The art of newspaper design

By Andrew Vowles

Normal 
 0 
 
 
 
 
 false 
 false 
 false 
 
 EN-CA 
 X-NONE 
 X-NONE 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
    
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
   
 
 /* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
	{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
	mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
	mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
	mso-style-noshow:yes;
	mso-style-priority:99;
	mso-style-parent:"";
	mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
	mso-para-margin-top:0cm;
	mso-para-margin-right:0cm;
	mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt;
	mso-para-margin-left:0cm;
	line-height:115%;
	mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
	font-size:11.0pt;
	font-family:Calibri;
	mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
	mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
	mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
	mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
	mso-ansi-language:EN-CA;}
 
  Photo Credit:  Lindsay Lapchuk

Photo Credit:  Lindsay Lapchuk

Matt French tells stories not with words but with design.

An award-winning page designer and assistant art director for The Globe and Mail newspaper, he aims to create eye-catching page layouts that give readers a clear idea what the story is about before they read a sentence.

“The designer is there to make the message as clear and effective as they can,” says French, adding that a skillful design draws attention to the article rather than to the design elements, including graphics, photos and typography.

Take the Globe’s front-page coverage of last fall’s final report of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The story was illustrated by oversize numerals that punched out the key points: numbers of victims, witnesses and deaths associated with the country’s former residential schools.

“The story was the numbers, and the numbers are the impact,” says French, B.Comm. ’07. “It’s not about any highfalutin’ image or fancy colour.”

Most days, French, 30, helps design the newspaper’s front page, working with a “cast of many,” including editors, headline writers and the paper’s creative director. Over the past year, he’s designed more than 300 front pages and thousands more inside.

French’s design skills are self-taught, but his career path started at U of G. Always driven to do creative work, he pursued a commerce degree thinking he could “make a living doing something creative in business” such as working for a marketing agency.

During a summer job in a marketing department, French took a stab at creating promotional material for trade publications. Back on campus during third and fourth year, he then worked at Guelph’s student newspaper, The Ontarion, as photo and graphics editor, and layout editor. Recalling those days, he says, “You were able to cut your teeth doing what you wanted. Learning from your mistakes gave you the freedom to make mistakes.”

Following graduation, he worked at the Woolwich Observer. After three years there, he worked for 24 Hours, a Toronto commuter newspaper, and the Toronto Sun, among others.

French got called up to the “big leagues” in 2011. Up to 400,000 people read The Globe and Mail’s weekend edition.

Among his notable Globe projects, he points to an “Unremembered” series of articles last year about the suicides of Canadian soldiers and veterans who fought in Afghanistan, as well as the 11th-hour package of reports covering the 2015 federal election that vaulted Justin Trudeau’s Liberals into power.

Another favourite was the 2012 Remembrance Day cover, with the word “Remember” stamped over a soldier’s image. “It did what it was intended to do: cause the reader to pause and reflect.”

A fan of the Washington Post and the Guardian, French brings what he calls a simple and subtle but graphic approach to his work, as well as a refined sense of visual literacy — all without getting in the way of the story.

Sitting down to assemble a page, he knows that reporters and editors might have put months of work and passion into the article. “At the end, I’m the person responsible for taking it over the finish line, making it sing so that people connect with it.”

 

This story, reprinted with permission, originally appeared in The University of Guelph’s Portico Magazine. 

Broadcasting All-Star Lands Sports Fan’s Dream Job

By Kyle Rooks

Photo credit: Agnata Lesnik,Fanshawe College

Photo credit: Agnata Lesnik,Fanshawe College

In 2012, Caroline Cameron graduated from Fanshawe’s Broadcast Journalism program on a Friday and started her career at Sportsnet in Toronto the following Monday. It was the start of a meteoric rise that saw her spend two years in Vancouver hosting Sportsnet’s national morning
show and, in 2014, be recognized with a Fanshawe Distinguished Alumni Award. In April 2016, she returned to her hometown (Toronto) to co-anchor the late night/early morning version of Sportsnet Central.

What does your job entail?

