quitting a paying job can make things harder.

“It’s one thing to take a job that you’re not getting a pay cheque for, but it’s quite another to leave a job to take a job that you’re not getting a pay cheque for,” said Eastgaard.

Other issues include relocating or commuting costs.

“A really good opportunity sometimes comes with those associated costs of moving,” said Eastgaard.

One student surveyed relocated to stay with family for free, while another spent $1,000 dollars on flights. When asked why they simply said, “one day I want a job.”

Another student took an opportunity abroad that also came with a costly commute. Her employer had promised a bus pass, but that never materialized, causing problems for a tight budget.

Student’s reported spending anywhere from $50 to $10,000 on relocation costs for unpaid positions, with 40 per cent of respondents spending more than $1,000.

Some costs are less obvious as well.

Unpaid internships can also force students into buying new equipment, clothing or joining networking activities.

Students reported spending up to $600 on these ‘satellite’ costs.

Tallied up, internships ranged from one week to five months, and cost anywhere from nothing to $10,000, not including lost wages.

Students keep costs low by staying close to home, living with friends or family, and keeping a tight budget for food and clothing.

In any case, internships are a serious financial burden, but a dream opportunity is hard to pass up.

Eastgaard’s advice is to evaluate the ROI— return on investment.

“When you’re considering an internship that is going to impact your finances in a negative way, make sure that it ultimately will have a positive ROI in your career,” she said.

“It can’t be just like ‘yay I’m bringing someone coffee in publishing.”

When it comes to the students, some call internships “a necessary evil,” while others feel they “should be illegal.”

For Eastgaard, it’s very simple.

“People should just be paid, period.”

Carleton University alumni appear on Dragon’s Den

Originally published on

Carleton alumni Jeff Davis and Jonah Brotman made their pitch on Dragon’s Den on Feb. 3, walking away with $50,000 and the support of Canada’s wealthiest barber.

Davis and Brotman met at Carleton during their undergraduate studies and have since co-founded the StashBelt, a belt with a built in zipper that travellers can use to safely carry money or documents.

The products are handmade in Kenya, and were inspired by Davis’s experience working as a journalist in Nairobi. While reporting on post-election violence in 2007, Davis was arrested and accused of being an American spy.

“He didn’t have his passport on him,” Brotman said. “But he did have a little money belt that his dad had actually hand sewn for him, and so he popped it off, opened the zipper, and pulled out photocopy of his passport, which is what got him out of jail.”

Davis came back from Kenya, enlisted the help of friends Brotman and Seth Rozee, and in late 2011 StashBelt was born.

A successful Indiegogo campaign in 2013 raised $10,000 for the project, and on Season nine of CBC’s Dragon’s Den, the team asked for $50,000 for a 33 per cent stake in the company.

To prepare for the show, the team practiced their 90-second pitch for weeks. “As much as I hate to admit it, since childhood my father has always said practice, practice, practice,” Brotman said. “He was right.”

But being comfortable in front of Canada’s richest and most influential business people was by no means a small task for Davis, Rozee and Brotman, but their passion goes beyond business. “I think that comfort comes when you know your product, you really believe in the mission,” Brotman said. “It’s about supporting a trade not aid mentality, and about empowering Kenyans.”

Pitching $50,000 for a third of their business, the trio walked away with $50,000 from ‘The Wealthy Barber’ Dave Chilton. Chilton also offered to be a mentor to the trio.

“That’s something that is really exciting for us,” Brotman said. “He’s sort of supporting us not just as a monetary investor, but he’s really giving his time and his support to help grow our business.”

Looking now to expanding into big retailers and across North America, the threesome behind Stashbelt is looking to share the experience.

“We just started it because we had a passion for it,” Brotman said. “A lot of students often feel like unless they study business they can’t do some of these things.”

But that’s not the case.

“You should try,” he said. “People can do a lot more than they think they can.” 

Tobacco sales banned on post-secondary campuses

(Originally posted on November 18, 2014)

By Clare Bonnyman

New provincial anti-smoking regulations ban the sale of tobacco products on post-secondary campuses. The legislation comes into effect in January, removing tobacco products from the shelves of campus retailers across Ontario.

For most Ottawa institutions, the regulation won’t change anything. Algonquin College and University of Ottawa removed tobacco products from campus retailers’ years ago, meanwhile Carleton University has not.

Of the Carleton retailers, no vendor overseen directly by the university sells tobacco products. However, retailers run by the student groups the Carleton University Student Association and Rideau River Residence Association, do.

“This is something that’s been coming for quite some time,” said CUSA Business Operations Manager Rod Castro. “We just never really knew what the time frame was.”

