I enjoy talking to young journalists and journalism students. Not just because it makes me feel superior, but because it gives me some insight into how the next generation sees our industry and how they plan to evolve it. Every year, I speak to winners of Concordia’s journalism school awards as they’re presented at the Montreal Gazette offices (you can see previous versions of this in 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013, 2014 & 2015). Today, I’m presenting the latest batch as a series leading up to the deadline for journalism students to apply for next summer’s Gazette internships.
Marchenkova, now 31, was the 2017 winner of the Enn Raudsepp Award, named for the former chair of Concordia’s journalism department. She was a 2018 Gazette summer reporting intern.
With a name like hers, it should come as no surprise that she was born in Moscow, but her background is mainly with another foreign country with a controversial authoritarian leader: the United States.
Concordia journalism bursary winners from 2015-16.
On Monday, the Montreal Gazette will be presenting awards in the form of bursaries to students in Concordia University’s Journalism department. As has become sort of a tradition for the past half-decade, I’m so lazy that I’m only now writing up my interviews with the winners of last year’s awards (which to be fair, were given out in January) and the year before (uhh, my dog ate it?).
I chatted with each of them briefly about their origins, their futures, and what they think about journalism. Here’s what they had to say:
Once a year, my employer the Montreal Gazette hands out bursaries to promising Concordia University journalism students. For the past four years, I’ve been interviewing the winners after they receive their awards to ask them about themselves and their thoughts on the future of journalism. I posted one set of interviews in 2010 and another in 2011.
Though I did more interviews in 2012 and 2013, I never got around to posting them. Today, another set of students will be coming in to receive these bursaries, so I figured it’s time to find those dusty notebooks and finally post what these people told me, along with some updates of what they’ve done since.
So here we are, another series of profiles of, if the selection committee is right, journalism’s latest rising stars:
A few weeks ago, the next crop of journalism students came by to receive awards, and I repeated the process, not wanting these new kids to feel left out. (Apparently some of them found that blog post when they researched the awards.)
These awards are an early indicator of strong candidates among the field of upcoming graduates. Two of the five winners from last year ended up as interns this year – Mel Lefebvre on the copy desk and Katherine Lalancette as a reporter. I can’t imagine that’s a coincidence.
But, of course, it’s not absolute. After all, I didn’t win any of these awards when I was a journalism student, and look how awesome I am now!
Students of Concordia University's journalism graduate diploma program
Almost a month ago, The Gazette went through a yearly tradition of inviting journalism students into its office and handing out some awards (read: small bursaries) to those who have stood out among their peers.
This evening went on like others have before it, with the students being invited into the office and being served wine and cheese before some people they don’t know introduce other people they don’t know and hand out bursaries named after people they don’t know.
But there was a big difference this year: a new bursary, named after someone else they didn’t know.
I got a visit at the end of January from two Concordia students putting together a package for their TV class about blogging. The result is the video above, which is very brief and probably doesn’t give you any insight you didn’t already have into me (except the fact that there’s an embarrassingly large pile of unread newspapers in my sparsely-decorated living room).
A bit more interesting is that they also visited Midnight Poutine’s Jeremy Morris, shadowing him and his new partner as they recorded a podcast (you can listen to that particular podcast here).
If you haven’t heard it, Midnight Poutine’s Weekend Playlist Podcast is a weekly podcast, about an hour long, that features music from bands performing locally over the coming week (almost always independent bands performing at smaller venues). Not only is it useful in that sense (if you like the music, you can go see the band that week), but it gives people a chance to discover new music they can’t hear on commercial radio because they’re too busy replaying that Black Eyed Peas song for the 10,000th time.
This year’s lineup looks interesting, if only because of a panel called Life After the Expos, with Dave van Horne and Elliott Price. It will be followed by a play-by-play workshop, which also includes Sportsnet’s Rob Faulds.
Registration is free, and the event takes place at Loyola campus on Saturday, Nov. 7.
* Of course, the likelihood of anyone getting a job in sports journalism, much less as a play-by-play announcer, is just about zero in this media environment.
I was surprised to recognize two of the names, since I’ve been pretty detached from my alma mater for three years now (long enough for everyone who was there to have gotten a degree and moved on).
A side note to these journalists-to-be: Set up blogs or other forms of personal websites so when people like me talk about you, we have something to link to. Remember, you are whatever Google says you are.
Concordia Reports, the TV news show created by Concordia journalism students, has started its third season since the shows started being uploaded to YouTube.
Though it’s a low-budget show, its journalists are untrained and nobody involved is going to win any awards for smooth acting, the show provides a chance to watch some interesting stories about Concordia and Montreal.
The second episode of the season includes a story on CJLO, the Concordia student radio station that’s still, after a gabillion years, trying to get its transmitter setup to broadcast on AM. It also features a lengthy interview with Mike Boone (starting about the 12-minute mark) about HabsInsideOut.com.
So far they have 32 shows uploaded, between 15 and 25 minutes in length.