Meet the Team
Drew Brown has been Editor-in-Chief of The Independent since 2019. He holds a BA (Hons.) and MA in political science from Memorial University. He was a PhD candidate in political theory and Canadian politics at the University of Alberta, but left the program to pursue journalism full time in 2017. He was a national politics columnist for VICE Canada from 2015 to 2019, and his work has appeared in CBC, Newfoundland Quarterly, The Deep, The Scope, The Overcast, and The Guardian. He grew up in Grand Falls-Windsor and currently lives in St. John’s, NL.
Born and raised in Gander, Tom Baird is an associate professor of mathematics at MUN. A regular contributor to the Indy, he has been a board member since 2013.
Justin Brake is an independent journalist from Elmastukwek, Ktaqmkuk (Bay of Islands, Newfoundland) who currently lives and works on unceded Algonquin territory in Ottawa. He is of mixed settler and Mi'kmaq descent and focuses much of his attention on Indigenous rights and liberation, social justice, climate action and decolonization. He has worked in various capacities for CBC, The Telegram, APTN News and The Independent, and is actively exploring new forms and styles of journalistic storytelling through emerging frameworks like movement journalism and systems journalism.
Andie Bulman is a chef, librarian, gardening enthusiast, comedian, podcaster, and writer who cares about food, equal and fair access to information, sustainability, jokes, and the Oxford comma.
Meagan is a writer, thinker, actor, speaker, and sometimes-poet from Cape Breton. Meag calls St. John's home now and works a day job as a tech marketer. They cover undertold or under-rug-swept stories with a penchant for trampling taboos and shining a light on uncomfortable issues.
Kirsten Morry is a lawyer and humourist from St. John's, and a recognized authority on hairstyles, royalty, and Animal Crossing (inasmuch as she was heavily quoted in a single Wall Street Journal article uniting all three of those topics). She appeared on the quiz show Jeopardy! in 2018.
Jess Puddister is The Independent's Municipal Correspondent, writing a weekly column titled, So Moved, St. John's. She's been working with Newfoundland and Labrador municipalities since 2017 mainly on climate change response strategy, eco-asset management planning, and sustainable development advocacy.
Luke Quinton is a writer and audio producer in St. John's. He's made longform audio for podcasts "99 Percent Invisible," "Snap Judgement," and for the BBC, CBC, and NPR. He's written for Dwell, Maclean's, the Globe and Mail, Gramophone, Eater and elsewhere.
Rhea Rollmann is an award-winning journalist, writer and radio producer/podcaster based in St. John’s, NL. She’s a founding editor of TheIndependent.ca, and a contributing editor with PopMatters.com. Her writing has appeared in a range of popular and academic publications, including Briarpatch, CCPA Monitor, rabble.ca, Canadian Theatre Review, Journal of Gender Studies, and more. She was the recipient of an Atlantic Journalism Gold Award in 2017, and finalist for a Canadian Association of Journalism Award in 2018. She also has a background in labour organizing, and queer and trans activism. She is presently Program Director at CHMR-FM, a community radio station in St. John’s, NL.
Jenn Thornhill Verma is a journalist and landscape painter from Newfoundland and Labrador now living in Ottawa. In 2019, she published her first book, Cod Collapse: The Rise and Fall of Newfoundland's Saltwater Cowboys, with Nimbus Publishing. She has a MFA (creative nonfiction, University of King's College) and a MSc (medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland). In 2020, she became a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and wrote and co-produced the animated short-film, Last Fish, First Boat. Her work has featured in national publications such as The Globe and Mail, Reader's Digest, Canadian Geographic, The Narwhal, Explore, and Maisonneuve and regional outlets such as The Independent, CBC, Saltscapes and Downhome.
In addition to sitting on the Board of the Independent, Robin Whitaker is an occasional columnist and has contributed on issues ranging from electoral reform to shared-use trails. In her day job, she works as an anthropologist at Memorial University and is active in her union, MUNFA, which she served as President from 2017-2019. She was elected the Canadian Association of University Teachers Executive in 2019, 2020 and 2021. Robin grew up in Portugal Cove and now lives in St. John’s. She can often be found on a bicycle.
Ron is an entrepreneur and farmer. He is a graduate of Memorial University, with a Bachelor of Arts focusing on Political Science and Business Administration. He joined The Indy Board of Directors in 2019 when Drew Brown started as Editor in Chief. Ron was actively involved in provincial politics from 2008-2015. He served in many different roles, including several positions at the House of Assembly before stepping away from politics in 2015. He still has a keen interest in our democratic institutions and practices, as well as political economy and public policy. Ron lives in Dildo, Trinity Bay with his partner where they are building a farm that applies principles and management based on regenerative agriculture and permaculture.