Joanne Faryon | Columbia Journalism School

Joanne Faryon

Associate Professor of Professional Practice


Joanne Faryon is an award-winning journalist and producer specializing in investigative multi-media projects. She has reported in Canada and the U.S. for both regional and national news programs.

Faryon has worked in print, radio and television, including the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for nearly a decade. After relocating to San Diego from Canada, she joined KPBS, an NPR and PBS affiliate, and later, a digital investigative newsroom. Her work has been broadcast on CBC National Radio News, CBC TV’s The National, CBC Newsworld, the PBS NewsHour, NPR, and across public media stations in California.

Faryon’s strength is taking complex issues and breaking them down into meaningful stories across platforms. In her project, Impossible Choice, she exposed California’s “vent farms” – special nursing home units where thousands of people spend years on life support. In her documentary, Life in Prison: The Cost of Punishment, she went inside three California prisons to document how sentencing laws contribute to an aging, sick, and expensive prison population. She chronicled the final weeks of an 89-year-old man dying of heart disease when examining why one of the country’s most respected hospices was being investigated for Medicare fraud. She was the first journalist to report on immunized people getting sick with whooping cough during the 2010 California epidemic and raise questions about the efficacy of the vaccine. Her documentary, When Immunity Fails: The Whooping Cough Epidemic, was the result of an international partnership with KPBS,, and Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

Faryon is currently producing a multi-episode investigative podcast about her search for the identity of a John Doe who spent 17 years on life support. The project delves into the issue of personhood and raises questions about the diagnosis of consciousness.

Faryon is excited about the digital story-telling landscape and the potential of new platforms to reach diverse audiences. She believes technology should encourage journalists to be more creative and embolden them as story-tellers. Faryon says that in today’s newsroom, reporters need to ask themselves: What’s the best way to tell this story?

Faryon’s work has been awarded Columbia’s Meyer Berger Award for in-depth human interest reporting, an IRE first place in the multiplatform category, nine national and regional Edward R. Murrow awards, a National Emmy nomination and two regional Emmys, USC’s Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in television political journalism, a National Press Foundation honorable mention in the digital news category, a Golden Mike for investigative reporting, an Association of Health Care Journalists, first place, National Award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, and a Manitoba Human Rights Commission Award for Meritorious Service, for continued coverage on the extreme right and the Ku Klux Klan in Canada.