Journalism Now!

May 3, 2018

By: Miriam Valdes-Carletti

On May 3, 2018, high school students had the chance to learn about Canadian journalism at Journalism Now, a one-day conference held by the Ryerson School of Journalism (RSJ).

The day brought together a network of journalists to speak and answer questions on a variety of topics for the students.

“It’s something we hope to make an annual event,” said journalism prof. Gavin Adamson, who welcomed the students.

The event underlined the importance of journalism in today’s world, with an emphasis on media literacy, and highlighted professionalism in the industry.

About 70 students attended from all over the GTA, many of whom work in their high school newsrooms. Some of the students will be attending RSJ in the fall.

Adamson began the day by underlining the impact they can have even in high school. He reminded them that in April 2017, a group of students at Kansas High School in the U.S. investigated the credentials of their principal and discovered they were not from an accredited university. She later resigned.

Craig Silverman, media editor at Buzzfeed Canada, delivered the keynote address. Silverman’s talk focused the different types of online fake and how to recognize it, focusing on Reverse Image Searches and skepticism of online accounts.

Following the keynote students were able to participate in a number of workshops.

RSJ alumni Matthew Braga, now a senior technology reporter at CBC News, held a workshop about the tension between social media and privacy. He described journalism values like impact, timeliness, prominence and proximity and how these values could be applied in their high schools.

Cheryl Brown, social editor at CBC News and RSJ alumni, held an interactive afternoon session.  Brown showed students the back end of CBC News’ Facebook page and the analytics.

According to Brown, content that share well include topics that dominate the new cycle, stories that start with a social base, blunders/quirky moments and Canadian pride. While there are many pro’s and con’s to social media, Brown also emphasized that journalists need to make quick editorial decisions since there is a constant race to publish first.

There were also two technical demonstrations students participated in. Gary Gould News Media Production Specialist (Video and Television), gave students a hand-on breaking news demonstration in Studio D. Angela Glover, RSJ News Media Production Specialist (Audio & Radio), held a radio workshop where students could experiment with audio recording in the Allan Slaight Radio Institute.

To end Journalism Now, there was a student session where students shared their experiences working in their high school newsrooms and spoke about what journalism means to them.