John Gordon Miller has been an award-winning reporter, a senior news executive, chair of a journalism school, an author, a teacher, a researcher and a consultant.
He was professor of journalism at Ryerson for 23 years, and now is professor emeritus. 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 two curriculum reviews, and established Canada’s first chair in media ethics and its first chair of diversity reporting.
During sabbaticals, Miller 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, Miller founded a volunteer community newspaper, The Crier, in his hometown of Port Hope in 1999.
Miller is one of Canada’s leading researchers on 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 of 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.”
Miller 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.