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Collaborative journalism innovation project awarded $2.5m partnership research grant

Ryerson FCAD’s researchers to focus on themes around uptake, explanatory journalism, and analysis of the quality and impact of certain genres
By: Faculty of Communication and Design
July 18, 2019
innovative journalism project

TORONTO, July 17, 2019 -- A team of leading scholars and journalists from across Canada and internationally have received a $2.5 million research grant for journalism innovation.

Titled the Global Journalism Innovation Lab, external link, opens in new window, the $2.5m Partnership Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), focuses on explanatory journalism that seeks to provide evidence-based information and perspectives to inform public dialogue and policy action.

The SSHRC grant for journalism innovation in Canada comes against a background of decline in some commercial media and job losses, together with concerns about so-called fake news.

The six-year project is led by University of British Columbia School of Journalism in partnership with Ryerson University, The Conversation, the University of Ottawa, the University of Regina and Queensland University of Technology. Professors from the Faculty of Communication and Design, Catherine Schryer, Charles Davis, Jessica Mudry, Gene Allen, Greg Elmer, John Shiga and Frauke Zeller are co-investigators on this project that looks at how experimental digital journalism forms can impact civic engagement and policy uptake, in partnership with The Conversation Canada and the network of affiliates in Australia, France, the U.K. and the U.S.

More specifically, the team at Ryerson will lead the research theme on uptake and explanatory journalism, and analyze the quality and impact of certain genres. Charles Davis, a co-applicant on the grant, brings expertise in audience research, discourse analysis, and data analytics.

“Highly original”

The SSHRC reviewers called the Global Journalism Innovation Lab “highly original in its approach,” adding that “it promises to be influential at a time of critical need.”

The ambitious project brings together scholars at five universities, journalists at seven journalism organizations and professionals from the innovation sector.

“This project brings together researchers from the Centre for Communicating Knowledge and Audience Lab, and we are very excited to be part of this project,” said Charles Davis, Associate Dean of Scholarly Research and Creative Activities at FCAD.

 “The lab brings together a stellar group of researchers and journalists to study ways to disseminate quality journalism content in English and French and fuel the ability of Canadian journalism to innovate digitally,” said Alfred Hermida, associate professor and director of the UBC School of Journalism.

“Everyone on this Partnership Grant application was instrumental to its development and success,” said Hermida.

“Researchers at FCAD continue to explore topics that are current and relevant to today’s society, including emerging technologies, culture, and the creative industries. Our involvement in the partnership grant will offer refreshing perspectives and deepen our understanding of how research impacts contemporary issues on a local and global scale."

Charles Davis, Associate Dean of Scholarly Research and Creative Activities at FCAD.

The Partnership Grants from SSHRC are intended to help advance knowledge and understanding on critical issues of intellectual, social, economic and cultural significance.

ABOUT FCAD: The Faculty of Communication and Design is the cultural and creative hub at Ryerson University. With its nine prestigious schools in media and creative industries, FCAD’s interdisciplinary innovation and education are shaping the future of the creative industries. 

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Media contact:
Dasha Pasiy
FCAD at Ryerson University
Manager, Marketing and Communications
dasha1.pasiy@ryerson.ca

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