Two distinguished journalists will be joining us as tenure-stream faculty. Sonya Fatah will join us as of July 1, 2019, and Karyn Pugliese will arrive in January 2020.
For the last two years as a Limited Term Faculty appointment, Sonya Fatah has had a major role leading the digital and broadcast platforms of the School’s two prestigious masthead publications: the 70-year old Ryersonian and the 35-year-old Ryerson Review of Journalism (RRJ). Sonya has reshaped the RRJ’s online platform to give it more immediacy and engaged students in producing a weekly podcast, Pull Quotes, extending the RRJ brand. At the ’Sonian, she has increased the professionalism of the TV and audio broadcasts.
“I’m really looking forward to working in a new capacity at RSJ. It’s been a really rich experience working with a range of amazing students to produce both the Ryersonian and the Ryerson Review of Journalism,” Fatah said. “I’m looking forward to investing my time and both continuing—and expanding—my teaching portfolio while also deepening my research commitment.”
Fatah is the Editor-in-Chief of J-Source.ca, the popular, influential, decade-old news website producing stories about the Canadian journalism profession and industry for educators, scholars and professionals. She oversees the production of dozens of online news stories, features and a weekly newsletter.
Fatah has had a global career as a journalist and a journalism educator, working in China, Pakistan, India, South Africa and the United States. She holds a Master of Science in Journalism and a Master of International Affairs in Human Rights, both from Columbia University. Her work in newsrooms in Canada, Pakistan, India and South Africa, as well as her ongoing freelance work, brings value and currency to the School of Journalism. Her interest in exploring issues among Indigenous Peoples led to her to research and write “Canada’s Toughest Border Crossing” for The Walrus, on the challenges of crossing the U.S./Canada, Ontario/Quebec borders by Mohawks living in Akwesasne.
Fatah is also exploring live journalism, a live documentary form of journalism, turning a magazine article into a performance for the stage. Her first project, Stitched! was part of a multi-disciplinary “supercourse” performed in March at Ryerson.
“Sonya’s wide-ranging research interests as well as her expertise in covering the Canadian journalism profession via J-Source and the RRJ will be of great benefit to our students and to all of us,” said Janice Neil, RSJ Chair.
Karyn Pugliese is an award-winning journalist and a transformative newsroom leader. As the Executive Director of News and Current Affairs at the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) for the last seven years, the broadcaster has collected numerous awards for exceptional journalism, including a Canadian Screen Award to honour her career achievements.
APTN has been a leader in breaking hard-hitting investigative stories on everything from issues of cultural appropriation to the coerced sterilization of Indigenous women in Saskatchewan. Pugliese has led a news organization that has had to adapt to rapidly evolving digital reality. She has expanded APTN’s presence on multimedia platforms and aggressively explored new business models.
“I have had the absolutely pleasure of hiring young journalists into the industry, and seeing them develop self confidence and bloom. I volunteered to mentor journalists and am inspired by their energy,” Pugliese said. “I am so excited to be able to help a new generation of journalists launch their careers, at the top journalism school in Canada.”
Pugliese has won an impressive collection of awards: she has just received the Hyman Solomon Award for Excellence in Public Policy Journalism for her “defence of the rights of journalists and advanced training, visibility, participation and leadership role.”
Pugliese, who is a member of the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation in Ontario, is currently the president of the Canadian Association of Journalists, has served on the board of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and done training as a volunteer with Canadian Journalists for Human Rights. She worked previously at ichannel, Vision TV and CBC, and has also served as a communication director for the Assembly of First Nations.
“Karyn’s experience as a transformative newsroom leader and her knowledge of Indigenous Peoples and Canadian journalism, as president of the CAJ, will enrich our teaching and scholarship at a pivotal moment in journalism’s history,” said Neil.
Pugliese graduate of Carleton University in journalism, and also earned her master’s in history there. She plans to explore the role of journalism and new forms of storytelling in the reconciliation process.