In 2016, FAULHABER made an important commitment to help students by creating the annual Faulhaber Communications Award. In partnership with Ryerson’s School of Journalism and School of Professional Communication, this award looks for one female student who demonstrates the ambition, focus, and drive it takes to become a senior leader in communications. The recipient must demonstrate innovation, creativity and determination embodying FAULHABER’s operating principles. Continuing for 15 years, Faulhaber Communications is dedicated to supporting Ryerson and the community in shaping and developing the leaders of tomorrow by delivering financial support to young recipients who show the promise and aspirations of one day becoming a leader in the industry. Inspired by the great changes in the social justice movement that ignited in 2020, FAULHABER made changes to our annual award to give preference to BIPOC students. It is nothing short of an honour to spotlight the 2020 FAULHABER’s Ryerson award recipient, Jael Joseph. Jael is about to graduate from Ryerson, however this driven professional already has an impressive resume!
Q: Can you give us a brief background on your career?
A: My media career began on the tiny island of Dominica where I was born. I was offered an opportunity to co-host an on-air talent show on radio called Q Talent Search. The show’s popularity grew quickly and I became a house-hold name.
I gained experience as an announcer, conducting interviews and producing local content. I would later become the first female brand ambassador to represent a wholesale and retail enterprise and a social influencer to a major telecommunications provider; Digicel. Today, I am the founder of 767 Girls Rock, as well as executive producer and host of Cacoa Tea with Jael Joseph
Q: You are set to finish your degree at Ryerson University in Journalism soon! As someone with many years of experience in the journalism world, what are some of the most valuable takeaways from your recent studies?
A: My work experience was helpful in navigating school especially as a mature student however, it was in university, under the guidance of my professors and instructors, that I rediscovered my repressed capabilities for story-telling and tapped into my abilities as a writer. I never imagined I could be a sports writer! Ryerson University did that!
Q: What inspired you to start your podcast, Cacoa Tea with Jael Joseph?
A: When I began university, I wanted to continue to entertain and inform and I didn’t think I could get on the radio in Canada because of my Caribbean accent. I wanted to continue my work of inspiring people while showcasing and promoting others through live interviews, so I decided to create my own show. At the time, podcasting was slowly becoming a phenomenon and I sort some advice from a friend who hosted a show called the Framing Podcast. He was instrumental in advising me on equipment and Apps that I could use. I wanted to do things differently and decided to do a live show on Facebook. No one I knew was doing it so I said why not. Digicel would play a major role in assisting with disseminating the content via Facebook to television. The show is now broadcasted in 30 countries across the Caribbean and 96 episodes are available on iTunes and Spotify.
Q: On your podcast you speak with many entrepreneurs, can you share a few of the tips or lessons you have learned from them?
A: I learned to practice patience. I recall interviews of people’s success stories that began later in life. You are never too old to go back to the drawing board, for me that was going back to university. I learned to listen more. Successful business owners pay attention to the needs of their consumers. A successful interviewer listens. Their triumphs through adversities have breathed new life in me. I have learned to always be positive. These interviews confirm that I can do anything I set my mind to do; MANIFEST it! It is mine!
Q: You seem to be a media chameleon! You have worked in radio, you are a published writer and you have your own YouTube channel! Tell us what you love about each medium.
A: I chose YouTube which is like a time capsule of my video work. I enjoy learning about people and writing about their lives. Lifestyle and sports writing are two of my favourite beats but my real love, my passion is radio and podcasting. I love how I feel when I know that I am able to connect with people, in their homes, on their way to work in their cars or at work without seeing them face to face.
Q: The media industry is a challenging one! What are your hopes for the future of journalism?
A: I hope to see more Black women and men in Canada, as executives on boards and in mainstream media. As a Black woman, my fear is not being given the opportunity to be the journalist I know I can be, having my ideas flushed and cast aside or being told that I am not what they are looking for because of the colour of my skin. Although Canada promotes diversity and inclusion, I have witnessed a lack of representation of Black people in journalism. We have a rich Caribbean culture here in Toronto yet I have never heard someone who sounds like me hosting a popular radio or television show. I hope this can change.
Q: What is next for Jael Joseph?
A: Currently, I am applying for internships for this spring/summer of 2021. After graduation, I would like to continue to advocate for my community through my work. I want to change the way Black people are represented in the media and tell stories that defuse the negative stereotypes that have been perpetuated about us. I want to be able to continue to tell all stories in an impactful and meaningful way. Currently, I am working on my Capstone www.blackislandgirl.com which will also be a podcast, available on all major platforms while writing for another passion project www.jaeljournals.com and hosting Cacoa Tea with Jael Joseph. Some day I want to own a media and broadcasting corporation or publishing company. I’m manifesting that!
Read another one of our Q+A’s here!