The Graduate

Ladies and gentlemen of the Internet,

I’m pleased to inform you that I, your humble blogger, am now the proud owner of a Bachelor of Journalism & Film Studies.

Photographic evidence of the above claims

The past four years have simultaneously been the longest and shortest experience of my life. Like anything worthwhile, it’s been good and bad, easy and hard, fun and not so fun. In essence, quite rewarding.

Now, here I go into the wild blue yonder.

It’s Been a Very Busy Semester

Yes yes yes, it’s the end of the semester. As usual, I’m only getting around to updating this as everything winds down. I’ve been so busy I haven’t even had time to catch you all up on what’s been going on. Here’s a quick list of everything I’ve been up to over the last three months (three months!)

I did a professional practice reporting and producing for ‘Midweek’. The show is a 90-minute current affairs program that airs on CKCU every Wednesday.

I’m currently taking a political reporting class as well. I’m focusing on foreign policy and international affairs, with a focus on Canada/U.S. relations.

In Journalism 4000, the required journalism course for 4th-year students, we’ve covered topics including ethics in journalism, reporting on the environment and reporting on aboriginal issues. The topics are vary from week to week. My presentation for the class focused on citizen journalism during the 2010 G20 summit in Toronto. It was composed entirely of photos and videos by citizen journalists.

In the coming days I’ll be adding content that I’ve produced for school as well as pieces produced outside the classroom.

Stay tuned!

I’m Back In the Saddle!

Yes ladies and gentlemen, it’s true. I’m already half way through my first semester of my last year of journalism school and tackling the challenges that go right along with it head-on.

I’ve already produced a 5 minute radio documentary and done an on-air tape talk.  I’ve also hosted the hour-long current affairs show Midweek, where the previous two pieces aired. I’ve covered a major Sentate committee meeting and am in the process of investigating the implications of President Obama’s “Buy American” portion of the Jobs Act on the Canadian steel industry.

Over the next couple of days, I’ll be posting some of the work I’ve done since school has started.

Until then,

-Christine

 

Third Year, Come and Gone

I don’t know how it happened, but I’m now a fourth year journalism student.

It’s one of those mind boggling things where you wake up one morning and, all of a sudden, you have to change your Twitter bio. It’s not all bad though.

This semester, I wrapped up my Analytical and News Reporting class. It was a tough slog (especially trying to get Health Canada to comment on their nutrition labeling standards), but I got through it relatively unharmed. Plus, I got to meet the man behind the CBC Radio hourly news, Laurence Wall. It’s hard to get excited about the course since it caused me a lot of worry, but my writing has definitely improved and I’ve gotten better at the whole pestering-people-for-a-comment thing.

My brief stint as a Reporter for Centretown News was pretty great. Just having the schlep behind me when I called someone was refreshing. I wasn’t just Christine Sirois, “a third-year journalism student at Carleton University”. Plus, it always feels cool to see your name in print.

Ethics was a bit tough for me to wrap my head around, but I think it more to do with the structure of the class, not the actual content. I really love analyzing the legal and ethical implications of journalism and journalistic integrity, but it was only a four week-long course. Everything felt a little rushed and I think I would have felt better versed in the content if I’d learned it over a long period of time.

And then there was Television.

I had been dreading t.v. all year. I was vehement in my loathing for the format and everything to do with it. Working with good friends (Ariel Hartman and Hilary Duff, whose blogs you can get to from the sidebar) and having an AWESOME teacher completely changed my mind about t.v. journalism. Scott Hannant was an amazing teacher and mentor, showing us the ropes and throwing in cool stories and tips along the way. I went from hating t.v. to seriously considering taking 25th Hour next year.

This year’s been a wacky one with a lot of ups and downs. All in all though, I’d say it was an enjoyable one. I’m just finding it hard to believe that I’ll be graduating this time next year. I feel like I’ve learned a lot, but I also feel like I have a lot to learn.

Maybe that’s just how it goes. You learn 70% of what you need to know to be a working journalist, then you learn the other 30% once you start working. Or maybe you’re never 100% ready to tackle the beast. Either way, I’m incredibly glad I stuck with the program because I really can’t see myself anywhere else at this point.

Here’s to one more year!

It’s the end of the semester. Do you know where your J-Schooler is?

 

Well, it’s that time of year again, ladies and gentlemen. A time for careful thought and introspection. Recollection. Pondering. Plotting. All those things that help you chart your course for the upcoming year.

Well, it would be if you had any degree of certainty in your “Fiver-Year Plan”.

Right now, I’m trying to figure out if I’m closer to the Rock or the Hard Place and, truth be told, I can’t tell. But, what I can tell you is that 2010 has been a year of exponential knowledge acquisition, learning (which is not the same thing) and experience-gaining.

At the beginning of this year, I feared Excel spreadsheets, loathed transcribing interviews and couldn’t tell you what a Nut-Graf was, let alone write one.

Now, I can multi-track audio, produce an audio slide-show, write an analytical piece and churn out a solid 500-word story on deadline. Heck, I even produced a 10 minute radio news segment!

Yes ladies and gentlemen, with each passing day, your humble journalism student is starting to look and feel more like a “real journalist”. But I suppose that’s the normal course of things since, by this time next year, I will have one semester of school left, my law school applications will be submitted and I’ll be charting my path for world domination. Uh, I mean, world exploration.

So what then of this entry? To this I say, I don’t really know.

I just know that it will be funny to look back in a year’s time and read it again.

Full steam ahead!

-Christine