Castro oversees Henry’s convenience store on the Carleton University campus, a centrally located spot for students to pick up a snack, and where they used to be able to buy cigarettes.

Castro said that they are not the stores top-selling item, as “cigarettes are more of a traffic creating item, sort of like gas is at a gas station.”

However the legislation will have a significant financial effect.

“Cigarette sales is probably 20-25% of our total sales, and there really is no replacement for that type of revenue” said Castro.

“Literally I expect a drop in sales of about 20 or 25 percent, instantly.”

CUSA’s cigarette sales for the 2014-2015 school year were estimated at $53,000 in profit. As the legislation is only in effect for one of the three semesters, a profit-loss of approximately a third, or $17,666, could be predicted for CUSA.

Students forced to search off campus for a pack of smokes. 

New provincial legislation is going to make buying a package of cigarettes more different for students at Carleton University.
New provincial legislation is going to make buying a package of cigarettes more different for students at Carleton University.

Other institutions in Ontario have already implemented bans on the sale of tobacco products and even smoking on campuses, some leading up to the expected regulations.

“We’ve definitely been preparing for it,” said CUSA President Folarin Odunayo. “There were discussions when we first heard about the law coming about, and other situations on campuses across the country.”

But unlike other campuses, Odunayo and CUSA chose not to make a decision for the Carleton community.

“We can certainly encourage students to not smoke and inform and educate students about the health hazards of smoking, but I don’t really think it is in our position to ban things from the campus,” said Odunayo.

He said CUSA “can only provide the information, students are mature enough to make decisions on their own.”

CUSA welcomes initiatives onto campus to educate students about the hazards of smoking, like Leave The Pack Behind, a youth-oriented tobacco control program that has had a presence on campus throughout the fall.

International student Ivana Kolkovic came to Carleton from Serbia, and as a smoker says she is against the new regulations.

“I just feel that there are so many other things that are as dangerous as smoking,” said Kolkovic.

She says it is a personal choice whether or not to smoke.

“There are many issues around it,” she said. “People think that you smoke because you cannot cope with your problems and things like that, but I think that things are more complex.”

Odunayo says that unlike other Ottawa campuses that have more strict rules around smoking, CUSA didn’t feel that it was in any position to restrict students.

“You’ve got to ask yourself, is CUSA in the position to ban anything from campus?” he said. “We only have to provide a safe environment.”

Cassandra Leblonde, a second year English major who lives off campus, said she doesn’t know if she’d walk from campus to Bank Street to pick up a pack.

“Depends how much I wanted some smokes,” she said. “It’s a pretty big addiction.”


Facts and Figures about Tobacco on campus.
Facts and Figures about Tobacco on campus.

facts sourced from:

A 2004 study by Physicians for a Smoke Free Canada and a 2006 report by the University of Waterloo.

The Simple Solution to Sexual Assault.

Anne-Marie Roy, president of the University of Ottawa’s Student Federation (SFUO), is sending out a clear message to students:

“Don’t rape”.

As post-secondary students head back to school, safety becomes a top priority. A growing concern regarding safety is the ‘epidemic of rape culture’ on campus.

Roy, a leader in the SFUO since 2013, has seen the school through multiple cases of sexual assault. Roy herself was a victim of sexual harassment last year, when a leaked Facebook message revealed sexual threats from male students.

In February of 2014 two University of Ottawa men’s hockey players were accused of sexually assaulting a young woman in Thunder Bay while away for a game. The two men are set to face charges in court, and the male hockey team is suspended for the 2014-2015 school year.

The controversial suspension is a serious move on the part of the university to stand against sexual violence, but “there is more work that needs to be done,” says Roy.

“University and college campuses are a reflection of what our society actually is. I think that the University of Ottawa, and all other universities, do need to show a bit more leadership in terms of tackling this issue,” she says.

A problem with the modern response to rape culture is the tendency to ‘victim-blame’; when services and programs to prevent sexual assault focus on arming potential victims with self-defense and preventative skills.

“We all know that, despite all of our efforts,” says Roy, “unfortunately it still happens.”

Roy wants to move forward with a message of responsibility and awareness, moving away from ‘victim-blaming’ towards “teaching what I think is a very good lesson – Don’t rape,” she says.

There is no one program or service in place to fight campus rape culture across Canada. But Roy stresses the importance of working with each community.

“I think that having a uniform approach in fighting rape culture is not effective,” she says. “The challenges that we see are not the same for students engaging in different activities across campus.”

For the SFUO this resulted in the formation of a task force against rape culture on campus, established in early 2014.

