Laurier Brantford journalism prof to lead J-Source

Bruce Gillespie, a journalism professor at the Wilfrid Laurier University Brantford campus, is hoping that more students get involved in J-Source, an online website that reports on the Canadian journalism industry in which he was recently named the editor-in-chief of.

“I’m really excited, actually. It’s a site that I followed pretty much since its inception and I’ve always really liked it and found it to be a good resource for myself and something I recommended to my journalism students quite a bit,” said Gillespie a couple of days after his appointment.

Gillespie begins his term as editor-in-chief on August 1 and will take over the reigns from Ryerson University journalism professor, Janice Neil.  He has been published in The National Post and a variety of Canadian magazines.

According to Gillespie, J-Source is changing its governance model after the Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) announced it’s retracting its funding in January.

“The governance of the site, and the workings of it, will now be shared across a number of journalism schools across the country,” continued Gillespie. “It will be a bunch of journalism schools and journalism profs across the country, which is a really unique kind of model. But we’re really excited about it.”

“I don’t think we’ll be seeing major changes right away. I think people will start to see small navigation changes in the site and certainly on January 1,” he added.

Gillespie noted that the goal is get students writing for the site and to expand its reporting with the potential of adding bureaus in Atlantic and Western Canada. The critical view that J-Source currently has on the reporting in Canada, however, will continue under Gillespie’s term.

“I think one of the reasons as to why we’re particularly a valuable resource to professionals and students alike is because we sort of take that step back and provide some critical analysis about reporting in Canada, which I think is different than what we see in [media reporting] of the mainstream press,” he explained. “We report on the same kind of issues, but we report on them for a very specific type of audience for people involved in the industry.”

The past two editor-in-chiefs for J-Source have been Ryerson professors since its inception in 2007, and Gillespie was enthusiastic about what his recent appointment means for the journalism program – which is only available at the Brantford campus – at Laurier.

“I think it’s really cool that a journalism program as small and young as ours at Laurier Brantford is getting this kind of opportunity because I think it’ll be really great for our students to get involved as well,” he said.

Gillespie will continue to teach journalism courses at Laurier Brantford during his term as editor-in-chief at J-Source

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