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Joyce Smith


Associate professor


B.A. (English) Toronto, M.A. (Journalism) Western Ontario, PhD (Religious Studies) Natal, South Africa




416-979-5000 x6394

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Joyce Smith arrived at Ryerson in 2001 from the, where she was features editor and a member of the founding breaking news team. She had previously worked at the Toronto Star as well as freelancing and serving as senior site editor for a commercial web developer. Joyce is the original director of Ryerson’s online journalism program, and in addition has taught research and visual resources courses, diversity and creativity classes to undergraduate and graduate students at all levels. In 2013-14, she is teaching graduate students in Research Methods for Journalists (JN8103) and Journalism Workshop (JN8108), as well as undergraduate students in Reporting Religion (JRN 510/NNS 510). She’s also a student, continuing to study Spanish at Ryerson.

She served as interim director (2008 – 2009) and then director (2010 – 2013) of the School’s Master of Journalism program. Other major service commitments have included co-chairing the school’s undergraduate curriculum committee as well as membership on Ryerson’s Academic Standards committee and Research Ethics Board.

Joyce was a Rotary International Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar representing a Canadian/American district while at the University of Natal in 1994. Apart from giving her a permanent appreciation for South Africans, media and democracy, her work investigating the coverage of religion surrounding the election of Nelson Mandela resulted in her PhD: “Reporting Religion in a New South Africa.” She turned her attention to Canadian media shortly after, including a study of national news as a Rockefeller Research Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Centre for the Study of Religion in 1998-1999. She has also received SSHRC-funding for a study of perceptions of religious representation in Canadian news media.

Joyce has been a director of the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and the International Society for Media, Religion and Culture. She hosted the 7th International Conference on Media, Religion and Culture at Ryerson in August of 2010. Her next project will be learning how to read Spanish knitting patterns.

Research Interests:

Representation of religion in news media, quantitative and qualitative content analysis, online journalism, South African media, creative problem solving and design pedagogy

Current Courses:

JRN 100 - Information and Visual Resources for Journalists

JRN 112 - Introduction to Online Journalism  

JRN 300 - Covering Diversity

JRN/NNS 510 - Reporting Religion

JRN 414 - Online Internship program 

JRN 510 - Reporting Religion  

JN 8103 - Research Methods for Journalists  

JN 8108 - Journalism Workshop 

JN 8202 - Online Journalism, New Media

Professional Affiliations:

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, International Society for Media, Religion and Culture, Online News Association, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion

Selected Publications & Presentations:

“Religion, Reporting, and Radicalization: The Role of News Media in Securitized Discourses,” chapter in Religious Radicalization and Securitization in Canada and Beyond, eds. Paul Bramadat and Lorne Dawson, University of Toronto Press, 2014.

“Occupying pews, missing from news,” chapter in Media, Religion and Gender: Key Issues and New Challenges, ed. Mia Lövheim, Routledge, 2013.

“Creative problem-solving key to Ryerson’s innovation workshop,”, Posted Sept. 13, 2013 []

“Reporting on abuse in the Church should look beyond victims and bureaucrats,”, Posted Jan. 11, 2010. []

"Public," chapter in Key Words in Religion, Media and Culture, ed. David Morgan, Routledge, 2008.

The Ministry and the Message:  What Americans see and read about their leaders, research report published in print and online for the Pulpit & Pew project, Durham, N.C.: Duke University 2003, ISBN: 0-9725644-5-4, 56 pages


Twitter: @joyceemsmith