On a typical day, I arrive for work at 8:30 p.m., check in with my producer and discuss the show’s rundown alongside my co-anchor. I write my scripts, keep my eye on as many games as possible, spend some time in makeup and wardrobe and prepare to go live at 1 a.m. On a busy night, we do a post-game show out of a live event which is always fun! It keeps me on my toes! I do all my prep at home during the day. That consists of watching TV (tough life, I know), and doing a lot of reading.

What's the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is I get to sit and watch sports for a living! It’s really fun working with other sports fans. We watch the games justike one would at home, or out with friends. We cheer, debate and laugh along the way. The only difference is we’re doing it for work. It’s pretty cool!

 Is it safe to say this is your dream job?

 Absolutely! If you had told 13-year-old me, that this is what I’d be doing, I wouldn’t have believed you. I first set my sights on being a sports broadcaster early in high school. I loved playing and watching all kinds of sports, but I also grew up in a family that consumed news; putting the two together seemed like the perfect match. Now that I’ve gotten to where I am, I can’t help but think: what’s next? But your guess is as good as mine. We don’t know what TV will look like in 5 – 10 years, just like we didn’t know what it would look like 5 – 10 years ago. I’m just along for the ride!

What's your favourite sport?

Despite having two older brothers, I was the jock of the family growing up. As the little sister, I was always trying to catch up with them – whether it was playing catch in the backyard, kicking a ball around, or shooting hoops on the driveway. I played basketball and softball in high school, but, the sport I gravitated to the most was tennis. From a young age I played with my Dad. At 15, I volunteered to be a ball kid during the Rogers Cup in Toronto. Being on the court with some of the greatest players in the world grew my love of the game even more. I’ve met some of my best friends through the sport and still play a couple times a week.

What's been the highlight of your career so far?

Tough to say. I consider a highlight to be any moment I catch myself thinking “the little kid in me would be freaking out if she knew what’s happening right now!” I remember the first time I was in the Toronto Blue Jays dugout at the Rogers Centre - that was pretty surreal. Most recently, covering Milos Raonic’s run to the finals of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships, was a huge honour. As a fan of the sport, it was incredible to see him beat Roger Federer in the semi-finals. It was a great feeling to know that I was covering an important moment in Canadian sports history. Iwanted to do the story justice.

How did Fanshawe prepare you for your career?

 By the time I graduated, I already had the structure and skills to move forward. I knew how to speak to people, conduct interviews and craft a story. When I arrived for my first day at Sportsnet, as a deer caught in headlights – I quickly settled down because the surroundings and what was expected of me didn’t seem foreign. To this day, when I write scripts for the show, I still think back to the writing rules and lessons I learned from Jim Van Horne and other faculty at Fanshawe.

Reprinted with permission from Fanshawe College Alumni News. All rights reserved. 

Freelance Writer and Journalist: Michael-Oliver’s WorkStory

By Abigayle Walker, WorkStory Ambassador at University of Ottawa

Michael-Oliver Harding is a freelance journalist who writes for both print and online culture magazines and newspapers. His client roster includes publications such as the Montreal Metro, Exclaim, Elle Canada, Noisy, and Nylon Magazine to name a few. Michael writes about culture and the arts. He is most interested in “the intersection between culture and politics”. Working mostly from home, Michael says that there is a lot of freedom and flexibility in his schedule, which helps stimulate his creativity. Even though he is passionate about writing, he especially enjoys interacting with the people he interviews at events, via Skype, or on the phone.

As a freelance writer, it is necessary to be on one’s toes to initiate leads and to find one’s next employer. Michael says that his ambition and constant reading help him be a successful freelance journalist. Usually, Michael does cold pitches to the magazines that he avidly reads. He explained that cold pitches are when he reaches out to the editor of a magazine, without any connections or ties, with an idea for an article that he believes is going to be tailor-made for the publication. He not only sells his idea, but he sells himself as the best person to write this story. He emphasized that these ideas have to be timely and relevant to the readership of the publication.

While completing a BA specialization in Communication Studies, with a Minor in Spanish at Concordia University, Michael was focused on documentary production and producing short films. Even though he had always been passionate about culture and the media, he had never seen himself as having a career in Journalism. However, in his fourth year of his studies, he decided to write film reviews for one of the school newspapers. He found himself particularly enjoying interviewing filmmakers and musicians. To his surprise, he loved the writing component of this position. Unlike essays --  reviewed by person for a grade -- the articles Michael wrote allowed him to freely express himself. For the first time, his writing had a readership!  He soon became the editor of the school paper, and from there he started to pitch ideas to other publications.

