About YDME

The Youth Digital Media Ecologies Project is a national research program looking at how 175 youth media production groups in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal have shaped the urban ecologies of Canada’s 3 largest cities.

Throughout the site, we are developing the first multilayered, online map of the youth media production scenes in some of Canada’s major urban communities.

We include a rich and detailed picture of who youth media organizations are, their primary objectives, the kind of media they work with, and the diverse range of young people they serve.

The YDME hosted at SFU’s School of Communication and are funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities (Standard Research Grant Program).


Research team

Primary Investigator

Dr. Stuart R. Poyntz
SFU School of Communication Programs

+ About Stuart Poyntz
Stuart Poyntz is the Project Director of Youth Digital Media Ecologies in Canada and is an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. His research interests include children’s media cultures, theories of the public sphere, and urban youth media production. He has an extensive background in the history of media literacy, has co-authored a new book, Media Literacies: A Critical Introduction (Wiley-Blackwell), and has published widely in the Review of Education, Pedagogy and Cultural Studies, Sociology Compass, Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, Canadian Journal of Education, Taboo: The Journal of Culture and Education, as well as various edited collections.


Dr. Michael Hoechsmann
Lakehead University, Orillia Campus

+ About Michael Hoechsmann
Dr. Michael Hoechsmann is an Associate Professor and the Chair of Education programs at Lakehead University, Orillia. His scholarly interests are situated in literacy and digital literacy, media education and cultural studies. With Stuart Poyntz, he is author of Media Literacies (2012) and with Bronwen Low, Reading Youth Writing (2008). He is the former Director of Education of Young People’s Press, a national news service by and for youth (Canada).

Post-Doctoral Fellow (Part-Time)

Dr. Giuliana Cucinelli

+ About Giuliana Cucinelli
Giuliana Cucinelli is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Mobile Media Lab in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University working with Professor Kim Sawchuk. Additionally, she is a Post-Doctoral Fellow (Part-Time) at The School of Communication at Simon Fraser University, working with Dr. Stuart Poynz and Dr. Michael Hoechsamnn (Lakehead University).

Her area of expertise is digital media, with an emphasis on digital citizenship and how digital media and participatory culture is transforming community and social life (culture, social justice, and politics). Additionally, she is a digital media producer (video documentary, database documentary, websites, sound/audio, mobile media/locative, and graphic design). She combines theory and practice in her scholarship —fostering interdisciplinary approaches to her own research, creation and instruction.

Project Research Assistants

  • Sophie Daviau Dempsey (2012/2013)
    MA Graduate Program
    SFU School of Communication
+ About Sophie Daviau Dempsey
Sophie is an MA candidate in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. Her research interests include youth media production organizations, community media, and cultural policy. Her experience working and volunteering for community media organizations in Vancouver has tied in well with both her work and research at SFU.
+ About Natasha Jamal
Natasha is currently completing her 3rd year studying Education Administration at the Learning, Higher and Adult Education department at OISE, at the University of Toronto. Her research interest focuses on investigating student voice initiatives that better address inequity and inclusion issues in order to better engage and empower students for a critical democratic purpose of learning. In my free time she enjoys attending the array of cultural festivities Toronto has to offer and listening to live music.
  • Jenny Lee (2011-2012)
    MA Graduate Program
    SFU School of Communication
+ About Jenny Lee
Jenny is a Masters student in the School of Communication. Her research interests centre around online gaming, participatory cultures, and children and youth cultures. She is currently conducting her thesis research on how the creative and networking affordances of a game called Minecraft enable young people to take up meaningful practices of identity work and sociality, and how new media such as online gaming have enabled new forms of social and cultural participation. She received her BA (Hons) in Communication from Simon Fraser University.

Graphic/Web design

Antonia Hernández



Policy for use of information on this site

The research contained across this website has been developed by the creative team of scholars and designers noted on our “ABOUT” page, and with the consent and tremendous support of those youth media organizations profiled herein. We welcome and invite others to use the information contained on this website and request that you acknowledge the source of the information you use. We also request that use of information on this site follow the principles common to Copyleft agreements.


Project Contact

Dr. Stuart R. Poyntz
Assistant Professor
School of Communication
Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, BC. V5A 1S6


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