Anita Li

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief • The Green Line • Toronto, ON
Last edited January 2, 2024

Anita Li is a longtime journalist, news entrepreneur, media consultant and educator. Currently, she runs The Green Line, a hyperlocal Toronto-based news outlet.

Anita has two decades of experience as a multi-platform journalist in three markets: Toronto, New York City and Ottawa. She started her career as a reporter and editor at Canadian legacy outlets, including The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail and CBC. After that, she worked in management roles at American digital media publications, such as Complex, Fusion and Mashable. As a reporter, she’s been published in New York Magazine, Poynter and other publications across North America.

Anita teaches journalism innovation, entrepreneurship and engagement at Toronto Metropolitan University, Centennial College and the City University of New York.

As an expert in community-driven journalism, audience engagement, journalism entrepreneurship, media business models, newsroom diversity, media ethics and journalism innovation, she’s consulted journalism outlets and institutions worldwide.

Anita is a current board member for ONA and LION Publishers, as well as an alum of the 2016 Poynter-NABJ Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media. She also co-founded Canadian Journalists of Colour in 2018, and founded The Other Wave, a journalism innovation newsletter, in 2020.

Anita’s vision for the future of digital journalism


My ideal vision for the future of digital journalism is one that centres humanity by fostering understanding and connection between people, while also responsibly leveraging emerging technology like AI, so journalists can focus on producing enterprise journalism and on serving communities’ needs.

New technology can be a force for good in our industry, and as a member of ONA, I strongly believe the association can serve as a thought leader in this space. Rather than play catchup, we now have the opportunity to clearly define how newsrooms can effectively use emerging platforms and artificial intelligence to produce journalism that’s in the public interest.

Our industry is at an inflection point. With the rise of Bill C-18 in Canada and other similar “Online News Acts” worldwide that are attempting to regulate tech giants, as well as the potential disruption that AI will bring to news industries everywhere, we must double down on the core principles in journalism (i.e. building trust with our sources and audiences, fact-based reporting, attentive listening), and responsibly apply them to new formats. Journalism isn’t text, video, VR or AI — at its most fundamental, journalism is about addressing the information needs of the people we serve.

Since the media is a pillar of democracy, my ultimate goal in encouraging journalism industries to embrace more human-centred, forward-thinking editorial and business models is to reinforce our shared sense of humanity and by extension, our democratic institutions and processes. Given the current threat to democracies worldwide, my mission feels particularly urgent. As a journalist who worked in U.S. media for a portion of my career, and who also covered the 2016 presidential election, I saw firsthand how the lack of shared truth/reality has inflamed misinformation and polarization among the American public — two negative consequences I want to help combat at home in Canada and beyond.

This growing movement is being led by status quo-challenging journalists like me who know that fundamental changes need to happen in our industry. It’s a movement that has emerged due to increasingly precarious employment, the rise of the “passion economy” and niche publications, and industry-wide exhaustion with media consolidation and broken business models that prioritize quantity of clicks over quality of journalism.

That’s why, in addition to launching my journalism innovation newsletter The Other Wave, I launched The Green Line, a hyperlocal Toronto-based news site that is taking an innovative but often analog approach to delivering journalism by building meaningful, trusting relationships with local partners and community members. At the same time, we’re developing innovative online and in-person journalism formats to engage our audience of young and other underserved Torontonians. My ultimate aspiration is to create a sustainable media outlet that embraces modern best practices in journalism, from both editorial and business standpoints.

Vote for me if you share the same vision for the future of journalism that I do — one that embraces both mind and heart.

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