After years of success in the journalism field, Michael is now pursuing an MA in Visual and Media Anthropology – in Germany! This program, he said, will bring him back to his original passion of documentary production. After years of writing about film, Michael says that he now wants to understand the interworking of the medium in a more in-depth way.

Michael’s closing words of wisdom for those heading into the world of journalism?

Write about what matters to you and take your cues from those who inspire you.

It’s good to write about everything, but it’s better to write about a few topics that you’re passionate about and that you know extremely well.

Read a lot. Stay updated in what’s going on in the field of journalism.

Follow the writers and journalists who inspire you. Stay up to date with what they write.

Getting a degree in Journalism is not mandatory! It is helpful to have a well rounded education in other disciplines.

Karli Steen Comes Full Circle as a Freelance Writer

By Annette Dawm, WorkStory Ambassador

Not everyone’s first job involves something that they are passionate about, but Karli Steen is one of the lucky ones! Karli is a freelance writer for Diply.com, a website based out of London, ON. At the beginning of each month, Karli is assigned a wide range of topics to research and then she compiles list-based articles that are then edited and published on her Diply profile.

Karli’s position as a freelance writer allows her to work at her own pace from the comfort of her own home and her pajamas, which is enough incentive for Karli to go above and beyond her monthly submission requirements:

“The best part about working from home is that I can spend the day in my pajamas if I feel so inclined (99.9% of the time). I spend a good portion of my day on Pinterest, looking up the latest recipes, home decor ideas, and any other subject they need a piece on. My favorite pieces to do are the recipe ones, because although they make me hungry, a lot of them inspire me to actually make the food. When I am finished an article I put the link in my section of a Google spreadsheet and mark it green to let my boss know it can be edited and then published. If I've got extra time before the end-of-the month deadline, I try to put forth some of my own ideas.”

Initially Karli applied for a full-time job with Diply that would have required her to work in a downtown office, but she admitted that she “wasn’t exactly qualified”. Despite this, Karli’s passion for writing shone through in her interview which landed her the job she has now. “I was lucky because they saw my love for writing, and gave me the freelance position as an opportunity to grow and gain more experience”, Steen explained.

Prior to her work with Diply, Karli had been writing her own blog for some time, which now has over 7000 views! She also volunteered as a “WorkStory Ambassador” and wrote for this website, interviewing people who loved their jobs. Now things have come full-circle for Karli as she has found a job she loves as well. Karli relates her own WorkStory to the old saying, “no path is ever straight and narrow” and believes that “nothing could be more true” about her path:

“I had taken on an English degree at Kings University College, with the intent of going forward into a Masters of Journalism. After two attempts to get in the masters program, I knew I needed more experience. I started working alongside LEADS Employment Services to try and find work with the qualifications I already had.” Through LEADS, Karli came into contact with Dr. Natalie Allen, one of the co-creators of WorkStory.net. While working on her Masters application, Karli also wrote an autobiography and posted it on her blog which explains more about her path here.

Steen says that she is grateful for the opportunities that her previous writing outlets have provided her: “Both WorkStory and my blog were useful to me because I was able to show I was passionate about writing; in sharing my story, as well as others'.... My time with WorkStory still gives me encouragement, as a lot of the stories I wrote seemed to point out that one path often led to another that you might not have necessarily seen yourself going down before. I can't wait to see where mine goes.” Currently, Karli’s path continues at Fanshawe College where she is studying to teach English as a second language, but Karli Steen will always be a writer no matter where her path takes her.

“If I could give new writers some advice,” said Steen, “I would stress the importance of starting a blog about something that shows your passion. If you're not much of a blogger, you might even try poetry-- just something where others can see what makes you tick. Also, even if you feel like you might not be the best fit for a certain position, don't be afraid to apply, because it could lead to another great opportunity!”

To keep up with Karli, you can follow her on Twitter and like her Facebook page.

