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Seven reporters join the Star for a one-year internship

The Star welcomes seven new full-time paid interns as part of the one-year internship program. From January, journalists will join the Star team to cover local issues.

The seven journalists were selected from hundreds of early career applicants who applied to the program, which provides hands-on experience and professional training to emerging journalists.

Ghada Alsharif: Ghada Alsharif is a multimedia journalist who joins the Star after three years of reporting in Lebanon. There, she covered issues such as the Beirut port explosion in 2020 and mass protests in 2019. She covered politics, climate change, social issues, the economy and the courts. Prior to his experience in the Middle East, Alsharif obtained a Fellowship in Global Journalism at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto and wrote for outlets such as CBC News and Quartz.

Seven reporters join the Star for a one-year internship

Joshua Chong: Joshua Chong started working at The Star last September as a last-minute reporter in the radio room. He is a journalist and writer for the performing arts. He is studying English and Drama at the University of Toronto. Previously, he was Associate Editor of The Varsity, the student newspaper at the University of Toronto. He won a John H. McDonald Award for Excellence in Student Journalism for his work on a series to investigate allegations of anti-black discrimination and racism at Trinity College. Chong has also worked as a reporter for the Gleaner Press, a Toronto community newspaper, and as a freelance performing arts critic for several local arts publications.

Seven reporters join the Star for a one-year internship

Clarisse Feinstein: Clarrie Feinstein joins The Star of Metroland Media, where she has covered education and human interest stories in the Peel region. She graduated from the University of Toronto and received her MA from the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. Her work can be seen in the Daily Hive, where she has covered news, politics and COVID-19. Feinstein has also been featured in Business Insider and Salon, as well as local New York-based publications. She is also the co-founder of Niv, a magazine of Jewish culture.

Seven reporters join the Star for a one-year internship

Maria Iqbal: Maria Iqbal is a former reporter for Hamilton Spectator, where she covered aging issues and the COVID-19 crisis in the region’s long-term care sector. She won an Ontario Newspaper Award for Beat Reporting for her work, including her multimedia series “Living With Dementia”. With a master’s degree in journalism from Ryerson University, Iqbal has previously reported for The Globe and Mail and was editor of The Review of Journalism and The Medium at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

Seven reporters join the Star for a one-year internship

Demar Grant: Demar Grant is a Toronto-based arts and sports journalist. He was editor-in-chief of CJRU.ca, leading the site’s cinema section and expanding its news and music coverage. Prior to that, he was a writer for Tip of the Tower covering Toronto sports, specifically the Raptors. His featured article “The Nike Crown League Experience” was featured in the Best Canadian Sports Writing anthology. Grant is also the co-creator of the Album Mode podcast.

Seven reporters join the Star for a one-year internship

Bailey Martens: Raised in Vancouver, Bailey Martens is a journalist specializing in housing, disability and other equity issues in under-represented communities. As a journalist with a disability, she is determined to tell stories that matter to her community. She previously worked at CBC News British Columbia, the National Post and HuffPost Canada. She has also worked for four student newspapers and was editor-in-chief of The Ubyssey, where her work led her to be a finalist for the Student Journalist of the Year award at the 2021 John H. McDonald Awards.

Seven reporters join the Star for a one-year internship

Alessia Passafiume: Resident in the GTA, Alessia Passafiume is an Italian and Anishinaabe journalist, member of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation. A graduate of Western University, she is a first generation university student with a Bachelor of Arts in Media, Information and Technoculture and a Masters of Media in Journalism and Communications. She was awarded the Norman Jewison Admission Scholarship for Academic Excellence in Her Graduate Studies. Previously, Passafiume worked for The Globe and Mail and The Hamilton Spectator. She has written stories about business, urban foraging, real estate, crime, work, and the Six Nations around the Grand River.

Seven reporters join the Star for a one-year internship

Two former Star interns, Olivia Bowden and Ben Cohen, will continue their roles at The Star. Bowden was on the COVID-19 newsroom team and helped produce the #VaccineTalk series, which aired in Mandarin, Cantonese, Hindi, Urdu and Spanish. She also investigated allegations of sexual misconduct by a former Trinity College professor. Cohen has written short films covering the GTA, a story about the ringing pharmacist, an article about an underwater land deal, and a story about a 106-year-old COVID-19 survivor who has received over 400 birthday cards after the story ran. Cohen will now join The Star’s team covering COVID-19 as Bowden moves on to cover the city.