Canadian Journalism Foundation announces Kathy English as new Board Chair

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TORONTO, May 25, 2020 /CNW/ – The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) is pleased to announce Kathy English, public editor of the Toronto Star, as its new Board of Directors chair, replacing David Walmsley, editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail, effective June 1, 2020.

“Kathy’s commitment to journalism burns brightly,” says Walmsley, who is completing his three-year term as CJF chair. “As an internationally respected public editor, she has proven the need to advocate on behalf of our industry and to explain the relationship between journalists and their audience.

“As chair, Kathy is taking over at a remarkable, challenging time. The future now is an unknown one, so it is a comfort to have her in place. She will bring a vision and a passion that ensures the foundation’s financial strength and relevance continue to grow, just as she has designed so many great events these past years. I am delighted she has agreed to take on the role, in this, the foundation’s 30th year.”

English joined the CJF board in 2014, serving as a vice-chair since 2019. She will continue in her role as chair of the programming committee.

For her part, English says: “I am delighted to step up to this role that David Walmsley has excelled in over the past three years as he broadened CJF’s global scope and influence and its 30-year commitment to the importance of journalism in a democracy.

“I am looking forward to working with the highly-accomplished CJF board and the outstanding CJF staff guided by the inspiring leadership of president Natalie Turvey, as well as journalists and many others across our country to continue this important public conversation about why responsible journalism matters to all Canadians, particularly in these difficult times.”

Kathy English, Public Editor, Toronto Star

English has served as public editor of the Toronto Star since 2007, upholding transparency and accountability standards across Torstar Corp.’s 80-plus Canadian daily and community news organizations. Earlier, she was a reporter and editor for six Canadian daily newspapers and launched websites for two Canadian media companies. English also sits on the board of the international Organization of News Ombudsman and Standards Editors.

She was a tenured faculty member at Ryerson School of Journalism from 1989/99 and for the past two years, has taught a course there on critical issues in journalism. In 2018, she received the Asper Teaching Fellowship at Western University’s Faculty of Information and Media Studies, where she devised a graduate course on digital media literacy.

English had been scheduled to head to Oxford University’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in April to begin a three-month journalism fellowship. Her fellowship has now been deferred due to the COVID-19 global crisis. When it can take place, her research project will focus on the role of the public editor/news ombudsman in ensuring and explaining the elements of trustworthy digital news and information.

English holds a master’s history degree from Western University with a thesis focus on the demise of family ownership of Canadian newspapers in the 20th century.  

The Canadian Journalism Foundation

Established in 1990, The Canadian Journalism Foundation promotes, celebrates and facilitates excellence in journalism. The foundation runs a prestigious annual awards and fellowships program featuring an industry gala where news leaders, journalists and corporate Canada gather to celebrate outstanding journalistic achievement and the value of professional journalism. Through monthly J-Talks, a public speakers’ series, the CJF facilitates dialogue among journalists, business people, academics and students about the role of the media in Canadian society and the ongoing challenges for media in the digital era. The foundation also fosters opportunities for journalism education, training and research.