Dear friends and colleagues of ALiGN,

On behalf of the Alternative Global Network (ALiGN) Media Lab at Carleton University, I would like to wish you an exciting year of 2019 with hopes for a wonderful new beginning and a memorable past.  As we begin the new year, let me recite my not-so-little wishes for all of us.

May you find the air cleaner, the environment less abused, the soil less dug, the forest less burned, the ocean less trashed, the neighbourhood safer, your food greener, and your home homier than ever. #greenlife #climatechange

May you get a zero bill from your your dentist, your cardiologist, your gastroenterologist, your urologist, your proctologist, your ophthalmologist, your podiatrist, your psychiatrist, your plumber, and your lawyer. #zerobill

May your cholesterol, your triglyceride, your glucose, your leucocytes, your blood pressure, your student loan debt, and the unemployment rate not rise; and may your skin, your hair, your teeth, your abs, and your faith in humanity not fall. #normalrates

May your year be a bit freer from j*rks, a**holes, thugs, the boring, the stupid, the ignorance, hoaxes, and fake news; and occupied more with fun, funny, smart, interesting, loving, cool, and good-crazy individuals, as well as fact-based and ethical journalism. #nofakenews

May Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, SnapChat, Signal, and any random apps occupy you less; may you spend as much or more time with trees and people; real ones not plastic or fake ones, please. #hugtrees

May you always remember to say “I love you” to your loved ones and take time to talk to and hug them; but not to do it without consent to your subordinates, random students, or arbitrary co-workers. #love

And if most of these seem impossible, would you please at least have a slightly better year? And I certainly wish you to stay with #ALiGN and join us in engaging with and challenging dominant narratives, creating #alternative narratives, and carving spaces of #hope and #resistance.

Now, some updates from the Lab. Since its launch in September 2017, ALiGN Media Lab‘s student and faculty researchers have been working with communities and various groups through our own research and/or in collaboration with other researchers to find ways to utilize digital and alternative media for civic engagement. We continue engaging publics in conversations on various issues — including but not limited to: science journalism, online harassment, activism, privacy, surveillance, alt-right online — by regularly publishing online commentaries. We have had guest contributors from Carleton’s graduate as well as undergraduate students! We welcome guest commentaries and/or stories, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re interested to contribute.

Beyond publishing public commentaries, in 2018 we also collaborated and hosted events, went places to mobilize knowledge/share stories, pursued creative endeavours, and published academically. To learn more about what we have done, check out our website!

We look forward to staying in touch with you in 2019. And if you’re interested to receive our bi-monthly updates, please subscribe to our mailing-list by sending a blank email to

Have a wonderful 2019! Let’s #ALiGN and tell your #story, today.

Ottawa, January 2019

Merlyna Lim
Director of ALiGN Media Lab & Canada Research Chair in Digital Media & Global Network Society

(Third-to-) Last Sunset of 2018 — Mooney’s Bay, Ottawa, 29 January 2018