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

 
 

CEO, Editor-in-chief

Ben Cohen

Ben is the founder of the Unaffiliated Press. He wants to provide people with a platform for artistic expression and omni-partisan discussion. 

Twitter: @cocojournalism

Email: ben@unaffiliatedpress.ca 


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Co-editor-in-chief

Felix Wong

Felix is yet another sleep-deprived journalist who has withdrawn from the lucrative business of freelance writing to manifest his vision of turning an arts and culture mag onto the masses. Whether he succeeds wildly or succeeds wildly remains to be seen. Lover of cyberpunk, westerns and tiny bottles. Friend of computers and inanimate objects everywhere.

Twitter: @felix_k_wong

Email: felixwong_29@hotmail.com


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News Editor

Vartan Bzdikian

Vartan is an Armenian born in the Emirate of Sharjah. While growing up, he spent his summers with his cousins in Syria, until visiting became too dangerous. Now there's nothing left in his cousins' house but the bullets lodged in their walls. 

Vartan moved to Toronto in 2016, but the gruesome reality of war hasn’t left his mind. He wants to bring the stories of conflicts unappreciated by the public to light, along with the people embedded in them.      

Twitter: @VartanBzdikian

Email: vartan@unaffiliatedpress.ca


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Arts Editor

Charles Buckley  

There’s no interest, hobby or world Charles won’t eagerly engage with and then form nuanced opinions about. When he's not writing novels about pirates or hitting the gym (almost a paradoxical combination of hobbies) he’s co-hosting the Gone Full Circle podcast and working hard to make sure our arts section hits all the right notes, and presses all the right buttons.

Twitter: @Charleston_HB

Email: charles@unaffiliatedpress.ca


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Executive Director

Shakir Rimzy

Shakir has a keen aesthetic sense that permeates every aspect of his life. Whether it was learned through osmosis during his travels, or is just a natural gift, we'll never know – all we know is that he has it.

Twitter: @RimzyShakir


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Director of Social Media

Moosa Imran

Moosa is a natural story teller who injects charisma into all his projects, from his writing, to his sketch comedy acting, to co-hosting his podcast. Moosa provides UP with a unique mix of humour and social commentary that spans various forms of media. His bark is always on par with his bite.

Twitter: @MoosaImran_RSJ

Email: moosa@unaffiliatedpress.ca 


The Gang's All Here

The Post-Millenials responsible for our signature bipartisan voice.

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Business Director 

Ujjawal Madan

Ujjawal is a classical musician studying at the Glenn Gould School who somehow got mixed up with a bunch of journalism students and ended up here. He’s in charge of designing and developing the various platforms Unaffiliated Press will operating on in the future, and is excited to be working on and expanding UP. His opinion on pieces are sometimes asked when everyone else is occupied.

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Human Resources

Emmanuel Dennis

Emmanuel is magnetic and Byronic, a professional tension-defuser and deft navigator of interpersonal issues. He mediates all inter-company discussions and helps to foster open and honest discourse at UP.

Twitter: @LifeOf_HR

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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


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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.



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


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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.

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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.

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Staff Music Writer

Cass Beau

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


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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 Photographer, Content Writer 

Minh Truong

Minh is a first-year journalism student at Ryerson University. He’s your trusty sidekick when you need a quick edit or some photos for your article. He’s from Vietnam, the very first international student to win CIS Ontario’s CITE Creative Writing contest and Pickering College’s Joshua Weinzweig Creative Writing Honorary Award. 

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Staff Illustrator

Meghan O'Donnell/The Plague

The Plague is an artist, born and raised in Toronto, who tries to make people's eyes question what they see. Art is her passion and it consumes her life (in a good way). She took a few art classes in high school but found them to be creatively constricting, so she decided to teach herself.

The Plague funds her quest to become fluent in the language of art by appearing at events, hosting gallery shows and selling paintings through her Instagram and Facebook accounts.


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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.

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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.

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Copy Editor

Aaliyah Dasoo

Aaliyah is a second-year journalism student at Ryerson. She enjoys the value in both telling and reading a good story. Her job at The Unaffiliated Press is to make sure everyones CP is up to snuff so things on the site look nice and clean! Outside of UP you can probably find her in the library, or ruining some sort of baking endeavour. She also likes to think out loud on her twitter.


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Staff Columnist 

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.