Advisory Board


Dr. Patrizia Albanese
Professor of Sociology, Ryerson University
Patrizia Albanese is a member of the Ryerson Research Ethics Board and past president of the Canadian Sociology Association. She is currently researching how child care is depicted in Canadian newspapers with Ryerson School of Journalism associate chair Ann Rauhala. Dr. Albanese is a widely published scholar whose research interests also include the child care needs and arrangements of employed mothers in rural Quebec and Ontario, the well-being of youth in Canadian Forces families, how child care is depicted in Canadian newspapers, the intergenerational transmission of problem gambling, and immigrant children. Dr. Albanese received her BA at the University of Western Ontario and her MA and PhD in sociology at the University of Toronto.

Derek Chezzi
Editorial Director,Collaborative Journalism, Edelman Canada
Derek Chezzi is a media and digital strategy expert who works with Edelman Canada to connect brands and consumers in unique ways using the power of storytelling. Prior to this, Mr. Chezzi was director of engagement services at Postmedia Network Inc., managing a suite of award-winning community products recognized for their innovative approach to engagement. Their roster includes Gastropost, Capital Ideas, Everywear, Shuffle & Roll and Reading Society. Mr. Chezzi was also editor-in-chief at Yahoo Canada. He spent eight years at Yahoo working with teams locally and internationally, often on emerging editorial products as the company expanded its editorial content mandate. He has supported media talent development as an instructor and advisory for journalism programs at the university and college level.

John Cruickshank
Consul General of Canada in Chicago
John Cruickshank, former publisher of the Toronto Star (2008 to 2016), was appointed Consul General of Canada in Chicago in March 2017. He is also the chairman of the Canadian Journalism Foundation and serves as co-chair of Canadian Press Enterprises. Mr. Cruickshank has an headed many major news entities, including as publisher of CBC News, publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times and chief operating officer of the Sun-Times Media Group, managing editor of The Globe and Mail and former editor-in-chief of the Vancouver Sun. Born and raised in Toronto, Mr. Cruickshank began his journalism career at The Kingston Whig Standard. His is a graduate of Trinity College at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Charles Davis
Associate Dean for Scholarly Research and Creative Activities (SRC) in the Faculty of Communication & Design, Ryerson University
Dr. Charles Davis is a professor at Ryerson University’s RTA School of Media in the Faculty of Communication & Design and holds the E.S. Rogers Sr. Research Chair in Media Management and Entrepreneurship. Dr. Davis has extensive professional experience in Canada and abroad in the area of innovation policy and management. His is current research includes projects on media production innovation, media labour, media industry clusters, digital entrepreneurship and consumer behaviour and audience responses to media offerings. Dr. Davis is the author or co-author of more than 100 scientific publications and reports, and has received numerous research grants from federal scholarly granting agencies, international agencies and private firms. He received his PhD from the Université de Montréal.

Dr. Greg Elmer
Director Infoscape Centre for the Study of Social Media
Bell Globemedia Research Chair, Ryerson University
Greg Elmer is an associate professor in the School of Media and the graduate program in Communication and Culture at York & Ryerson Universities, as well as . Dr. Elmer’s research and teaching focus on new media and politics, surveillance studies, software studies, collaborative media making and media globalization. He has participated in international projects, including  a research study of internet politics in South Korea, and his work has been widely published in peer-reviewed journals and books. Dr. Elmer worked with the CBC on its online coverage of the Canadian federal election in 2008 and has also contributed to election coverage for Global TV News and The Hill Times. He received his PhD from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

John Ferri 
Vice President, Current Affairs & Documentaries, 
John Ferri has two decades of executive experience in large news and digital publishing environments. Previously, Mr. Ferri held a number of positions at Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd., including digital editor responsible for, where he led the editorial production team for one of Canada’s most prominent news websites. Mr. Ferri began his career at the Toronto Star as a reporter and subsequently held a number of positions including city editor, weekend editor, arts and life editor and opinion page editor. In addition to being a seasoned journalist, Mr. Ferri also has experience with digital start-ups. As managing editor at, he was responsible for the day-to-day newsgathering efforts of a staff of editors and freelance reporters in six major Canadian cities. He holds a BA in English from Brock University and a BA in journalism, high honours, from Carleton University.

