New hires bolster teaching and research in journalism and writing studies



Emerging scholar and former online news editor Ori Tenenboim is joining the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media as assistant professor.

He is due to start in January 2021 to teach in the Master of Journalism program.

Tenenboim is the latest tenure-track hire as part of the growth of the School. In July, Dr. Rebecca Carruthers den Hoed and Dr. Laila Ferreira joined as assistant professors of teaching to contribute to the writing studies undergraduate program.

As well as returning adjunct professors, three professional journalists are joining as new adjuncts: Francesca Fionda, Jennifer Leask and UBC Journalism alumna V.S. Wells.

And over the summer, three faculty members were promoted to full professor: Alfred Hermida, Laurie McNeill and Mary Lynn Young.

Experience in online journalism

Tenenboim is currently in the final stages of completing his PhD at the School of Journalism at The University of Texas at Austin.

Prior to his doctoral studies, Tenenboim worked as a news editor and head of the news desk at Walla, a popular Israeli online news website.

His research looks at audience engagement, political communication, and media economics. As a doctoral student, he has published extensively in leading journals such as Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism, International Journal of Communication, Digital Journalism and Journalism Practice.

“I study how journalists and news organizations blend older and newer norms, behaviours, and forms on different platforms; and what elicits user engagement with the news,” he said.

“In a media environment where content far exceeds what we can consume and disinformation and misinformation are circulated, it is important to understand key dynamics, opportunities, and constraints.”

In January, Tenenboim will teach JRNL 420/520A: Decoding Social Media, aiming to offer students a variety of perspectives on social media across different cultural or national contexts.

“I also seek to identify the impact of social media on journalism practice and other domains, and to learn with students the application of social media tools and practices in digital storytelling,” he said.

Writing Studies hires 

Two new tenure-track faculty joined the School as assistant professors of teaching in July to contribute to the writing studies undergraduate program.

Rebecca Carruthers Den Hoed holds a PhD in Communication Studies, with a focus on critical discourse studies, from the University of Calgary.

Her research analyzes academic discourse and how it is used in scholarly debates about knowledge and truth and in media debates about good citizenship and “right” living.

Laila Ferreira holds a PhD from UBC’s Department of English Language & Literatures and brings an interdisciplinary approach to the teaching and learning of academic discourse and communication.

A faculty member in writing studies since 2010, Ferreira has participated in cross-campus initiatives related to innovative pedagogy, the first-year student experience, and inclusive teaching and course design.

Adjunct faculty updates

Three new adjunct professor appointments are enhancing teaching in undergraduate and graduate journalism courses.

Francesca Fionda is a Vancouver-based freelance investigative journalist, who has also worked as a data reporter. She has worked at the CBC, Global News, CTV, Institute of Investigative Journalism, The Discourse, Attention Control Podcast and Canada’s National Observer.

Her past stories have uncovered inauthentic Indigenous art in Canada, exposed government failures in protecting sensitive health information and revealed new, in-depth data on the country’s mobile workforce.

Fionda is teaching the Data Journalism module this fall and supervising a directed studies course in investigative journalism.

Jennifer Leask is a Vancouver-based journalist who started her public broadcasting career in Regina as a radio news reporter. She later went on to work in television news production and current affairs in Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver.

At CBC, she was one of the first multimedia journalists in the Vancouver bureau, piloting the network’s first “citizen journalism” initiative, and writing for online platforms while also producing stories for radio and television.

Her research interests include an exploration of types of collaborative journalism, shifting journalism norms and how those values are taught in the classroom, as well as solutions-based journalism.

Leask is co-teaching Visual Journalism, alongside adjunct professor and photojournalist, Farah Nosh.

Alum V.S. Wells will be co-teaching the first year undergraduate course, New Media and Society, with Professor Mary Lynn Young.

Wells is a 2019 graduate of the Master of Journalism program whose work has appeared in Slate, VICE Canada, Xtra, Metro UK and CBC.