Jonathan Sas

Canada

  • Program Year
  • 2012-13
  • Country of Current Residence
  • Canada
  • City/Town of Current Residence
  • Vancouver
  • Current Position
  • Director of Policy and Research
  • Organization
  • Broadbent Institute
  • Profession(s)
  • Journalist, Advocate

  • Sector(s)
  • Communications (including media), Journalism, Politics / Policy
  • Language(s)
  • English and some Spanish, French, and Hebrew
  • Mentor
  • Antonia Maioni, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University
  • Interest(s) / Expertise
  • collaborative digital media, policy, political leadership, politics, writing
Scholar Twitter profile Scholar website URL Scholar email address
Biography

Jonathan Sas is currently Director of Policy and Research at the Broadbent Institute. He credits his incredible experience at Sauvé as a key stepping stone on the path to his current role. Jonathan came to the Sauvé Program after serving as Editor-in-Chief of The Mark News, then one of Canada’s leading political commentary news sites. It is there that Jonathan became preoccupied with the narrowness of the political discourse typical of Canada’s traditional media landscape and interested in starting a project that could help to open up space for more progressive voices. In October 2013, an outcome of Jonathan’s Sauvé project was launched: Press Progress, is a dynamic new website of the Broadbent Institute dedicated to advancing progressive solutions through hard-hitting news and analysis.

Jonathan received his honours B.A. in political science from the University of Toronto while immersing himself in the cultural diversity of Toronto’s most interesting neighbourhoods and working as the opinion editor at the alternative magazine The Gargoyle. After working in health and environmental policy for a year after graduation -and then venturing to backpack through South America to learn Spanish- Jonathan returned to academia to pursue an M.A. in Political Science at the University of British Columbia. There, his thesis focused on critiquing the sustainable development approach to international climate policy. His research looked at the historical role fossil fuel played in the evolution of global capitalism. Understanding that role, Jonathan argued, helps highlight a fundamental contradiction underpinning the current international approach to climate policy found in the Kyoto Protocol: that states can reduce greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously growing their economies.

As a Fellow

Jonathan divided his time between two projects related to this interest. He wrote a media criticism column for The Tyee, an award-winning online independent journalism outlet based out of Vancouver. His writing focused on the changing economic dynamics for legacy media outlets as print revenues decline and digital ads fail to fill the vacuum. He set off on a journey to do investigative work into the world of sponsored/branded content and other new revenue tools being used by media outlets, focusing on the blurring line between editorial and commercial interests.

Jonathan’s second project was an initiative to develop a progressive policy think tank that could work to challenge Conservative spin in the public sphere. As part of this project, Jonathan researched how Canada’s right wing movement successfully built the robust infrastructure that now facilitates their command of the public imagination as well as their ample fundraising prowess. He documented the Conservative’s systematic dismantling of the progressive state and explored specific strategies for how Canada’s many disparate progressive groups might organize to push back and build a coordinated counter-movement. To that end, he focused on what it would take to create a collaborative digital media space that sought to amplify the reach of progressive political content and that actively engaged and connected journalists, academics, civil society and other progressive groups to one another and with the public.

In 2013, Jonathan became a member of the Board of Directors of the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation where he represents the global community Jeanne Sauvé Fellows and helps to shape the Foundation’s alumni programming.

Jonathan was one of five Sauvé Scholar alumni (Fellows) who participated in the panel discussion following the 2014 Annual Jeanne Sauvé Address by Céline Galipeau on 7 November 2014.

Portfolio