Lisa Charleyboy’s Fashion Mag Will Tackle Aboriginal Issues With Style

By Tiffany Hsieh

Normal 
 0 
 
 
 
 
 false 
 false 
 false 
 
 EN-CA 
 X-NONE 
 X-NONE 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
    
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
   
 
 /* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
	{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
	mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
	mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
	mso-style-noshow:yes;
	mso-style-priority:99;
	mso-style-parent:"";
	mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
	mso-para-margin-top:0cm;
	mso-para-margin-right:0cm;
	mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt;
	mso-para-margin-left:0cm;
	line-height:115%;
	mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
	font-size:11.0pt;
	font-family:Calibri;
	mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
	mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
	mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
	mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
	mso-ansi-language:EN-CA;}
 
    Photo by Sofie Kirk

Photo by Sofie Kirk

Lisa Charleyboy (BA ’10, York University) always felt like an outsider to her Tsilhqot’in community and reserve in Alexis Creek First Nation, B.C. What helped ground her while growing up in Abbotsford, a suburb of Vancouver, was her insatiable interest in fashion and magazines. At 10, she devoured Vogue magazine cover to cover. By Grade 10, she decided she would move to Toronto upon graduation to study fashion communication. But it was at York University that Charleyboy discovered her indigenous roots and her true passion, which paved the way for embracing her native culture through writing on fashion and all things lifestyle.

“At York, I was encouraged to explore my heritage through writing and assignments, to explore history and be more critical about aboriginal issues in Canada,” she says. “I was very engaged as a student and with the student paper. I really enjoyed my time at York. It was a fantastic experience.”

Charleyboy is now a writer, fashion blogger, social entrepreneur and actress. She graduated from York’s Professional Writing program after a stint in fashion communication studies at another university didn’t prove to be what she desired. While a student at York, Charleyboy wrote fashion columns for Indian Country Today, was a fashion editor at York’s Excalibur, an intern at Lush magazine and a weekly contributor at MSN.ca on beauty, fashion and lifestyle. She also started her popular blog Urban Native Girl as a way to engage in writing and social media, and connect with native peoples from across North America.

When Charleyboy was approached by York to work as an aboriginal recruitment officer upon graduation, “It felt way off path,” she recalls. “I wanted to go into fashion magazines.” However, after the University approached her a few times, she decided it was a good opportunity for her to engage aboriginal youth about pursuing postsecondary education at York and following their dreams.

“There’s a native belief that if you are being asked to do something three times, you have to really give it some careful thought and consideration,” she says. “I took the job. I got to travel and meet people. I was involved with the native community across Canada. The job changed my focus to indigenous issues.”

During her two years in the role, Charleyboy helped York build relationships with First Nations communities all across the country. Among her many accomplishments, she helped to bring renowned author and York alumnus Joseph Boyden to campus for a speakers’ series. Not only has Boyden been a mentor to Charleyboy ever since, but he’s contributed to an anthology about indigenous youth that she co-edited. The book, titled Dreaming in Indian, Contemporary Native American Voices, was published last fall by Annick Press.

“The job at York shifted my life and opened my eyes,” she says. “Had it not been for this experience, my magazine would be more fluffy.”

Urban Native Magazine, an online publication Charleyboy launched in 2013, bears a mission to be “the go-to destination for current articles on indigenous fashion, art, culture, entertainment, lifestyle, news and business.” Despite the stark reality of print media’s continuing decline, her magazine’s first quarterly print issue is scheduled for launch this winter.

“I want my magazine to inspire indigenous youth. I want to distribute the magazine in northern communities, where there is limited access to smartphones and computers and not a lot of magazines in this realm,” Charleyboy says. “One of the things I hope to explore is fashion through [photo] shoots for my magazine and to showcase aboriginal fashion designers.”

Aside from being one of Canada’s most popular bloggers, Charleyboy was selected as a 2013-14 DiverseCity Fellow, one of North America’s leading urban fellows programs for rising city builders. As part of the fellowship, she has worked on an aboriginal youth media training initiative in Toronto. In her free time, Charleyboy has also been working on a book about urban native millennials, writing a “native chick lit” novel about a young woman in a big city looking for love, and filming a 13-part television documentary series called Urban Native Girl, which follows her as she takes her blog and turns it into a native lifestyle magazine featuring aboriginal fashion. The documentary is scheduled to air on Aboriginal Peoples Television Network in fall 2015.

