For those of you who pay attention to bylines, you’ve probably noticed a few new names in the Free Press lately.
And for an industry that has long been shedding reporting jobs, a media organization adding bylines is actually newsworthy.
So let’s get right to the latest news the Free Press is making by way of the newest face in our newsroom: Tom Brodbeck.
For decades, Tom has been a fixture on Manitoba's political scene, first as a legislative reporter for the Winnipeg Sun and then as the tabloid’s marquee columnist.
As of today, you will only be able to read Tom in the Free Press, as he is now part of our political coverage team, the largest in the province.
As we prepare to cover both a provincial and a federal election over the next four months, I can’t think of a better time to add Tom to our mix. He has plenty of experience on the campaign trail. He knows all the political players at all levels of government. He will broaden the perspective we deliver.
The Free Press is also proud to announce two new hires to broaden our coverage of the arts.
While our reporting on theatre, dance, the visual arts and music is by far the broadest in the region, we want to dig deeper to do more on the cultural fabric that is an important part of our city and province.
Frances Koncan is an Indigenous writer/artist of Anishinaabe descent who holds a master of fine arts in creative writing from City University of New York.
Her journalism has led to her writing for CBC Arts, the Toronto-based magazine Intermission, and locally for the Uniter. We’ve previously featured her playwriting talent in the arts section.
Eva Wasney moved upstairs earlier last month from our sister paper, Canstar Metro.
Along with her news and feature-writing experience, Eva brings a love of the arts that began in childhood, as well as experience covering the beat during her time at the Brandon Sun.
On the news side, we’ve also added Tessa Vanderhart, who comes to us from the CBC where she played a variety of reporting and leadership roles.
In addition to a number of front-page stories she has already delivered since joining us early in June, Tessa adds considerable digital depth to our newsroom, based on her years of experience on the web side of the news business.
Later this month, Maggie Macintosh will be leaving the CBC and the public broadcaster’s prestigious Joan Donaldson Scholarship to return to the Free Press newsroom where she made a strong impression as an intern last summer.
Speaking of interns, we have five young journalists on deck with us this summer, as part of the same paid internship program that gave me my start in the Free Press newsroom in 1988.
Devon Shewchuk: For the first time in years, a woman holds the Vince Leah Sports Internship. Devon is a graduate of Red River College’s creative communications program, and comes to us having spent time working at TSN and the Winnipeg Goldeyes.
Caitlyn Gowriluk: Caitlyn graduated from the joint journalism program at Red River and the University of Winnipeg this spring. She interned with the Free Press in news in December 2018.
Nadya Pankiw: Nadya graduated from the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa. She also spent time with us in December.
Nicholas Frew: Nick is in the master of journalism program at the University of King’s College in Halifax. He interned with us in April 2018.
Sasha Sefter: Sasha is our Jon Thordarson Photo Intern. He is a grad of Loyalist College in Belleville, Ont.
Not many newspapers are in a position to reload their newsrooms. But then again, most newspapers don’t have a loyal print readership and a growing digital audience that sees the value in paying for independent journalism.
Fortunately for us, readers like you are the reason the Free Press is able to make this investment in our newsroom.
firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @paulsamyn
Paul Samyn has been part of the Free Press newsroom for more than a quarter century, working his way up after starting as a rookie reporter in 1988.