Joseph Scanlon, a long-time Old Ottawa South resident and renowned journalist, professor and researcher, died suddenly May 2, 2015, at 82 years of age.
Known as “Joe” to many colleagues, friends, neighbours, and former students, Scanlon resided for decades at his welcoming home on Aylmer Avenue, both during and after his tenure as professor and director of the journalism school at Carleton University.
Scanlon published roughly 200 books, book chapters, monographs and articles in peer-reviewed and professional journals, and more than a dozen case studies of emergency incidents, his area of specialization.
The Ottawa Citizen ran a story on Joe May 4, 2015, and many people have posted their memories of Joe on the Carleton University School of Journalism Linkedin page.
Prior to Carleton, Scanlon worked as a reporter for the Toronto Daily Star, covering Parliament Hill and Queen’s Park. He also served as the paper’s Washington correspondent and covered the early years of the Kennedy administration and the civil rights movement. He also worked as a producer and editor with CBC Television and The National evening newscast.
During his time at Carleton, Scanlon built a reputation as a tough instructor who demanded the absolute best from his students. Perhaps his greatest strength was pushing students to appreciate the extreme commitment that would be demanded of them in the real-world newsroom environment.
Joe also led a program called the Emergency Communications Research Unit (ECRU), which researched how people communicated during natural disasters in order to improve planning for such events. After Carleton, Joe continued to work as a consultant, traveling widely, and took time for many varied sports including golf, tennis and cycling.
Joe was a frequent contributor to the OSCAR and wrote a regular column on his beloved Carleton Ravens basketball teams. His latest posting, emailed out to a subscriber list only four days before his death, described the male Ravens’ latest recruits for next season. Joe was a fixture at home games of both the male and female Ravens, and attended many away games.
Joe was born and raised in Ottawa, and is survived by his five children and nine grandchildren, who he spoke of often and fondly. He will be missed by many.