Jaela Bernstien

Journalist Portfolio

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I'm a bilingual (English/Français) journalist and visual storyteller based in Montreal, Quebec. 

I am a multimedia journalist, meaning that I am a Jack (or Jill) of all trades — I research, write and produce stories for print/digital, radio and TV/video. I also sometimes shoot and edit my own content.  

I'm currently working as a freelancer, usually covering topics that focus on human rights and conservation. I love to tell the types of stories that make you feel. I've filed for CBC's The National, World Report,, The Sunday Edition, The Doc Project, Maclean's and The Globe and Mail.


Recent Work

A selection of my latest stories


CBC NEWS: Many Canadians angry after election produces a $610M bill and not much change

Sep 21, 2021

The day after an expensive, mid-pandemic election, Justin Trudeau's win has been somewhat overshadowed by angry complaints from many Canadians who say there was no point in spending millions of taxpayer dollars to elect another Liberal minority government that looks an awful lot like the last one.


CBC NEWS: Hazara expats from Afghanistan grapple with their own trauma while helping others escape

Aug 22, 2021

Halima Bahman may be sitting in the safety of her home in the suburbs north of Toronto, but her mind is thousands of kilometres away in Afghanistan, where the Taliban's renewed grip on power makes her fear the worst for family and friends.


CBC NEWS: Outspoken health experts say racist social media attacks have taken a toll

Jul 16, 2021

Plenty of Canadians have experienced firsthand how quickly disagreements over public health measures during the pandemic can turn ugly. But a daily flood of hateful attacks received by outspoken medical professionals — especially those who are people of colour — frequently cross the line from outrage to outright personal attacks, racism and even threats of violence.


MACLEAN'S: When it's time to give back

June 22, 2021

After surviving European incursions, colonialism and a 500-km journey from its home, a 171-year-old beaded hood must wait a bit longer before it can go back to Eeyou Istchee, James Bay Cree territory in northern Quebec ...


CBC NEWS: Canada's building codes don't focus on tornadoes — even though we see 2nd most in the world

Jul 22, 2021

The country, on average, records more tornadoes annually than any other in the world, except for the U.S., at about 60 per year — though meteorologists estimate there are more that go undetected. Yet the National Building Code of Canada puts little emphasis on requirements to protect against uplift — the types of winds created by tornadoes.


CBC NEWS: How Canadians are making sure no one is left behind in the vaccine rollout

Jul 09, 2021

Despite Canada's success in getting vaccines into arms so far, there is mounting pressure to reach those left behind — the people who, either due to lack of access or lack of trust, have not yet received a dose of the vaccine.


DOCUMENTARY: What it's like living in Montreal's tent city

Dec 4, 2020

The story of Michel Groulx, one of the people camping in a makeshift tent city that sprang up in Montreal

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GLOBE AND MAIL: Val-d’Or’s boreal woodland caribou are on the verge of extinction, but a new report outlines how they can be saved

Nov 18, 2020

Add a published article with a short summary and a link. You can also add a picture or video for extra engagement! Be detailed and thorough to interest your readers, and include links to the original story online.


CBC NEWS: Study reveals English-speaking Black children more likely to be reported to Montreal youth protection

Sept. 10, 2020

Children in Montreal who are Black and Anglophone are overrepresented within the child protection system, according to a study recently published in the Children and Youth Services Review.


CBC NEWS: Children traumatized after Montreal riot police shoved their pleading mother against car

June 8, 2020

It was an idyllic Sunday afternoon of picnicking and sunshine in Old Montreal for Natasha Skeete and her family, until they found themselves face to face with riot police, pleading with officers to stop.

Until yesterday, Skeete's daughters believed police were supposed to protect them. Now the two girls are traumatized.


CBC NEWS: 'We should never have been put out': A caregiver mourns her patient, as Quebec does about-face on visit ban

Apr 14, 2020

When Gisele Vanloo learned Quebec had banned visitors to seniors' homes, she decided to go into work on March 16 with her bags packed, but staff turned her away.


CBC NEWS: 'I'm not a misfit anymore': How marginalized youth are finding themselves through circus

Jan 21, 2020

As hundreds of people filed into Montreal's Tohu theatre on a winter evening, young performers huddled nervously backstage, speaking in excited whispers as they waited for the opening of Cirkaskina. 

Just a few weeks ago, many of the participants were living on the margins of society — some were homeless, others were living with addiction and mental health issues. But through circus, they've found hope. 


CBC NEWS: How do you self-isolate when you don't have a home? Montreal shelters plead for help

Mar 18, 2020

While many Montrealers wait out the coronavirus pandemic at home, telecommuting and practising social distancing, staff at homeless shelters go into work every day to care for some of the city's most vulnerable people.


CBC NEWS: 'I ran for my life': Woman forced into sex trade works with police to help others at risk

Dec 12, 2019

It's before dawn on a wintry Sunday, and Kyra is busy preparing for a morning training session at the stables where she rides on Montreal's South Shore. 
She greets the horses in their stalls, feeding some of them carrots from the palm of her hand. This is where Kyra feels most at ease.