Professor emeritus John Miller was professor of journalism at Ryerson for 23 years. That followed a 20-year career as an editor and reporter. Most of it was spent at the Toronto Star, where he was foreign editor, founding editor of the Sunday Star, weekend editor, deputy managing editor, and acting managing editor.
He came to Ryerson as chair of the School of Journalism, and served in that position for 10 years. He helped raise $2 million to fund a modern, new building to house the school, directed a curriculum review, and established Canada’s first chair in media ethics and its first chair of diversity reporting.
During sabbaticals, John returned to his first love – reporting – and won two national awards for excellence in environmental and investigative reporting (2000 and 2003), as well as one for best editorial writing (2000) by the Ontario Community Newspapers Association. With a group of citizens including Farley Mowat, John founded a volunteer community newspaper, the Crier, in his hometown of Port Hope in 1999.
John is one of Canada’s leading researchers and trainers dealing with diversity in news organizations. He has presented numerous refereed conference papers on diversity in journalism (including the Fifth International Conference for Diversity in Organizations, Beijing, China, July 2005). In June 2004 he was invited to Ottawa by the federal Minister of State (Multiculturalism) as one of four speakers commemorating the 15th anniversary of Canada’s Multiculturalism Act. He won for Ryerson the Award of Excellence of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation in 2003 for founding and teaching his pioneering journalism course, Covering Diversity.
John was also engaged by the Department of Canadian Heritage to write a study on the “State of Ethnic Newspapers in Canada.” In 2005, an Ontario government commission of inquiry accepted his study “Ipperwash and the Media: A critical analysis of media coverage of the 1995 Ipperwash confrontation.”
He is the author of a highly regarded book on the challenges that journalists face in establishing meaningful connections with their readers,Yesterday’s News: Why Canada’s Daily Newspapers are Failing Us (external link) .