The aim is to ask, “what is the culture within particular spaces on campus, to come up with a tailored approach to tackle rape culture in each of these spaces” Roy explains.

In the meantime, her message to incoming and returning students about sexual violence is very simple.

“Just don’t do it,” she says.

An ode to freelance.

Some journalists give their lives to trying to share other people’s stories.

To give your life to try and change the lives of others, or even just document the changing face of the world, is a great price to pay.

James Foley is one of many freelance journalists who travel the world, heading straight for the action. They look for conflict, and delve into the heart of it to search for a deeper truth. They find the human nature within the most barbaric of situations, and share these stories of the world, reminding us that in war and peace we are all still the same.

Freelance journalists are brave, and courageous. They do something that most people could never do. While most people turn and run from war, freelance journalists are drawn to it and thrive in the middle of chaos. It’s an uncertain world, not knowing where the next major conflict will occur or whether or not your next article will get published. But there is always a need. The world wants to know what’s going on in the darkest of places, and freelance journalists are some of the only people that can enter these situations and share them with the world.

“Anybody who is in freelance work, especially artistically, knows that it comes with all the insecurity and the ups and downs. It’s a really frightening life.”- Alessandro Nivola

Two years ago James Foley went missing. The 40-year old freelance journalist fell of the map while on assignment in Syria, something that many who follow in his particular line of work face. Whether taken hostage, going into hiding, or just losing contact with the world, it’s not uncommon for freelance journalists to go M.I.A for an uncertain amount of time. The unfortunate truth is that reporting the missing status of war correspondents and other journalists in conflict zones isn’t common practice. The white noise could come as a result of a number of situations, and in hostage cases or other precarious situations reporting the event can make it more dangerous for the individual.

Today he is presumed dead after a video was posted by ISIS showing an individual being beheaded. Though unconfirmed, the world is mourning, and the event has gripped the media.

People don’t always consider journalism to be a dangerous career. Certainly there are kinds of journalism that are safer than most; sitting in a cozy radio recording booth, interviewing Hollywood’s whos-who, or working in a sleepy town on the coast. But when it comes to freelance journalism, travel journalism, being a war correspondent or working for an international bureau it’s pretty hard to compete with most other communications job danger-wise.

They say it’s for thrill-seekers, for adrenaline-junkies.

I think it’s for people that dare to tell the stories no one else can. In the words of his mother Diane; “He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.”

Foley’s death marks a significant reminder  for North Americans. A reminder that civilians can suffer at the hands of militants around the world, that you don’t have to work in the military to feel the repurcussions of an international-conflict. The conflict may be seperated from the rest of us by borders, but the suffering and impact is felt worldwide.

As for myself? I doubt I will ever have the strength to be a freelance journalist. To explore as they do, to seek out and find the stories in the midst of chaos is something that I don’t know if I could do. My first instinct is still to duck and run when fists or bullets start flying.

But I stand with other journalists in reflecting and remembering James Foley, and the sacrifice other freelance journalists and war correspondents have made for their craft. It’s an uncertain world. The only thing I’m truly certain of is the incredible strength of these individuals and the strength of their families and friends in hard times. I’m certain that freelance journalists will continue to face uncertainty and danger despite the loss of great writers like James Foley. They will continue to bring to us visions and glimpses of what we hope we never have to face at home.

But the struggle goes on.

From the Wall Street Journal:

“More than 30 reporters—about half of them Westerners—have disappeared in Syria and are believed to be held by extremist forces. Westerners working for aid groups also have gone missing in Syria. More than 50 journalists have been killed since Syria’s civil war began in early 2011, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.”


A Day in the Life of a Newsatarian.

An experiment in scheduling; I want to block out (mostly for myself) a day in the life of a Newsatarian/Journalism student. So much of my preperation for my journalism career comes from how I take in the news everyday, and how I digest it. Immersion in the culture is a must. To really look at how often I take in news and how I consume my news is to look at how I can increase my intake or improve the content I’m already taking in. Also, it might prove just how big of a NewsJunkie slash RadioJunkie I am. (Hint, HUGE).

So this summer, as I work as a marketing assistant in downtown Toronto, here’s how I’m engaging in the news even when I don’t have time to practice my reporting (or do anything else).

6:00 AM

My first alarm goes off. I reach over and struggle to turn off the alarm on my phone, while simultaneously turning on my CBC Radio One app. I tune it to whichever local CBC Radio stattion I’m nearest. During the school year it’s Ottawa Morning with Hallie Cotnam. When I’m back home, I’m all over Metro Morning with Matt Galloway. Now THAT is a solid voice to wake up to everyday.

