Hannah Sung

Asper Fellow in Media
January 1, 2020 - April 30, 2020

Hannah SungThe Faculty of Information & Media Studies is pleased to announce that Hannah Sung, veteran Canadian journalist, producer, podcaster and educational speaker, has been appointed as the Spring 2020 Asper Fellow.

Sung will use her experience in podcasting to teach the graduate course “Podcasting and Perspective: How Audio Storytelling Can Tackle Complex Social Issues.” She will lead students through a critical examination of how audio storytelling can reframe and refresh our ways of thinking about major social issues. Sung will also conduct new research along the same theme.

“Race, poverty, systemic discrimination, government policy, MeToo, gender concepts, climate change -- we have many examples of socially-complex topics that are increasingly polarizing in our news and information media and increasingly difficult to truly discuss on social media, where we spend so much of our time connecting, especially for younger generations,” says Sung.

“Perhaps this is precisely one of the reasons why podcasts are becoming a more prominent part of a media diet. Podcasts are longer-format and connect us to real, human voices, unique as thumbprints and rich in identity and emotion. They function as an antidote to ‘hot takes’ and can provide a canvas for deep, layered and thoughtful exploration of topics that deserve time and attention, two things often in short supply for everyone.”

FIMS Dean Lisa Henderson believes that Sung is the right candidate at the right time for the Asper Fellowship.

"At FIMS we’re thrilled that Hannah Sung is the Spring 2020 Asper Fellow. Her depth and breadth as multi-platform journalist and producer offer exactly the model that our master’s students need and want across programs, and they know her. From CBC to TVO and the Globe and Mail, to Much Music and her columns from the Toronto Star, to her social network of Canadian women journalists Media Girlfriends, students have been watching, reading and listening to Hannah Sung for a long time. Now, they get to take a course with her on making podcasts about socially complex issues. I wish I could take the course.”

Sung has been involved with the Canadian media industry since 1999, working variously as a writer, reporter, producer, podcaster, public speaker and consultant. Most recently she has been heavily involved in the producing of podcasts for the Globe & Mail, including a recent move into branded content. Sung will be the 11th appointee to the FIMS Asper Fellowship.

The Asper Fellowship in Media (formerly the CanWest Global Fellowship) was established in 2006 through a donation from The CanWest Global Foundation. The aim of the Asper Fellowship in Media is to enrich academic programs in media and journalism at Western, expand research on significant topics in Canadian media, and promote public discussion about Canadian media and the media industry within Canada, including the business of media.

Sung’s appointment will run from January 1 to April 30, 2020.

“I’m looking forward to guiding students to ask big questions on how podcasts engage audiences on complex social issues,” says Sung. “I look forward to sharing our research with the FIMS community and beyond.”

Also see: "Asper Fellow eyes nuance, context in knee-jerk world," Western News, February 14, 2020.