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CMG Convention 2014 – Our speakers and panelists
By  CMG  •  Posted on  April 3, 2014

The CMG delegates who will attend the CMG Convention to be held from May 23-25 in Toronto will hear from a range of thoughtful, bold speakers. 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of CMG, and what a great occasion to hear from these remarkable colleagues and allies who will challenge and inspire us.

Keynote : How Journalism Has Got It All Wrong

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Neil Macdonald
Correspondent | The National

Neil Macdonald is CBC News’ senior Washington, D.C. correspondent.
In the course of a career that began in 1976, Macdonald has covered six elections and six prime ministers.He joined CBC News in 1988 following 12 years in newspapers and was initially assigned to Parliament Hill, where he reported on federal politics for CBC News The National.Before taking up his post in Washington in March 2003, Macdonald reported from the Middle East for five years.
He speaks English and French fluently, and some Arabic.
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Embracing Political Action

AFL President Gil McGowan.
Gil McGowan
President,
Alberta Federation of Labour
Gil McGowan was recently re-elected to his fifth term as president of the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL), Alberta’s largest union organization, representing more than 155,000 workers in both the public and private sectors.

Raised in rural north-central Alberta, McGowan received degrees from both the University of Alberta in Edmonton (Bachelor of Arts in History) and Carleton University in Ottawa (Master of Journalism) before embarking on a career in journalism.

McGowan then worked for the Alberta labour movement as a researcher, communications officer and community organizer for a decade before being first elected as AFL president in 2005.

As a union staff member and communications coordinator for the group Friends of Medicare, McGowan helped lead the broad public opposition to privatization in Alberta’s health care system.

As president of the AFL, McGowan has presided over the substantial growth of his organization and has been instrumental in putting many important issues on the agenda for public discussion in Alberta, including workplace safety, the use (and abuse) of temporary foreign workers and the loss of jobs due to the increasing export of raw bitumen (as opposed to creating value-added jobs in the province by doing the upgrading and refining here).

McGowan is the author of several award-winning studies on the Alberta economy including Crumbs From the Table, Missing Out on the Boom and Lost Down the Pipeline. He appears regularly in the Alberta media as a spokesperson for labour issues and is a frequent author of guest columns in Alberta’s major newspapers.

McGowan is a member of Unifor Local 445. He lives in Edmonton and has three children.

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The Digital Divide

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 Steph Guthrie
Feminist advocate and community organizer

Steph Guthrie is a feminist advocate and community organizer whose work tackles the intersections of gender, culture and technology.

She starts discussions online and offline about things that matter: women’s rights, labour, education, politics and more.

Steph co-founded Women in Toronto Politics and her comments have appeared in the Globe & Mail, the Toronto Star, the National Post, Metro News, CBC, Global News and FLARE Magazine.

Steph holds a Master of Arts in Communication & Culture from York and Ryerson Universities. Follow her on Twitter at @amirightfolks.

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The State of the Industry in the U.S.

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Bernie Lunzer
President, TNG-CWA

Bernie Lunzer was elected President of The Newspaper Guild-CWA in 2008, a sector of the CWA, representing journalists and media. Prior to that Lunzer was Secretary-Treasurer of TNG-CWA since 1995. He has worked on and initiated several future of work initiatives, and has pursued alternative ownership strategies actively since the demise of Knight-Ridder in 2006. Lunzer worked in news, advertising, circulation and marketing in his ten years at the St. Paul Pioneer Press in Minnesota, and also worked with the Star Tribune in Minneapolis in his role as Administrative Officer of the Minnesota Guild, from 1989 to 1995.

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Denise O’Connell
Producer, Director and Writer
Denise O’Connell is a producer, director and writer with 20 years of experience producing lifestyle, reality, news, current affairs, documentary and children’s programming.  Since graduating from Ryerson’s journalism school, she started out as a local general assignment TV reporter before gaining experience working for broadcasters here and internationally, as well as the independent production community.
A few of her most notable credits include “The Today Show” (NBC), Natures Weirdest Events (BBC), Candice Tells All (HGTV), and “You Gotta Eat Here” (Food).  Denise is also an online and print journalist and has been a media studies professor at Mohawk College in Hamilton.
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