“Fashion is always with me,” says Charleyboy, who recently moved to Vancouver to pursue a master’s degree in business administration. “Even though I never thought I’d be a writer, I have transformed my love for fashion through my love for my culture and writing. It’s been an incredible journey.”

This article appeared in the Winter 2015 edition of York U, the magazine of York University.  Reprinted with permission. 

A Dream Job: Natalie Quinlan, News Anchor and News Room Supervisor

University of Guelph-Humber stories don’t end with graduation. The university revels in the success of their past students and was pleased to discover that Natalie Quinlan, a Media Studies graduate had landed her dream job on Canada’s west coast! This is Natalie Quinlan’s post-graduation success story.

Natalie graduated from the UofGH Media Studies program in 2013 with an area of emphasis in Public Relations. After graduation, she completed a post-graduate certificate in Broadcast Journalism - Television News at Fanshawe College. 

In November 2014, Natalie, 24, became the evening news anchor and news room supervisor for CJDC-TV, a division of Bell Media, located in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. The evening news show reaches about 60,000 viewers.

Working for a local station, Natalie finds her role requires her to “wear a lot of hats.” As the evening news anchor, Natalie relays important local, national, and regional news to viewers. This is no small feat – working for a local station, Natalie has to do her own makeup and hair, mic herself up, follow her own cues, and roll her own teleprompter. As the news room supervisor, Natalie manages a team of four reporters and works on her own stories in preparation for the evening news. “It’s a huge time crunch during the day,” says Natalie. “Reporting and shooting and editing everything definitely take the most time.”

Making the six o’clock news show seem effortless requires a considerable amount of energy – and effort. “We’re working so many different roles that we have a ton of responsibility on our plates. So, that’s why it feels like the day feels flies by,” says Natalie. “We are the reporter, videographer, editor, news anchor.” This makes for an invaluable and, more importantly, fun, experience.  “It makes the day so much fun,” Natalie adds. “It gives me a really good appreciation for what goes on behind the scenes.”

Natalie credits much of her drive and inspiration to pursue a career in television broadcasting to her experience at UofGH. Natalie was one of the pioneering students who worked on the very first student-run Emerge Conference at UofGH.

A hands-on learner, Natalie values the Media Studies internship opportunity in her final semester. “I interned at Entertainment Tonight Canada in Toronto and that really opened up my eyes to the possibilities associated with broadcast journalism and the world of television,” explains Natalie. “I always knew I had a passion for it, but I was a little bit scared of pursuing the industry because I’d heard so many horror stories. “ But after the internship, Natalie’s mind was made up: “I knew that it was where I wanted to be.”

In the spring of 2014, Natalie applied to a job posting at a radio station in Alberta. “What scared me more than moving out [there] by myself was not having a job in something I graduated in,” admits Natalie. “That’s why I just jumped on the opportunity right away. I would definitely recommend people to search out for the opportunities instead of just kind of waiting for them to come to them. You really have to go where the opportunities are, sometimes. Sacrifice a little bit, and you might be home in a year. That’s really a blip on the large scale of life.”

It was the right move – without it, we couldn’t have penned this momentous chapter in her career.

With permission of the University of Guelph-Humber

Science Journalism: Misha’s Story

I always loved writing and telling stories. My mum used to find hand written notes all around the house from me but I never really imagined it would become my career.

Today I’m a science journalist, which is like a regular journalist but I just focus on reporting scientific news.

But let’s go back a bit.

Before I became a journalist I did a double degree in business and psychology at Western University.  While I was doing my undergraduate degree I volunteered for the school’s newspaper, writing for the Arts & Lifestyle section.  I loved how I got to go to different places and meet the most extraordinary and unique people.

Then during my last semester of undergrad I went on an exchange to London, England. While I was there I got involved with the student radio station.  I had so much fun there, even if I did hate the sound of my voice reverberating back at me through the headphones. It was while volunteering at the radio station that I discovered that the school I was doing my exchange at had one of the best journalism programmes in the country.

After finishing my undergrad I was unsure of what I wanted to do.  I came from a family of business people, but I was 100 per cent certain I didn’t want to work in business. I had loved the psychology part of my degree and I loved writing and being on the radio, so it seemed only natural to combine my two passions into a career.