Wendy Freeman
President, CTV News
Wendy Freeman, a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, presides over all Bell Media news editorial content and newsgathering efforts for television and digital. She has led award-winning coverage of the world’s biggest news stories and was previously the vice-president and executive producer of CTV National News, with responsibility over seven domestic and six international news bureaus. Under Ms. Freeman’s leadership, the CTV News division has won the prestigious Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) award for Best Newscast in 2010, 2007 and 2006. Ms. Freeman also received the 2015 RTNDA President’s Award and was recognized as the 2014 Woman of the Year by Women in Communications and Technology and as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 by the Women’s Executive Network in 2012. Before joining CTV News, Ms. Freeman worked at New York-based CW11 WPIX Television Network and Toronto’s Citytv. She has also won a Gemini Award in 2005 for Best Newscast.

April Lindgren 
Academic Director, Ryerson Journalism Research Centre
Associate Professor, Ryerson University School of Journalism
April Lindgren was appointed academic director of the Ryerson Journalism Research Centre when it was formally launched in 2011. Prof. Lindgren is the principal investigator for The Local News Research Project, which focuses on the role and viabilty of local news media in communities. Before joining Ryerson’s School of Journalism faculty in 2007, Prof. Lindgren worked for more than 25 years as a political reporter, correspondent and editorial writer in Ottawa and Toronto. She has a BA in journalism from Carleton University and a diplôme in international relations from the Graduate School of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2005-2006 she was the St. Clair Balfour journalism fellow at the University of Toronto’s Massey College, where her studies focused on urban issues.

Dr. Minelle Mahtani
Associate Professor of Human Geography and Journalism, University of Toronto
Minelle Mahtani is an associate professor in the Department of Human Geography and Program in Journalism at the University of Toronto. She is co-author of Global Mixed Race and author of Mixed Race Amnesia: Resisting the Romanticization of Multiraciality in Canada. Dr. Mahtani is past president of the Association for Canadian Studies and former chair of the Ontario Metropolis Centre. She has also worked as strategic counsel at the Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society. Dr. Mahtani worked at the CBC as a journalist for The National while completing her PhD at University College London on mixed race identity in Canada. She has published widely on the topic of diversity representation in the news media.

Asmaa Malik
Associate Director, Ryerson Journalism Research Centre
Assistant Professor, Ryerson University School of Journalism
Asmaa Malik is associate director of the Ryerson Journalism Research Centre and an associate professor at the Ryerson School of Journalism. Her research interests include social media and diaspora, how people find and share news online, and who gets left behind in the digital divide. Prior to her position at Ryerson University, Prof. Malik served as deputy managing editor of The Montreal Gazette and started a monthly column on how online networks influence our offline relationships. She has over 16 years experience working in key management roles at The Montreal Gazette and the Toronto Star. She received a BA in English and an MA in journalism from the University of Maryland.

Janice Neil
Chair and Associate Professor, Ryerson University School of Journalism 
Janice Neil, chair of the Ryerson School of Journalism as of July 1, 2016,  has been a faculty member at the School of Journalism since 2007. Before her appointment as chair, Prof. Neil served as Undergraduate Program Director and Associate Chair of the school. Prof. Neil has an extensive professional background in the field, having worked for 23 years in various roles as a reporter, editor, writer, host and producer for radio and television. During this time, Prof. Neil held key roles for CBC’s Metro Morning, TVO, CBC TV and Radio and the CBC’s London Bureau. She also served as editor-in-chief of the Canadian Journalism Project (J-Source), leading 15 educators, scholars and journalists in the production of research and commentary on the state of the profession in Canada. Prof. Neil received her BA of journalism, with honours, from Carleton University and an MA in film studies from Carleton University.

Marissa Nelson
Senior Managing Director, Ontario Region, CBC
Marissa Nelson is responsible for all local content for CBC’s eight stations in Ontario, including in Toronto and Ottawa. Her past rolls with CBC were Senior Director of Digital Media and Managing Editor of She helped launch the public broadcaster’s new local digital services, including CBC’s first ever digital-only station in Hamilton and digital expansion into Kitchener-Waterloo and Saskatoon. Before joining the CBC, Ms. Nelson was the Senior Editor, Digital News for the Toronto Star. Ms. Nelson began her career as a reporter at the London Free Press and Hamilton Spectator.

