I do most of my teaching in the graduate journalism program. I enjoy meeting the new students in the spring in Introduction to Journalism (J700), where we explore the fundamentals of the craft. In the fall, I teach Print (J753) and a course in Online Journalism (J732). In the second term I have a small class on long-form or magazine-style writing (J737) which has more of a workshop feel and where students produce a fully developed magazine story. I also teach an undergraduate course (MIT347G) called Introduction to Online Writing and Information Architecture. The long-winded title tries to capture the idea that the course is focused on producing user-centred or human-centred Web sites, that is, sites that actually help people do what they are trying to do.
Over the last 20 years I have enjoyed working in print and online journalism. I worked first as a freelance magazine and newspaper writer and then at the Hamilton Spectator where I was a bureau reporter, a general assignment reporter, music writer, arts writer, columnist, feature writer and investigative reporter.
I have also had extensive experience in the online world, working in the Southam New Media lab where I was the Producer on a multimedia CD-ROM project on media guru Marshall McLuhan. The CD, titled Understanding McLuhan, was produced in partnership with Voyager in New York and McGraw-Hill Ryerson in Canada. We were asked by Prentice-Hall to adapt the CD into a book which became On McLuhan: Forward Through the Rearview Mirror.
I was part of a creative team that wrote daily content for a web site on AOL Canada for three years and later worked as the Executive Producer for C-Health and Canoe Travel at Canoe (www.canoe.ca) where we focused on developing original online news content. I was lucky enough to work with Wayne MacPhail to produce Canada’s first original online investigative series, Spin Doctors and then, the next year, Spin Doctors II, both of which examined the chiropractic industry in Canada. Wayne and I turned that research into a book, Spin Doctors: The Chiropractic Industry Under Investigation (Dundurn Press).
I am the Deputy Editor and Interactive Editor for J-Source, The Canadian Journalism Project (www.j-source.ca) Canada's leading site on journalism.
This fall, I was invited by Ryerson University professor Ivor Shapiro to write a chapter (and act as a sub-editor)for a book on feature writing. The book, The Bigger Picture: Elements of Feature Writing, is published by Emond-Montgomery.
I continue to write for newspapers and magazines and have a keen interest in the media industry in Canada.