Joyce Smith

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 has also taught research, diversity and creative problem-solving classes to undergraduate and graduate students.

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. In 2018/19 she became academic director of the Ryerson Journalism Research Centre.

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 on the board of directors for 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.

Joyce Smith



Smith, Joyce. (2018). Foreign news: The ‘religion story.’ In Spiritual News: Reporting Religion Around the World ed. Yoel Cohen. Pp. 33-52. New York: Peter Lang.

Smith, Joyce. (2018). Giving begins at (the) home(page): Local news and charities. In The Future of Local News: Research and Reflections. (Academic paper). Read here.

Smith, Joyce. (2017). Journalism on Church Street, In proceedings from The Many Gods of Canada: Religion, Secularism and Public Policy conference, in Canadian Diversity, a publication of the Association for Canadian Studies, (14) 4. 23 – 25.


Smith, Joyce. 2014. Chapter 9: Religion, Reporting, and Radicalization: The Role of News Media in Securitized Discourses. Religious Radicalization and Securitization in Canada and Beyond, eds. Paul Bramadat and Lorne Dawson. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 229-258. Available here.


Smith, Joyce. 2013. Chapter 5: Occupying pews, missing from news. Media, Religion and Gender: Key Issues and New Challenges, ed. Mia Lövheim. London: Routledge, 66-81.

Smith, Joyce. 2013. Brief brushes with Nelson Mandela. St. Catharines Standard. December 12, A14.

Smith, Joyce. 2013. Creative problem-solving key to Ryerson’s innovation workshop. J-Source: The Canadian Journalism Project. September 13. Available here.


Smith, Joyce. 2012. “Public” book chapter in Key Words in Media, Religion and Culture, ed. David Morgan. Originally published by Routledge (2008), Farsi translation published by Islamic Research Center (Qom), Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, 2012.


Smith, Joyce. 2010. Book review of Through a Lens Darkly: How the News Media Perceive and Portray Evangelicals, by David Haskell (Toronto: Clements Academic, 2009). Canadian Journal of Communication 35(1):183-185.

Smith, Joyce. 2010. Reporting on abuse in the Church should look beyond victims and bureaucrats. J-Source: The Canadian Journalism Project. January 11. Available here.


Smith, Joyce. 2008. Chapter 11: Public. Key Words in Religion, Media and Culture, ed. David Morgan. London: Routledge, 148-159.

In the News


Ryerson Review of Journalism: Spring 2018 Issue. Anne McNeilly interviewed for an article about why copy editing matters. Page 9. Joyce Smith interviewed for an article on religion reporting


CBC News: March 26, 2014
Joyce Smith quoted about the difficulty regarding religious epic movies. Click here to read.

United Church Observer: February, 2014
Quotes Joyce Smith regarding reporting religion. Click here to read.


The Catholic Register, March 2, 2013.
Errors, misinformation abound in papal resignation reporting quotes prof. Joyce Smith.


CBC Radio Toronto, Here and Now, December 17, 2012
Prof. Joyce Smith discusses the risks of reporting on breaking news in an age of social media.