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Join us for our April Hub Talks as we present: Brenda O’Farrell, Editor-in-chief, of The 1019 Report. & The 1510 West.

Talk Title: Questions, storytelling, and Irish DNA: A newspaper editor’s reflections on why our community deserves better than democracy by Facebook

A bit about Brenda

Brenda O’Farrell is a journalist and editor.

She is currently the editor-in-chief of two community newspapers – The 1019 Report, which covers the 1,019 square kilometres of Vaudreuil-Soulanges, and The 1510 West in the West Island. These papers are owned by Brenmar Media Inc., which she co-owns.

She is also president of another media company – Ballyporeen Media Inc. – which does a number of projects, including producing the only English-language newspaper that serves residents in all rural regions of Quebec.

Ballyporeen Media has also handled the Canadian operations for an international media firm based in Tel Aviv that specializes in business and stock market news. As part of that, Brenda went on to write a column for this international media network covering the Canadian and U.S. stock markets which was published in English in the U.S., Canada, Australia, the U.K. and India.

Her work was also translated into seven languages and published in France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Russia and Japan.

She is a former senior news editor with the Montreal Gazette, where she held the titles of Sunday editor, Special sections editor and National editor, where she worked with political reporters across the country.

During her time at The Gazette, she created the Homefront section, which ran in the Saturday edition, which became the second most read section of The Gazette behind the A section, and the most profitable.

She oversaw the West Island Gazette, creating the online version which became known as West Island Gazette-dot-com, created the Off Island Gazette, and its online version – Off Island Gazette-dot-com, which became the most successful niche news websites in the Postmedia chain.

Brenda has written for other Canadian publications – including Maclean’s magazine, the Ottawa Citizen, rabble.ca, Home Canada, Toronto Home and Vancouver Home.

She is the recipient of Quebec National Assembly Medal of Honour.

She has taught journalism at Concordia University.

In 2019, she was named to the federal government’s Journalism and Written Media Independent Panel of Experts.

She is currently the president of the Quebec Community Newspaper Association and member of the Consortium of Official Language Minority Community Media. In this capacity, she is currently consulting with a number of federal government departments for the recently announced renewal of the national Local Journalism Initiative and working with News Media Canada and broadcaster groups across the country on hammering out the framework for the implementation of Bill C-18, Canada’s Online News Act, determining how Google will help fund media outlets in this county.

She is also currently the executive director of a provincial non-profit, the Quebec Farmers’ Association, which advocates on behalf of English-speaking agricultural producers, where she deals with attempting to inform and explain the transition to sustainable practices in the production of food in the face of climate change.

In 2019, in recognition of being named the first Irishwoman of the Year, she founded the O’Farrell Wondrous Adventure Scholarship, which is registered with the John Abbott College Foundation, which continues to award an annual $1,000 scholarship to a young female student attending John Abbott who lives in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region.

In her spare time, Brenda is working on a book and thinks about napping.


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