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J-school changes masthead names

On the Record and The Review of Journalism replace The Ryersonian and The Ryerson Review of Journalism
By: Breanna Schnurr
September 08, 2021
Header for name changes

On the Record visuals by Mariah Meawasige of Makoose. Logo adjustment for the Review by art director, Dave Donald.


It's official—the j-school publications known as The Ryerson Review of Journalism and The Ryersonian will be changing their names to The Review of Journalism (external link)  and On the Record (external link) , respectively.

The names, and brand changes are taking place immediately.

Interim Co-Chair Asmaa Malik said the names, particularly On the Record, were chosen for their versatility over multiple platforms.

"We can have different features of it  like for example, a podcast series can be called 'Off the Record,' or a feature that can be called 'For the Record.'"

These changes come after many years of discussion and activism from students about the former publication names’ association with Egerton Ryerson, the university’s namesake. A statement to journalism students from the co-chairs of the school reads: “[Ryerson] was involved in the creation of residential schools, which stripped Indigenous peoples of their culture by removing them from their families, drove them away their languages, and proselytized to them in colonial religions.” 

Most recently, in the fall of 2020 a student group called for the renaming of the journalism school and its publications. This continued with the 2020/2021 Review staff, who temporarily changed the name of the publication.

"We just wanted to acknowledge that this was all happening in a way that was not permanent, but that showed that everything was in flux," said Julia Duchesne, previous print managing editor of The Review.

The student staff changed The Review's name to The [       ] Review of Journalism, which remained for the rest of the school year.

In December 2020, a committee was struck to look at whether or not the school shoul change the names. It included working journalists, alumni, students, staff and faculty. The committee was chaired by Rogers journalist-in-residence Duncan McCue. 

It recommended to the school council in May that the names of both publications be changed.

The committee called for students to be a part of the name-changing process and for an Indigenous artist to create new branding for the publications. A contest was run by the school where students and alumni could submit proposals for a new name. Mariah Meawasige of Makoose created the visuals for On the Record.

While this is a vital step in the right direction for the school of journalism, there are many more steps to take.

"We need to see a lot more," said Duchesne. "A lot more financial support, and we need to see a lot more support with professors and faculty and students receiving training about unconscious bias and racism so that institutions aren't hostile places for marginalized students."

Interim Co-Chair Gavin Adamson said the journalism school is making commitments to better listen to marginalized students and hear their concerns about the program.

"The most important part of it is engaging with the JCU better and engaging— we still don't have these students elected or named or what process by which we can hear from marginalized students, equity-deserving students, more frequently— but we absolutely have made that commitment," he said. "We need to hear from our students more regularly about the challenges they're having in classrooms and their reporting on the communities."

To summarize why these changes are happening and happening quickly, Malik says the Indigenous communities at the University have made it crystal clear.

"I can't say it better than the Indigenous students and faculty who have written so eloquently about what it means to go to a school and work at a school where they have to use the name of the person who's responsible for generations of trauma within their families, within their friends and their loved ones."