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Professor, School of Journalism, Writing and Media, University of British Columbia

Mary Lynn Young, PhD, is a journalism professor and co-founder of The Conversation Canada.

My research interests include how we know what we know in journalism, critical journalism studies (with a focus on gender and whiteness), newsroom sociology, and journalism startups/digital born journalism organizations. My commitments to social justice ground my scholarship, teaching and professional engagement.

I have co-authored two books: Reckoning: Journalism's Limits and Possibilities (Callison and Young; Oxford, 2020) and Data Journalism and the Regeneration of News (Hermida and Young, Routledge, 2019). I have worked as a copy/slot editor, business columnist and crime reporter at news organizations in Canada and the United States. I was certified as a coach in 2013.

Scholarly awards include: UBC Killam Research Prize (2022); Canadian Journal of Communication Inaugural Publisher's Award 2022 with Dr Yasmin Jiwani; Visiting Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ), Oxford University (April-June 2016), the UBC Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies Early Career Scholar Award (2009-2010) and the 2007 Rufus Z. Smith Award for the best article published in the American Review of Canadian Studies. The article, “Cross-Border Crime Stories: American Media, Canadian Law, and Murder in the Internet Age,” was co-authored with David Pritchard, University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee). Teaching awards include: a 2003 teaching award from UBC’s Alma Mater Society and a Freedom Forum teaching fellowship for journalism educators at the University of Indiana in 2000.

Other relevant research includes: expert witness in the Cornwall Public Inquiry about allegations of historical abuse over a 20-year period involving youth in that community; the 2007 Feminist Media Project in partnership with other feminist academics. The project included a website that provided a feminist perspective on media depictions of missing and murdered women. As part of this work, I was a member of the Board of Directors (2006-2009) at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre in Vancouver.

I completed my PhD at the University of Toronto in 2005 (Dissertation: Crime Content and Media Economics: Gendered Practices and Sensational Stories, 1950-2000).


  • 2000–present
    Associate professor, University of British Columbia