Beginning in the fall of 2013, as part of our 60th anniversary celebrations, the Ryerson Journalism Alumni Association has annually named graduates of distinction as RSJ Headliners.
The Headliners’ photos and biographies are showcased on a digital display on the first floor of the Rogers Communications Centre in the student reporting centre.
CLASS OF 1954
Tucker covered a wide range of historical events, including the release of James Cross by Front de Libération du Québec kidnappers in December, 1970. Ryerson University's first graduate of colour, he worked at the Toronto Telegram during the 1950s. In 1961 he edited The West Indian Reporter. Tucker was a reporter for the CBC in Toronto and Montreal for 34 years, and taught at John Abbott College in Montreal for 36 years.
CLASS OF 1959
A former chair of the RSJ and professor emeritus of magazine journalism, Obe was the editor-in-chief at The Canadian and Toronto Life magazines. He received a gold medal at the National Magazine Awards for ethical writing. In 1993 he was awarded the Canadian magazine industry's highest honour, the NMA for outstanding achievement.
CLASS OF 1965
A journalist, writer and documentary filmmaker, Siggins is author of 14 books. Her book Revenge of the Land (1991) won a Governor General’s Award for non-fiction. She has also written/produced more than 30 documentaries, including the multi-award winning Silent Bombs (2009), for her company, Four Square Entertainment.
CLASS OF 1971
Sheppard has been a reporter, editor, foreign correspondent, digital journalism pioneer, manager and supervisor of newsrooms from Saskatoon to Moscow. As London correspondent for The Canadian Press, Sheppard covered the events that led to the resignation of Mikhail Gorbachev and the breakup of the Soviet Union. One of the first senior journalists to recognize the importance of the Internet and digital journalism in the mid-1990s, Sheppard continues to work solely in that field.
CLASS OF 1979
A four-time Emmy Award winner, Tibbles has reported from war zones in Iraq, Bosnia and Afghanistan, and covered breaking news from the funeral of Princess Diana to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in New Orleans. As an NBC correspondent he has contributed regularly to NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Today and MSNBC. Tibbles has received the Overseas Press Club Award and the National Headliner Award, and been honoured by the National Association of Black Journalists.
- RANDY STARKMAN Dedicated to amateur sports throughout his career at The Toronto Star, Starkman was known as both a leading journalist and a beloved, trusted colleague. Starkman covered 12 Olympic Games and scored countless scoops, including the world-exclusive exposé of Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson's second positive steroid test in 1993. He received two National Newspaper Awards. Starkman died in April 2012.
CLASS OF 1987
As executive director of the Walrus Foundation and co-publisher of The Walrus magazine, Ambrose has worked to develop new not-for-profit models for funding in-depth journalism. As executive director of the Walrus Foundation and co-publisher of The Walrus magazine, Ambrose has worked to develop new not-for-profit models for funding in-depth journalism. She has been a reporter for The Globe and Mail and Windsor Star, and produced CBC's Morningside with Peter Gzowski for more than a decade. She is a founder of the Lakefield Literary Festival and is the recipient of the Queen's Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals.
CLASS OF 1992
Nawaz ushered in a new era of Canadian television as creator of the award-winning Little Mosque on the Prairie, the CBC's highest-rated sitcom. She continues to devise comedy plots, and has written four comedy short films. Two of these films, BBQ Muslims (1996) and Death Threat (1998), were shown at the Toronto International Film Festival.
CLASS OF 1996
A three-time National Newspaper Award recipient, Shephard is one of Canada's best-known national-security reporters. Besides her work for the Toronto Star, she is the author of Decade of Fear: Reporting from Terrorism's Grey Zone (2011) and Guantanamo's Child (2008). Shephard has also undertaken work on two feature-length documentary films and was associate producer on the Oscar-nominated Under Fire: Journalists in Combat (2011).
CLASS OF 1998
A digital journalist, Yum has worked for several national news sites as editor, manager and strategist. Yum helped launch The Globe and Mail's news website in 2000, and in 2007 he helped spearhead the relaunch of digital properties at the Financial Post and National Post. He returned to the Globe in 2009 and was managing editor and editor of its news sites until 2011, when he became managing editor of Huffington Post Canada and AOL.ca.
CLASS OF 2006
As a Toronto Star reporter, Doolittle helped break the news of Toronto mayor Rob Ford's drug use. She is the author of Crazy Town (2014), a political biography of Ford and his family. She also covered the Conrad Black trial in Chicago and the G-20 summit in Toronto. Doolittle joined The Globe and Mail as an investigative reporter in 2014.
CLASS OF 2008
Convinced of the importance of local coverage to Canadians, Ghuman moved after graduation to Squamish, B.C., and began a local news blog, The Squamish Reporter. The blog proved so popular that it spawned a monthly print magazine focusing on civic, investigative and public-service journalism. Ghuman has twice been a finalist in the annual awards given by the Canadian Association of Journalists.