Ann Rauhala
Associate Chair and Associate Professor, Ryerson School of Journalism
Ann Rauhala is associate chair of and a professor in the Ryerson University School of Journalism. Prior to joining the Ryerson School of Journalism as an associate professor, Prof. Rauhala spent 16 years at The Globe and Mail, where she worked as an editor, beat reporter and featured columnist. The Globe’s foreign desk received numerous National Newspaper Awards and honourable mentions during her five years as foreign editor. From 1994 to 1997, she was a television reporter for CBC television’s The National Magazine. She was then the senior editor of Counter Spin until 1999. In 2000, she worked as an editor at the Toronto Star. Prof. Rauhala won an award from the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women for her beat reporting. Prof. Rauhala was originator and editor of The Lucky Ones, a collection of memoirs by families who have adopted children from China. In 2010, she won the Faculty of Communication and Design’s Dean’s Teaching Award. Prof. Rauhala has a MA in English from the University of Toronto and studied journalism at Ryerson University.

Dr. Philip Savage 
Associate Professor of Communication Studies, McMaster University 
Philip Savage has a PhD from York University (2006) and lectures and writes on the history and changing role of audiences in Canada and around the world. He teaches in the areas of communication research methodologies, professional communication practice and media policy and analysis. His long career in community media, public broadcasting and professional media research has included roles as audience research head for CBC Radio (1990’s) and in planning and regulatory affairs for CBC Television and (early 2000’s). Dr. Savage has been involved in public policy formation as a consultant and expert witness with the House of Commons, CRTC, Commissioner of Official Languages, Canadian Media Guild and other community-based groups. He is a board member and active participant with the Finnish-based RIPE (Re-Visionary Interpretations of the Public Enterprise) and has contributed to major publications on digital media transformation around the world, in particular with regard to public broadcasting and public service media audiences.

Ivor Shapiro
Associate Dean, Faculty and Student Affairs, Faculty of Communication & Design
Professor, Ryerson School of Journalism
Ivor Shapiro teaches ethics and feature reporting and conducts research into aspects of ethics and excellence in journalism. He also serves as Associate Dean of Faculty and Student Affairs for the Faculty of Communication & Design. He completed a 5-year term as chair of the Ryerson School of Journalism and chaired the Canadian Association of Journalism’s ethics advisory committee. Prof. Shapiro is the founding editor of the Canadian Journalism Project (, a former contributing editor at Saturday Night magazine and former managing editor of Chatelaine magazine. He has written feature articles for those magazines, as well as publications including Toronto Life, The Walrus, Maclean’s, Today’s Parent and The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business Magazine. Prof. Shapiro has been honoured six times at the National Magazine Awards and has been a finalist for a Canadian Association of Journalists award for investigative journalism. His academic research has been published in Journalism Practice, Canadian Journal of Communication, and Newspaper Research Journal.

Craig Silverman 
Editor, BuzzFeed Canada 
Craig Silverman is a journalist-entrepreneur, author and media critic. He is the editor of the Verification Handbook, the author of Regret the Error: How media Mistakes Pollute the Press and Imperil Free Speech and co-author of Mafiaboy. Mr. Silverman’s writing has appeared in publications including the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, the Columbia Journalism Review and Harvard’s Nieman Reports.

Sylvia Stead
Public Editor, The Globe and Mail
Prior to her appointment as The Globe and Mail’s public editor in 2012, Sylvia Stead worked as a reporter and editor at the newspaper. She joined The Globe and Mail in 1975 after graduating from the University of Western Ontario. As a reporter, Ms. Stead covered courts, education and Queen’s Park. In her various roles as national editor, executive editor and deputy editor, she oversaw coverage of major stories ranging from the Swissair crash to the École Polytechnique shooting and the 1995 Quebec referendum. Ms. Stead is chair of the National Newspaper Awards Board of Governors, on the Advisory Council for the University of Western Ontario’s Journalism Advisory Council and on the Board of Governors of the Canadian Journalism Foundation.

Erika Tustin 
Director of Content Strategy and Partnerships, Torstar Corporation
Erika Tustin is responsible for content strategy and external partnerships in digital, video, email and audio platforms for Torstar media properties, including the Toronto Star. Prior to this, she served as Director of Digital Production, Distribution, and Branded Content for the Star Media Group. Ms. Tustin worked with the Toronto Star for about 11 years, including as Head of Digital – Editorial and Digital News Editor for Her overarching focus and interest is in digital storytelling, content distribution and audience development. Ms. Tustin began her career as a crime reporter for the Peterborough Examiner, before becoming an associate editor at Dose magazine, a digital and print national start-up for millennials. Ms. Tustin holds a BA in English literature and philosophy from the University of Ottawa and a BA in journalism from Ryerson University.