With that I then ended up doing a Masters in science journalism at City University London. It was an intensive year where I learnt everything about TV, radio, print and online journalism, learning all the skills I needed to become a proper journalist.

During my Masters I also had the opportunity to work for the BBC and a television production company. Both experiences were incredible. The BBC was hectic and everything I imagined a proper newsroom would be. The television production company was filled with the most creative people who spend most of their time in a room thinking up mad ideas for television programmes.   

Now I work for Cancer Research UK, one of the world’s biggest charities, as their science media officer. I essentially try and make the science behind cancer research easily understandable to anyone.

No two days are the same. I write, make videos and do a bit of everything in between.  I love the variety of work I get to do and the challenges that get thrown my way.

My day usually starts with me going through that morning’s news to make sure I know what’s happening.

Sometimes there’s a story that we will need to respond to. For example, a few weeks ago the Daily Mail ran a story about how oxygen causes lung cancer. So my team quickly wrote a post explaining why that study was poorly done and why you won’t in fact get lung cancer from breathing.

But usually I’m just reporting on an academic paper that’s about to be published. When writing a news story I get to talk to scientists and experts in their field and I get to learn so much about what other people are passionate about. I love immersing myself in a new subject.

Since becoming a journalist I’ve learnt so many strange and wonderful things. I’ve learned about nuclear waste policy, urban beekeeping and even about novel drugs for llamas.

 A time when I really get to dig my heels into a subject is when I’m writing a blog post. These articles go more in depth about a topic and they take on a more chatty tone of voice. I really get to flex my creative muscles by trying to make the story as engaging as possible. I also get to do a bit of investigative work and uncover things which is always really exciting.

Making videos also give me a great chance to be creative because it can be hard to make research about little cells visually engaging.  So I really need to think outside the box and work with a variety of people, like animators and data visualisation specialists. And an added bonus with videos is you get to go to some pretty cool places.

So my advice for anyone who wants to become a science journalist is first, love science but have a healthy sense of scepticism (not all science is great). Second, write for anything and everything! Get as much experience as you can. And finally, it helps if you’re insatiably curious, tenacious and unrelentingly when it comes to getting a story you want.

Misha Gajewski

 

Matt O’Brien: Serious About Comedy

By Annette Dawm, WorkStory Ambassador

Matt O’Brien is serious about comedy because that’s his job! He is very passionate about what he does and he loves “everything” about being a stand-up comedian

“I love making strangers laugh, the travelling, hotels, the road food, the hanging out with other comics, the partying, the down time, the constant feeling that I'm very, very lucky to be doing what I'm doing for a living.”

Matt may seem familiar to you, and that could be because of the award-winning comic’s appearances on Video On Trial, Comedy Now, and the prestigious Just For Laughs Festival. You may have also seen him late at night on a subway in Toronto with a video camera because that is where he filmed his own talk show; appropriately titled, “Late Night Talk Show on a Subway”. You can see many of his above mentioned performances on his YouTube channel. Matt can also be found on iTunes. His “Rehash” podcast has been featured in the “New and Noteworthy” category and you can purchase his first comedy album there. Live in a Basement in Front of 20 People reached #1 on the charts in 2014. His awards include: “Best Stand Up” at the L.A. Comedy Festival and “Canada’s Next Top Comic” by Sirius/XM Radio.

O’Brien recalls his time on Much Music’s Video On Trial as an “awesome experience” and says that he really misses it:

“When it was on the air, it really was the launching pad for a lot of comedians and I feel really honoured to have been a part of it. It sucks that it’s cancelled now because I felt it was great for comics [to get] exposure. Also, it was a fun writing exercise, making fun of videos [and] having to come up with pages and pages of jokes.”

The London, Ontario native studied Journalism at Durham College in Oshawa and when asked if this program influenced his comedy and writing style, Matt replied:

“Journalism absolutely influenced me. When I applied to Journalism, I actually didn’t know what I wanted to do for a career. It absolutely led me to doing comedy. I realized I didn’t really like writing about news.... [I] enjoyed more laid-back, fun articles about the best breakfast sandwiches on campus and stupid stuff like that.”

