About Us

We are young journalists and writers with stories to tell. In an increasingly partisan world, we give voice to all sides of every divide.

Throughout our six main categories and 16 sub-categories, you will find a litany of new perspectives stretched across multiple forms of media.  We do not discriminate when it comes to point-of-view, asking only that our contributors have the necessary value, personality and research in their work to elevate it to our standards.

UP is a lifestyle. We provide one piece of finely crafted, exploratory content every weekday that we believe will teach our community something. We hope you join us each day in learning something new, in an environment as far away from an echo-chamber as possible.  


Meet the Unaffiliates



Minh Truong

Winner of 2017 CIS Ontario InCite Anthology of Student Writing and 2017 Pickering College’s Joshua Weinzweig Memorial Honorary Literary Award, Minh now has two overly long and complicated awards to flex on his portfolio. A journalism student at Ryerson, he is an ambitious video journalist in the making, who loves to tell colorful stories about the lives around the world. A huge fan of JRPG, Indie Garage Rock, and Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, he is always down for some hipstery and nerdy conversations with everyone, annoyingly distracting himself from finishing his assignment that is due in an hour.

Twitter: @qmtruong

Email: minh.truong@ryerson.ca


Managing Editor

Aaliyah Dasoo

Aaliyah is a third-year student at the Ryerson School of Journalism. Currently, she helps manage the team at UP to make sure things are running smoothly, as well as helping our creators with the direction of their pieces. Outside of UP, you can probably find her in the library, or stressfully attempting some sort of baking endeavour. She also likes to think out loud on her twitter.


Lead Editor

Vanessa Balintec

Vanessa is a budding journalist currently studying at Ryerson University. Passionate about storytelling and learning new skills, Vanessa is constantly looking for new creative avenues to explore. A fan of features, opinion writing, and reporting, Vanessa also enjoys traveling and staying in shape in her spare time. She looks forward to learning more through writing, editing, and working with peers.

The Gang's All Here

The Post-Millenials responsible for our signature bipartisan voice.


Podcast Producer

Simran Singh

Simran is a staff writer and co-host for the Unaffiliated Press Podcast known as “UP in Here”. She is currently in her third year at the Ryerson School of Journalism and hopes to one day become a lifestyle and feature reporter. She also aspires to start her own financial literacy program that helps young children and young adults understand how to manage their money. When she’s not writing or interviewing guests, she mostly spends her time going to the movies and fun new food adventures. Simran has a passion for personal feature stories or as Oprah likes to say; finding the “Aha Moments” of her subjects. Simran’s goal for UP is to bring those same “Aha Moments” whether it be in the stories she writes or the guests she interviews.


Podcast Producer

Karen Lee

As a creative industries student, Karen has always had a passion for content creation and creative expression. She loves to explore a broad range of topics through her writing, but finds herself often focusing on current events, with an emphasis on providing her own commentary and insights. She especially enjoys exploring the various dimensions of pop culture, technology and digital content. When she isn't writing, she is travelling, touching up on her lettering or seeking out all the best food spots with her friends.



Kayla Zhu

Kayla is a second-year journalism student who enjoys ascending mountains, consuming large amounts of Murakami and jamming out to Korean bops. She believes that cereal should always go before milk and that everyone has a story. Kayla is embarking on a lifelong journey to master the craft of stringing words together into sentences to tell those stories. She is oddly obsessed with the Bebas Neue font, making Game of Thrones themed playlists on Spotify and downloading useless productivity apps on her phone.


Copy Editor

Akanksha Dhingra

Akanksha is a second-year Journalism student in Ryerson University who aspires to be a travel journalist. In grade 7, she started filling the pages of her leather journal and she hasn’t stopped since then. Writing, reading and story-telling has become her passion and she wants to pursue a profession in Journalism in the near future. Akanksha generally likes to write lifestyle, travel, grub and hard news articles for magazines, newspapers and other digital sites. She also has a passion for videography and photography. Beside the writing, she likes to maintain her almost-gibberish Instagram and try all sorts of coffees.

Staff Games Writer

Funké Joseph

Funké is a writer from Toronto who loves making people laugh. He's pretty bad at games but he never stops talking about them.

Twitter: @flatias  

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Staff Film Writer

Brent Smyth

Brent is a journalist, film critic and amateur director from Hamilton, Ontario. He loves exploring, taking pictures, making movies and seeing the world – both on screen and in his travels.

Twitter: @brentsmyth19


Administrative Assistant

Sam Caruso

Sam is second year New Media student at Ryerson. She is also a blogger, musician, and martial artist. She is in charge of keeping The Unaffiliated Press running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.


Staff Sports Writer 

Santiago Maynard

Santiago is a college-level basketball player who discovered his love for sports at an early age. His passion for sports and highly opinionated nature keep him motivated to voice his side of hotly debated topics in the ever-changing world of sports.


Staff Music Writer

Cass Beau

Cass is a producer and sound engineer living in Toronto. You can bother them @seeseabeau on Twitter and Instagram.


Operations Co-ordinator   

Ally James

Ally is a creative powerhouse who is always quick with a joke and a fresh take.  She can often be found laughing a little too loud or doodling on anything she can get her hands on.  A future dog owner and web designer, she thrives on any and all things people, media and graphic for inspiration.


Staff Travel Writer 

Ethan Jakob Craft

Ethan is a traveller and writer from Phoenix, Arizona. He is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States and has visited over 40 countries. Ethan is also the youngest American to have ever visited North Korea, a title he earned at age 17. In addition to being a veteran traveller, he is an avid artist and pizza lover. Ethan is perpetually planning his next trip.

Twitter: @ethanjakobcraft


Staff Writer

Vivian Cheng

Vivian is a medical sciences student who discovered her passion for journalism by accident. Ever since a friend encouraged her to walk into the university newsroom, she’s been hooked. Her written works have mobilized her to find practical solutions to the issues she writes about. One day she hopes to work in the legal field to provide for her dogs.

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Staff Columnist 

Jennifer Sidoriak

Jennifer is a writer and TV show fanatic who appreciates telling great stories. Hoping to one day become a screenwriter, she reads all the scripts she can get her hands on and likes to stay in the know about industry advancements. Jennifer’s interests include film, travel, music, and good food, all of which she tries to keep up with. She looks forward to learning more through her articles and those of her peers.


Staff Columnist 

Dylan Freeman-Grist

Dylan is a Toronto-based arts writer with a focus on gaming and film. He's a senior journalism student at Ryerson University and currently splits his time between the Lightbox, Hot Docs, Parkdale and the weird part of Steam. Compulsive Killers listener. Strong opinions on hot sauce. Future Publisher of LIFE Magazine.