Alfred Hermida, PhD, is an award-winning online news pioneer, digital media scholar and journalism educator, with more than two decades of experience in digital journalism. He is a full professor in the University of British Columbia School of Journalism, Writing, and Media, where he served as director for five plus years (June 2015 – December 2020).
In 2017, he co-founded and launched The Conversation Canada with his UBC Journalism colleague, Mary Lynn Young, bringing academics and experienced journalists together to share timely analysis and commentary drawing from research, evidence and insights.
With an extensive record of scholarly peer-reviewed articles in respected journals and chapter contributions to academic texts, Hermida is at the forefront of research into the digital transformation of media, social media and data journalism.
His most recent book, co-authored with Mary Lynn Young, is Data Journalism and the Regeneration of News (Routledge 2019). He is author of Tell Everyone: Why We Share and Why It Matters, (DoubleDay, 2014), winner of the 2015 National Business Book Award, co-author of Participatory Journalism: Guarding Open Gates at Online Newspapers (Wiley Blackwell, 2011), and co-editor of The Sage Handbook of Digital Journalism (Sage, 2016).
His teaching and learning seeks to provide meaningful professional education experiences and enrich the career-readiness of students. He focuses on professional journalism education based on knowledge-enhancement, new media and interdisciplinarity, rather than just on static craft development based on industry-specific norms and structures. His approach seeks to engage students through scholarly work and professional practice, extending classroom learning into digital spaces through applied educational projects. He co-developed the Integrated Journalism, Decoding Social Media and Imagine Journalism Studio courses.
An award-winning journalist, he is a 16-year veteran of the BBC and was a founding news editor of the BBC News website in 1997. During his tenure as daily news editor at the website, the site won the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award for the best news website four years running, from 1998 to 2001, and a NetMedia Award for the Best Story Broken on the Net in 2000. In 2003, he received a NetMedia Award for Technology Reporting for an in-depth report on the use of technology in developing countries.
Prof Hermida joined the website after seven years in BBC radio and television news. working for regional, national and international outlets. Four of these years were as a BBC foreign correspondent in North Africa and the Middle East, mainly covering the military coup and Islamic insurgency in Algeria and the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. During this time, he interviewed the PLO leader Yasser Arafat twice, as well as the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. He also contributed articles on the Middle East to The Wall Street Journal and The Times of London, and radio reports for CBC and Christian Science Monitor Radio.
In 2005, Prof Hermida was the first digital journalist to be a Knight-Wallace fellow at the University of Michigan.
He is British-Canadian, with his family roots in Gibraltar where he was born and lived until going to university in the U.K.
With more than two decades of experience in digital journalism, his research addresses the transformation of media, emergent news practices, media innovation, social media and data journalism. Through his research at UBC, and his earlier work at the BBC, Hermida has built an international reputation as an authority on new media, with his work appearing in Digital Journalism, Journalism Practice, Journalism Studies and other top tier journals. His work has explored changes in journalistic practices, challenges to established professional dynamics, the impact of social media and processes of media innovation.
Hermida, Alfred, and Young, Mary Lynn. (2019). Data Journalism and the Regeneration of News. New York: Routledge.
Witschge, Tamara, Anderson, C.W., Domingo, David and Hermida, Alfred eds. (2016). The Sage Handbook of Digital Journalism. New York: Sage.
Hermida, Alfred (2014). Tell Everyone: Why We Share and Why It Matters, DoubleDay Canada.
Singer, J.B., Hermida, A., Domingo, D., Heinonen, A., Paulussen, S., Quandt, T., Reich, Z., Vujnovic, M. (2011). Participatory Journalism: Guarding Open Gates at Online Newspapers. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.
Recent academic publications
Westlund, Oscar, and Hermida, Alfred. (2021) “Data Journalism and Misinformation” (preprint). In Tumber, Howard, and Waisbord, Silvio (eds.), Handbook on Media Disinformation and Populism, Routledge.
Mellado, Claudia, and Hermida, Alfred Hermida. (2011) “The Promoter, Celebrity, and Joker Roles in Journalists’ Social Media Performance.” Social Media+ Society 7.1.
Young, Mary Lynn & Hermida, Alfred (2020). “The Conversation Canada: Not for Profit Journalism in a Time of Commercial Media Decline” (PDF). In Dubois, Elizabeth and Martin-Bariteau, Florian (eds.), Citizenship in a Connected Canada: A Research and Policy Agenda, Ottawa, ON: University of Ottawa Press.
Hermida, Alfred, and Claudia Mellado. (2020). “Dimensions of Social Media Logics: Mapping Forms of Journalistic Norms and Practices on Twitter and Instagram.” Digital Journalism: 1-21.