“When I was in journalism one of my professors suggested doing improv or stand up to be more comfortable with crowds and speaking in front of a camera. I tried it and realized I wanted to do stand up more than anything else.”

Matt often returns to London to perform, which for him is a “weird feeling” but it is “still fun” to see his old stomping grounds: “[It’s] funny to think that I’m hired to tell jokes to these people now.”

O’Brien advises that if you are serious about comedy (as a career) then that’s what you should do – take it seriously: 

You really have to make comedy your entire life. It’s fun but there are a lot of ups and mostly downs. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever done but because of that, it’s also the most rewarding. If you’re thinking of doing comedy, move to Toronto and go out to open mics every single night of the week.”

“Someone asked me what my hobbies are and I couldn’t really think of anything because I literally go to shows and write all day, every day. I guess that’s the most ideal situation to say ‘my job is my passion and my hobby’.”

Matt O’Brien’s “ideal situation” is now his reality and he is very fortunate to be doing what he loves for a living. His many accomplishments came from “years of hard work, practice and open mics.” Although Matt is a stand up comedian, you can apply his work ethic to any occupation:

“Like any passion, it takes thousands of hours to be good at it, and I have absolutely worked thousands of hours to be good at what I do. Even when it was really tough, I never thought about giving up.  I guess that’s how I knew my job and my passion were the same thing—and I feel very lucky for being able to say that.”

For more information on where and when you can see Matt, you can visit his website and follow him on Twitter.

Reigniting an Old Passion: Gareth, CHRW, & the Argonauts

By Karli Steen, WorkStory Ambassador

In high school, Toronto Argonauts reporter Gareth Bush had always seen himself as a Canine Police Officer. However, in mid-pursuit of his Criminology degree at Western University, his passion for the world of sports media was reignited. Gareth attributes the re-ignition to his time spent volunteering with the campus radio station CHRW: "My time at CHRW Radio completely changed my life.  They gave me so much freedom to explore the sports broadcasting world.  I started hosting my own sports show, colour commentated the football games, and covered many mainstream sports events for the station.  It's the reason why I'm where I am."

After the rediscovery of his passion and the completion of his undergrad, Gareth went for his Masters in Journalism, which helped him attain his position as Digital Media & Communications Assistant with the Argonauts. While Gareth has always known that his passion has been within Journalism and the world of sports, he also has a passion for music.  He admits that both passions have been closely intertwined, as his music gigs helped pay for his education.

A day on the job has never a dull moment, and when asked what his job entailed, Gareth had this to say: "Every day is different.  If it's during a regular day of practice I'm with the team.  Putting together videos, interviewing players, filming lots of stuff.  Also running the social media accounts and our website.  If it's a game day I'm writing the recap, making/printing all the stat sheets, and a bunch of other little jobs."

Although Journalism isn't among the highest paying of jobs, Gareth says that the experience is priceless: "You meet new and exciting people with new stories to tell every day.  In my case being a sports-focused journalist, you get to see some of the most exciting and historic sporting events take place worldwide.  Plus you get paid to watch the game and tell the world about it.  It's great."

His current position with the Argonauts is the beginning of a long and rewarding adventure, and Gareth says he's on the right track.  He's where he wants to be, covering pro games and athletes every day.  And, like every newcomer to a career, he looks forward to climbing the ladder.

For those interested in joining the field, Gareth shared these words of wisdom: "Get as much experience as you possibly can.  Whatever it is you want to do, just stick your feet in as many doors as possible.  Volunteer like crazy.  Sports journalism relies very heavily on young and aspiring interns to do a lot of the dirty work.  Take on as much as you can.  When I started, I was hosting my own show, reporting, producing, colour commentating, writing, etc.  All for free. But it got me tons of experience and built up a heck of a portfolio.  Also, shake every hand you can find in the business.  Word of mouth is strong in journalism.  The more contacts you make, the better your odds are of getting in."

Catch Gareth in action at
www.argonauts.ca
Listen to his other passion here: www.youtube.com/gareth9

Look for the open doors!

By Rachel Gardner

Rachel Gardner headshot.jpg

Hashtags, Twitter handles, video editing and Facebook posts are a part of my daily job at the Council of Ontario Universities (COU). My path to this career was not straightforward, but I am certainly glad to have ended up where I am today.