CLASS OF 2009
Graeme Smith is a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group in Afghanistan. He previously served as a foreign correspondent for The Globe and Mail, with postings in Moscow, Kandahar, Delhi and Istanbul. His awards include three National Newspaper Awards, two gold prizes at the National Magazine Awards and the Michener Award. He also won an Emmy in 2009 for a video series that recorded the opinions of Taliban fighters. His best-selling book, The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan, won the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust prize for non-fiction. He lives in Kabul.
CLASS OF 2001
Marissa Nelson is a leading digital news executive in Canada. She started her career as a reporter at the London Free Press and then at The Hamilton Spectator. Since then, she has focused on helping legacy media companies re-imagine themselves for the digital age, from an innovative digital training program at The Hamilton Spectator, to running the Toronto Star’s digital properties, including the launch of its first mobile app. As Senior Director of Digital Media for CBC News and Centres, Marissa led the strategic planning, development and delivery of all of the digital content and products for CBC News. She is now Senior Managing Director of the Ontario Region for the CBC.
Toronto Star columnist Rosie Dimanno left Ryerson to work at the newspaper in 1975. She was fired two years later, but came back in 1983 after working as a freelance magazine journalist. Before she launched her must-read A2 Star news
column in 1993, she had held several roles at the paper, including foreign correspondent, entertainment reporter and feature writer. Dimanno, who is also a sports columnist, is the author of Coach: The Pat Burns Story and Glory Jays, Canada’s World Champions. In 2012, she was honoured by the Canadian Olympic Committee for having covered more than 10 Olympic Games.
CLASS OF 1973
After graduating from the Ryerson School of Journalism, Blatchford began a job immediately at the Globe and Mail as a general assignment reporter. Within the Globe, she moved to sports feature writer and was there for four years. She spent a short time at the Toronto Star before moving to the Toronto Sun first as a lifestyle humour columnist, then as the main Page 5 news columnist. She joined the National Post the summer before it started publishing, as the criminal courts columnist. Blatchford left to report the same beat for the Globe, which she did for seven years until finally returning to the Post four years ago. She has also been reporting for radio for the last decade, now twice a day for Newstalk 1010.
CLASS OF 1964
Over more than three decades, Stewart’s reports for CBC’s The National, his acclaimed international documentaries, and his show, CBC News: Our World provided Canadians with a window on the world. Though now retired from daily journalism, Stewart continues to write a regular column for CBCNews.ca on international affairs and frequently contributes to CBC documentary and news reports. He is currently a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto and continues to contribute frequently to news analysis on CBC TV and Radio.
Workman grew up in the Ontario village of Arthur, population 1200, and created his first mimeographed newspaper before he knew what journalism was — selling it door to door on Main Street for five cents a copy. After three years at Ryerson, and a couple of credits short of a diploma, he started his career with the Ottawa Citizen. That led to television — to the CBC, and then to CTV — and a lifetime of witnessing history around the world. The fall of the Berlin Wall. Scud missile attacks on Israel. The invasion of Iraq. The death of Princess Diana. The wars in Kosovo and Afghanistan. Correspondent for CBC in Jerusalem and Paris; for CTV in New Delhi and Washington.
CLASS OF 1968
After graduating, Don worked as a bureau reporter, city hall reporter, editorial writer, assignment editor, and city editor for The London Free Press. In 1988, he returned to Ryerson to teach in the School of Journalism. He was named Ryerson’s Professor of the Year in 1991 and received a second teaching award based on his students’ nomination in 1996. That same year, he was honoured by the Canadian Association of Journalists for his outstanding contribution to journalism. Don has been a visiting writing coach at the Globe and Mail and, over a 25-year span, has conducted hundreds of writing seminars and one-on- one coaching sessions for thousands of Canadian journalists.
CLASS OF 1982
Based in CTV’s Washington Bureau since 2005, Joy Malbon has had an award-winning career as a reporter and Bureau Chief for CTV News. During her current posting in Washington, Malbon has covered both the Bush and Obama administrations. Malbon has also worked as CTV News’ Parliamentary Correspondent in Ottawa, traveling with Prime Ministers Chretien and Martin, and worked in Israel contributing to CTV’s coverage of the Iraq War. Before Ottawa, she was stationed in England as CTV’s London Bureau Chief. She has also worked as CTV News’ Parliamentary Correspondent in Ottawa, traveling with Prime Ministers Chretien and Martin, and worked in Israel contributing to CTV’s coverage of the Iraq War. Before Ottawa, she was stationed in England as CTV’s London Bureau Chief.
CLASS OF 1986
A two-time Gemini Award nominee, Suhana has hosted numerous CBC News programs, including Saturday Report on CBC Newsworld, and the CBC regional news program in Toronto. Many will remember her as host of “What’s New”, the CBC’s news and current affairs program for youth. She has also worked for CHCH-TV in Hamilton and CJOH in Ottawa. Her community activities include the Starlight Children’s Foundation, the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons and the Hospital for Sick Children. She is the recipient of a Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary International and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.