Kligler-Vilenchik, N., Hermida, A., Valenzuela, S., & Villi, M. (2020). Studying incidental news: Antecedents, dynamics and implications. Journalism, 21, 8: 1025-1030.
Hermida, Alfred (2020). “Post-Publication Gatekeeping: The Interplay of Publics, Platforms, Paraphernalia, and Practices in the Circulation of News.” Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 97, 2: 469-491.
Hermida, Alfred (2019). “The existential predicament when journalism moves beyond journalism.” Journalism 20, no. 1: 177-180.
Witschge, Tamara, C. W. Anderson, David Domingo, and Alfred Hermida. (2019) “Dealing with the mess (we made): Unraveling hybridity, normativity, and complexity in journalism studies.” Journalism 20.5: 651-659.
Hermida, Alfred. (2019) “The existential predicament when journalism moves beyond journalism.” Journalism, 20.1: 177-180.
Young, Mary Lynn, Alfred Hermida, and Johanna Fulda. 2017. “What makes for great data journalism? A content analysis of data journalism awards finalists, 2012-2015.”Journalism Practice: 1-21.
Garcia de Torres, Elvira and Alfred Hermida (2017) The Social Reporter in Action: An Analysis of the Practice and Discourse of Andy Carvin, Journalism Practice, 11(2-3): 177-194.
Hermida, Alfred, and Young, Mary Lynn. 2017. “Finding the Data Unicorn: A hierarchy of hybridity in data and computational journalism.” Digital Journalism, 5.2: 159-176.
Callison, Candis and Alfred Hermida, (2015) “Dissent and Resonance: #Idlenomore as an emergent middle ground,” Canadian Journal of Communication, 40 (4): 695 – 716.
Zeller, Frauke and Alfred Hermida. (2015) “When Tradition Meets Immediacy and Interaction: The Integration of Social Media in Journalists’ Everyday Practices.” About Journalism, 4 (1), 106-119.
RTDNA Canada West, Digital Media Award, 2019. Faculty supervisor for Follow the Water, the final research project by Journalism graduate student Joanne Pearce
Best Photo Journalism Award (Gold), Student category, Canadian Online Publishing Award, 2018. Lead instructor for student social media photo project produced as part of the Decoding Social Media course.
Best Use of Social Media Award (Silver) Student category, Canadian Online Publishing Award, 2018. Lead instructor for student live reporting project produced as part the Decoding Social Media course.
President’s Award for Public Education through the Media, University of British Columbia, 2011
Faculty Fellow (Competitive), IBM CAS Canada, 2010 – 2012. The IBM program connects company employees with students, educators and researchers to address business and societal challenges.
Canada’s Top Social Media Maven nomination, Digi Awards, 2011. Named as one of the top three social media experts in Canada.
Best Blog Award, Canadian Online Publishing Awards, 2010.
Finalist, Individual Stand Out: Digital Education, New Media BC PopVox Awards, May 2009.
Top-rated Paper, 8th International Online Journalism Symposium, The University of Texas, Austin, April 2007.
Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship, (Competitive), Ann Arbor, University of Michigan, Winter 2005.
European Online Journalism Technology News Award, NetMedia, 2003.
European Online Journalism Award for Best News Story Broken on the Web, NetMedia, 2000.
BAFTA Interactive Award for Best News Website,British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 1998-2001.
Since joining UBC in 2006, Prof Hermida has launched a series of applied research projects designed to connect academic research with industry. These digital initiatives combine scholarly work, student training and practical applications to investigate new directions for media, while contributing to the culture of innovation in Canada.
They include a partnership with CBC Radio 3 to research and develop a participatory online resource for Canadian music, and a collaboration with IBM Canada to investigate the application of data visualization technologies in journalism.
Hermida was named an IBM CAS Canada Research Faculty Fellow in 2010, 2011 and 2012. In 2011, he received the UBC President’s Award for Public Education Through Media for his work in communicating academic research into media trends to the public.
He was a finalist in the 2011 Digi Awards for Canada’s top social media maven and was a finalist in the New Media BC 2009 PopVox Individual Stand Out Awards in the Digital Education category.
He won a 2010 Canadian Online Publishing Award for best blog for Reportr.net.
He has also been recognised for his work on social media with an Excellence in New Communication Award in 2013 from the Society for New Communication Research, (SNCR), for a student social media project he supervised. The previous year, he supervised a UBC/CBC Radio 3 project that won a Commendation of Merit in the SNCR Excellence in New Communications Awards program.
Hermida was also the first digital journalist to be honoured with a Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan.