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December 2014 
RSJ Awards
Undergrads and masters students honoured

About 120 Ryerson School of Journalism students, staff members and donors gathered on Nov. 17, for the school's second annual awards luncheon at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC).

The awards, which totaled over $100,000, were granted based on journalistic performance, personal considerations and academic success.

"It's a chance to connect with the people who support our students through their kind and generous donations," said professor Jagg Carr-Locke, who co-hosted the awards ceremony with professor Janice Neil. "It's a blast. It makes you feel good about what you do, and that goes for students, donors and faculty."

The presentation of the awards was aided by several multimedia elements. The award winners had a chance to thank their donors through a pre-recorded video presentation. (Full story)

COPA Awards
RSJ alums take home online publishing awards

Nineteen Ryerson Journalism alumni and one instructor won Canadian Online Publishing Awards on Nov. 20. Ryerson journalism alumni won awards in all three COPA categories for a total of seven gold and six silver awards. You can find the full list of COPA winners here(Full story)

Remembering Don Obe
Magazine legend founded the Ryerson Review of Journalism

Don Obe, professor emeritus of magazine journalism and former chair of the Ryerson School of Journalism, passed away on Nov. 7 at Toronto General Hospital with his partner and RSJ professor emeritus Lynn Cunningham at his side.

Obe was one of the school's "Headliner" alumni, but to many, he was known as one of the most influential magazine editors in Canadian literary journalism. (Full Story)

A digital wake of salutes and stories are available here

Panel: Coverage of violence against women

Canadian news coverage of "honour" violence against women perpetuates negative Muslim stereotypes and raises questions about whether culture and religion should be the focus in such stories, said members of a panel that examined the media's use of the term "honour" killing.


The discussion received mixed reviews from Ryerson journalism professors who attended the Nov. 18 event with their first-year students. (Full story)

Shapiro: What qualifies as an act of journalism?

There are both practical and legal incentives for establishing a clear, concise definition for journalism where none has really existed before, Ryerson School of Journalism chair Ivor Shapiro argues in his new research.


"I'm defining what journalism is," Shapiro says. "Jon Stewart can do journalism, a brain surgeon can do journalism and I can do journalism. Anybody can do journalism. The question isn't what a journalist is. The question is when is journalism being done? When is Jon Stewart, for example, doing journalism and when is he doing comedy?"


Shapiro's new proposed definition, outlined in an article published in a recent issue of Journalism Studies, consists of five functions. A functional definition, he says, should allude to current or recent events as subject matter, breadth of audience, ascertainment of factual accuracy, independence and original work. (Full Story)

Grads at Work
Sean Mallen (RSJ '78)

Currently: Senior Correspondent Global News

What was your experience like at Ryerson?

In the late '70s, it was still pretty heavily print-oriented, but broadcast was starting to get established then. I think the teachers were all good (for the most part). They gave you a pretty good grounding and gave you the basics of putting together a news story, whether it be for print or for broadcast. It was a good introduction to the ethics that were involved. As most people will tell you, getting out and actually working in the real world is a little bit different, but you don't go in as a complete neophyte.  They give you at least some sense of what to expect and a greater (sense) about the bigger issues in journalistic ethics.

Grads at Work 
is an occasional series of profiles of RSJ alums. If you know of a notable grad you'd like to see featured, send us an email at  office.journalism@ryerson.ca.

RSJ and Neptis Foundation partnership
Joint workshop focuses on data journalism

The Neptis-led data journalism workshop was organized after April Lindgren, director of the Ryerson Journalism Research Centre (RJRC), and Marcy Burchfield, executive director of the Neptis Foundation, met at the annual meeting of the Canadian Geospatial and Open Data Research Partnership this summer.


"We have partnered with other universities on previous projects and have always had a relationship with up-and-coming planners, [and] transportation engineers, so this seemed like a good fit - to introduce some young, up-and-coming journalists to an important data set that tells a lot about travel behaviour in the region," said Burchfield. (Full story)


Alumni Survey

The Ryerson Journalism Alumni Association wants to better serve you. 

Take a moment to fill out this surveyWe promise it's quick, fun and will make a difference in the events that take place in the new year.

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RSJ Wire
The RSJ WIRE (www.rsjwire.ca and @rsj_wire) distributes our students' best work from j-school courses, internships, course partnerships and freelance work. 


Don't be a stranger!

Alumni can stay connected in several ways: 
  • Volunteer to be your newsroom's contact to help us stay in touch or find partnership opportunities. 
  • Contribute to J-Source, Canada's journalism portal, whose editorial centre is now housed at Ryerson. 
  • Join other alumni to foster journalism in the developing world, starting in the winter of 2015 (see above).
  • Take a tour of the School. 
Whatever your choice, let us know and we'll be in touch.

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