COU is a membership organization for the 20 provincially-assisted universities, advocating for policy issues such as research, accessibility, jobs, and graduate studies. As the Communications and Public Affairs Officer with COU in Toronto, I wear multiple hats, doing everything from updating social media to managing the organization’s website and editing news releases, reports and government statements. It is a rare occasion indeed to find some spare time in the day!

The journey to get here has been not been without its twists and turns – I graduated from Mount Allison University in 2012 with an honours bachelor of arts in international relations, and a double minor in economics and environmental studies. I was interested in everything, but especially loved writing, editing and journalism. I had spent two years on staff at my student paper, The Argosy, first as the political beat writer and then as the news editor, and loved the thrill of chasing a story. By the time of my graduation, I had accepted an offer into the master of journalism program at Carleton University.

The summer after the first year of my master’s program, I took an internship with the Council of Ontario Universities, using my journalism skills and knowledge of the CP Style Guide in a role as a communications intern. Though I had originally intended to spend my summer in a newsroom, I had difficulty landing a paid journalism internship and decided to learn more about what a career in communications would be like. My employers gave me a number of projects to spearhead, including the launch of a student career site, creating short videos and managing the organization’s social media. At the end of the summer, they offered me a full-time job with the organization. Despite it being a tough decision, I decided to put my schooling on pause and have now been happily with the organization for just over one year. No regrets!

If I could give one piece of advice to students searching for their own career path, it is to be open to new opportunities. Get involved in student clubs and extra-curriculars to explore the areas where you are most passionate and find the greatest challenge. See where your talents best fit with those of others. Be open to trying something new, and don’t limit yourself.

There are lots of possibilities out there – look for the open doors!

Loyalist Radio Broadcasting Grads – On Air, Everywhere

My name is Shawna Sovie and I graduated from the Loyalist College Radio Broadcasting program in 2012. I now work in production and on air at CJCD MIX 100 in Yellowknife, NWT. Here’s my story.

 

When I enrolled at Loyalist, I was only 17 years old and happy to live at home in Marmora and drive to class each day. The Radio Broadcasting program was packed with opportunities for me. First and foremost there is a radio station on campus. During our first year we polished our newly acquired skills in a practice station and during our second year we were doing the real thing with 91X, the College station. The production studios are better than those you find in many radio stations and the faculty is amazing.

 

During the final semester of the second year we were required to do a one-month internship. A week before I was ready to start, my professor told our class about a job in Yellowknife. The program director at the station was a Loyalist graduate, Jay Boast. I sent off my résumé, a few demos and some information about myself, never dreaming I’d get an immediate response. The next day Jay called, said my résumé and demo were amazing and that they wanted to arrange an interview with himself and Eileen Dent, the General Manager. The next thing I knew, I was offered the job. My professor agreed to let me use the job as my internship, so I was able to graduate. When the rest of my classmates were crossing the stage at the College to receive their diplomas, I was in Yellowknife, watching them online.

 

Today a typical day for me is to be at the station by 8 a.m. I sit at my computer and prepare my show for the day. Then I’m on air from 9 a.m. until 12 Noon, followed by production until 5 p.m.  

 

While in College, I balanced two jobs and school work, often working late into the night and then up for class by 8 a.m. I was a Production Manager of a team of producers at 91X, the College station, and a student representative on the College Board of Directors. My plate was full but it taught me to handle a number of projects at the same time. Now I go to work knowing that each day will be different and I consider it the experience of a lifetime. I’m 5,000 miles from my family and friends yet I love where I am and what I’m doing.

 

Yellowknife is a beautiful community, made up of two seasons – summer, when the sun is up all day long, and winter, the exact opposite with only five hours of daylight on the shortest day of the year. The people are very welcoming. One of the radio listeners gave me a parka when winter arrived; that woman’s kindness got me through the winter.

 

Carpe Diem is my life motto and I seize every opportunity that comes my way. I know that I will not be in Yellowknife forever, but what a great place to start. My dream is to travel across Canada, meeting all sorts of people. My radio broadcasting career can make that happen. I love what I do.

 

Reprinted with permission of the author and Loyalist College.