Journalism In the Time of Crisis is an international research project and online conference initiated by the journalism program at Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication. Our goal is to establish and engage with a global network of experts, to examine the nexus between journalism and the COVID-19 pandemic, and to find lessons for journalism practice in the future.

The research project will culminate with an international online forum convened by Carleton this coming Oct. 23-24.

Carleton’s journalism school, the oldest in Canada, was founded in October 1945 in the wake of the Second World War; we plan to launch events marking this 75th anniversary with a virtual gathering of experts and practitioners to share insights about journalism’s role in another global crisis.

“From its beginnings, the mission of Carleton’s journalism program has been to prepare the next generation of news professionals and also to undertake research and engage in critical, constructive conversations about the state of journalism and its role in society,” said Prof. Susan Harada, Director of the School of Journalism and Communication and head of the journalism program. “This is a historic opportunity to come together, to share insights and to learn.”

This major global conference, to be held primarily via video links, will forge an international network around the question of journalism and the pandemic, bring together key experts with students and young scholars and produce a digital platform and publication. We also plan to continue to engage the research community on the COVID-19 crisis going forward by developing an agenda for future studies and collaboration. The online forum will also feature an international town hall for journalism students and a discussion of how journalism curricula could be adapted to include new educational tools to foster essential skills for crisis reporting among students and practicing journalists.

Journalism as an industry and a profession was already experiencing a crisis when the COVID-19 pandemic plunged the world into a state of deep uncertainty. And yet, people around the world have turned to journalists to help them make sense of the most significant social and economic crisis of our generation.

This project will explore the fascinating intersection of journalism and the COVID-19 crisis to assess both the short and long-term impacts. We will examine such issues as the role journalists have played during the pandemic, the impact of the crisis on journalism practice and business models, the ongoing contest between journalism and misinformation, the future of local news, threats to global media freedom, the impact in the global South and the implications for journalism education.

“This is a time to reflect on the lynchpin role journalism has played throughout the crisis, to identify problems and best practices that have emerged and to chart a path forward,” said Allan Thompson, a journalism professor at Carleton who will chair the event. “And it is critically important that we engage with journalism students and look at how the pandemic experience could influence journalism education.”

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Full details of the conference will be made available at

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Monday, April 20, 2020 in ,
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