Alfred Hermida is an award-winning online news pioneer, digital media scholar and journalism educator with two decades of experience in digital journalism.
He is a full professor at the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, where he served as director from June 2015 to December 2020. Under his leadership, the department expanded by bringing together the School of Journalism, founded in 1996, and the Arts Studies in Research and Writing program, formed in 2008-09, to create the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media in January 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.
His book, Tell Everyone: How the Stories We Share Shape What We Know and Why It Matters, was published by Doubleday Canada in October 2014. The book charts how our enhanced capacity to share information via social media is shaping our notions of an informed and engaged public, a media ecology of competing ideas, and a responsive political establishment.
Tell Everyone was acclaimed as the best business-related book in Canada for 2015, winning the National Business Book Award.
He is co-editor of the Sage Handbook of Digital Journalism (Sage 2016) and co-author of Participatory Journalism: Guarding Open Gates at Online Newspapers, published in 2011 by Wiley-Blackwell.
He was named an IBM CAS Canada Research Faculty Fellow in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and won the 2011 UBC President’s Award for Public Education Through Media. He was nominated in the 2011 Digi Awards for Canada’s top social media maven.
In 2015, he was a finalist in the Commentary category in the Online Journalism Awards for his contributions to The Conversation.
He won a 2010 Canadian Online Publishing Award for best blog for Reportr.net. A student social media project he co-supervised received an Excellence in New Communication Award from the Society for New Communication Research in 2013. It followed a Commendation of Merit in the co-creation and collaboration media category of the SNCR Excellence in New Communications Awards program for UBC/CBC Radio 3 project in 2010.
Hermida is a 16-year veteran of the BBC and was a founding news editor of the BBC News website in 1997. During his four years as daily news editor, the site won the BAFTA for best news website four years in a row. During his time at the BBC, he pioneered new forms of journalistic practice, including as one of the first BBC bi-media (TV and radio) foreign correspondents (1990), as the co-creator of the first BBC World Service podcast, Go Digital (2001) and as founder of the first technology vertical on the BBC News website.
He has also written for The Globe and Mail, The Wall Street Journal, The Times of London, The Guardian and NPR.
Through his research at UBC, and his earlier work at the BBC, he has built an international reputation as an authority on new media, with his work appearing in Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Journalism Practice, Digital Journalism and Journalism Studies among others. His research interests include participatory journalism, social media and emerging genres of digital journalism.
Prof Hermida serves on the editorial board of the Social Media + Society and Digital Journalism.
He is British-Canadian, with his family roots in Gibraltar where he was born and lived until going to university in the U.K.