6:10 AM

My second alarm goes off. In an attempt to actually wake up, I open up my phone and flip onto Twitter. I flip right to my News List and start scrolling through the headlines, seeing what’s up for the day, anything new, etcetera. At this point too I check my phone for CP (Canadian Press), CBC, Globe and Mail, National Post and Ottawa Citizen news updates that may have come through on my apps while I was asleep.

6:20 AM

I actually get out of this point… Usually.
I take my phone around the house with me as I get ready, listening to the news updates as they come in, and listening to people who are far more awake than I am. I like to think of it as inspiration.

7:00 AM

I leave the house to catch a train, and say goodbye to my wifi. At this point theSkimm has arrived in my inbox on my phone. Probably one of my favourite sources of news at any time of day (but especially the morning), they summarize news and conflicts in a way that is understandable, fresh, often tongue-in-cheek and just in general awesome. This also gives me -as a Canadian- a great rundown on U.S. politics and U.S. National news in a way that I can actually wrap my head around. I read this on the train on my way downtown, which usually takes about 45 minutes.

8:00 AM

At this point I’m usually in the office if not far off. Back with internet (PRAISE) I log on, check my email and set up my screen for the day; newsmap in one tab, CBC Radio One open in another, and everything else I need for work.


I tune in and out of the Radio, trying to catch as much of shows like The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti or Q with Jian Ghomeshi. As a hopeful radio producer/journalist I try to soak up as much of CBC Radio as I can. The national news service offers a wide vareity of programming that covers so many topics, and each show is produced in a unique way. If you like marketing/business or just want to hear something really cool, I highly recommend Under the Influence with Terry O’Reilly. Like technology? Spark with Nora Young features some incredible stories about science and technology. White Coat Black Art with Dr. Brian Goldman is great for the health conscious etcetera, etcetera. I highly recommend looking into CBC Radio programming, you won’t regret it.

I get daily updates on my phone from different apps and keep myself up to date on events as they unfold. Through my job and my company’s twitter account, I get  a great insight into Canadian News and Canadian Military News, particularly news releases from the Department of National Defense and the Canadian Armed Forces.

Facebook gives me plenty of updates on news as well. For lighter fare I’m a fan of Refinery29, a unique lifestyle and fashion website that I have fallen in love with. They post a ‘Things you Need to Know This Morning’ everyday which is a great roundup for a collection of news. On any given day you’ll find entertainment stories, international news events, business and commerce news, and some celebrity gossip to boot (the Snickers bar of the Newsatarian diet).

5:00 PM

By this time, I’m usually on the train home, or at least headed to it. If I haven’t used up my data for the month I flip through the news on twitter, but more often than not I just zone out and sleep. No shame.

6:00 PM

Back at home, radio is back on, and I’ll generally settle in to do some work, edit some writing, scope for scoops etcetera. I’ll generally tune into the TV news if I’m at home and have cable. Generally CBC or CTV fits the bill.

A couple of times a week I listen to a Radiolab podcast in the evening, by far one of my favourite radio shows and experiments to come out of the U.S. (which I have to admit, is far more experimental and diverse than Canadian radio). It’s a great show to listen to, to really experience what incredible radio production can do. Radio becomes a visual art if used the right way, and Radiolab uses editing and tools to the fullest.

Again, back on twitter, news, etcetera until I fall asleep. Luckily, even if I’m doing something else, breaking news will pop right up on the front of my phone and I can quickly tune in to the latest developing stories as soon as they happen. Timeliness is everything in the modern journalism and communications world, so as a student I’m working to acclimate myself to news around the clock.

And that’s a very general -and rough- day in the life of a Newsatarian slash Radio Junkie.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some work to do.

The Battle of the Brews

By Clare E. Bonnyman

** This is a long-form journalism feature that I completed as a part of my multimedia collection produced for the Armagh Project 2014 and ieiMedia. I studied in Northern Ireland for a month and produced audio, visual and print work about the craft beer revolution and the rise of microbreweries.

LISBURN, Northern Ireland – It’s the most beautiful day Northern Ireland has seen in months, but Lisa Maltman has no time for that.

She is in charge of global sales and marketing for the Hilden Brewing Company, Ireland’s oldest independent brewery, established in 1981.

Being a small brewery in Northern Ireland is a struggle, with a large percentage of the market controlled by multi-national companies like Diageo and InBev – which run Guinness and Stella Artois, respectively.

