Nana aba Duncan has been reshaping journalism since she first entered the industry.
Ghanaian-born and Canadian-raised, Nana aba realized the power of stories—and who gets to tell them—while completing her Masters of Journalism at Western University. After graduation, her career began in 2004 as the Journalists For Human Rights country director for Ghana.
She later became a familiar voice on Canada’s airwaves after joining CBC Radio in 2010, working on shows like Radio 2 Top 20, Here and Now and As It Happens. As the host of Fresh Air, she used her position to amplify the experiences, successes and challenges of underrepresented communities. During this time, she also served as the co-chair of DiversifyCBC, a resource group helping over 300 CBC employees of colour.
While at CBC, Nana aba also founded the Media Girlfriends podcast, giving listeners a behind the scenes look at what it is really like to be a woman in Canadian media. Nana aba has since grown Media Girlfriends into a podcast production company, network and annual $10,000 student scholarship for women and gender diverse individuals pursuing journalism, communications, media or tech.
As Carleton University’s inaugural Carty Chair in Journalism, Diversity and Inclusion Studies, Nana aba is working to reshape the long-accepted basics of journalism to allow for more sensitive and inclusive reporting and reporters. In her new Journalism and Belonging (JOUR 3401) course, she aims to help students discover how to be more inclusive journalists, report on their communities and other communities, and learn how bias impacts editorial decisions and career paths.
Nana aba’s ability to open doors and shift conversations has been recognized within Canada and internationally. She was selected as the Poynter Institute Leadership Academy for Women in Media in 2020. That same year, she was awarded the International Women in Diversity Influencer Award and the University of Toronto’s William Southam Journalism Fellowship.
With more than 15 years in the industry, Nana aba’s motivation has always been to enrich Canadian media by empowering diverse perspectives.
Moving from Toronto to Ottawa, Nana aba is always on the lookout for the best local African restaurants—and in the #jollofwars, she will always vote for Ghana.