Maltman’s office, much like the rest of Hilden Brewing, is a constant flurry of activity to keep the company’s product on the market and in the game. Her desk is covered in Post-it notes, graphs, business cards and bottles. In the midst of a craft-beer revolution in Northern Ireland, Hilden is using every opportunity to grow.Hilden Brewery, Lisburn

“We brew every day, and we are at peak capacity at the minute,” says Maltman.

“I’ve just remembered about seven different things I have to do,” she says, typing away furiously.


In recent years craft beer production and microbreweries have taken off internationally. Government-licensed alcohol vendors and bars across the world are serving more and more microbrews and craft beers, usually locally sourced.

In North America in particular, the craft beer market has boomed. In 2012 in Canada craft beer sales grew by over 30 percent, in contrast to relatively flat sales of wines and spirits.

This of course pales in comparison to the growth of microbreweries in England, where the microbrewery movement began in the 1970s. That was when a new generation of small, focused breweries started to produce cask-conditioned beer, also called “real ale.” From 2002 to 2012 the number of microbreweries in England doubled, making one brewery for every 50 pubs. There are well over 1,000 microbreweries in England today, and the number is growing by hundreds each year across the U.K. mainland.

But as of the summer of 2014, only 14 microbreweries are active in Northern Ireland. There are a number of reasons why.

Being in the U.K., it’s not hard for Northern Ireland to import a variety of microbrews to add some craft-style diversity. There are also very few bottling plants in Northern Ireland to service new microbreweries. This of course doesn’t even go into the politics that make it difficult to start a brewery in Northern Ireland.

The modern craft beer revolution has reached a crucial point for Northern Ireland, as more microbreweries pop up and fight to survive.

Continue reading “The Battle of the Brews”

BBC News and Biased Views in Belfast.

In Belfast one of the more memorable experiences I had was visiting the BBC Northern Ireland headquarters and visiting with Claire SavageMark Devenport and Martina Purdy.

It is always an incredible opportunity to be able to learn about the journalism industry from individuals who have worked first hand in it, but I found it fascinating to learn about the news system in Northern Ireland, and how it differs from the rest of the world.

In a country where religion transcends almost everything, and one’s faith influences political ideologies, moral beliefs, historical understandings and more, it is only natural that the same ideological separation exists in how one consumes the news.

Claire was telling us how she published a ‘neutral’ newspaper at one point during her career. The attempt was to create a single news source that everyone in Northern Ireland could read, regardless of religion or ideological/political beliefs. While staying away from religion and politics, it would serve the community as a whole.

When she first mentioned it I must admit that the idea struck me as ingenious. In a world where religion is seeming to have less of a visible influence over youth and the general population, it only seemed natural that the transition to a ‘neutral’ news source would come in time as it has seemed to in other countries.

In Canada, no blatantly religious newspapers are widely distributed. Apart from the Anglican Journal or other church-published newsletters there is little religious bias or focus in the journalism industry. Political bias absolutely, but that is held apart (mostly) from religion.

In Northern Ireland the political climate is unique. The religious beliefs of the Catholics and Protestants are tightly bound to the beliefs of the Nationalists and Unionists, respectively. And so where in North America we have clearly Conservative or Liberal newspapers (Republican or Democrat in the United States), Northern Ireland has Catholic or Protestant.

(For more information here is BBC UK’s ‘Brief History of the Troubles, to explain the divide).

Claire’s newspaper unfortunately didn’t make it past six weeks, which only stands to demonstrate the work that is still to be done in Northern Ireland, but also shows the current climate in the international journalism scene as well. Print is going out of style, and it is becoming harder and harder for new print publications to exist. The web is taking over, and only those pre-established newspapers are finding any readership; and even that is declining.

As printed newspapers are “phasing out” it will be interesting to see how these biases and ideologies choose to present, produce, and distribute their news, whether it be to continue printing the papers, or to amalgamate into one large journalism mass, or maintain their bias in an online presence. As the climate in Northern Ireland shifts towards a more unified people it will also be interesting to see the influence on the NI journalism business. Will these biased papers drop off the earth, or will the religious and political knots eventually untangle themselves and settle into their respective corners?

Certain Belfastians are optimistic about this separation of church, state and community as a whole. A gentlemen named Tom, who led me and my peers on an incredible Black Taxi tour around the city over the weekend, believes that the young people of Belfast are setting the stage for a new era of history. By putting aside religious segregation and biases, he believes the Peace Walls will be down by 2023, and a new Belfast will be ushered in led by a non-partisan youth.

As for me, I certainly hope he’s right, and that newspapers like Claire’s can exist and thrive in a bright community that reflects on it’s past while still marching forward.