Saturday, August 11, 2007


Is Journalism For You?
What is journalism?

Journalism is the timely reporting of events at the local, provincial, national and international levels. Reporting involves the gathering of information through interviewing and research, the results of which are turned into a fair and balanced story for publication or for television or radio broadcast.

Journalism is not just

media analysis
opinion writing, or
although all of those aspects can play a part at times.

What do beginning journalists do?

Journalists who are starting their careers normally do not do commentary or opinion pieces. Rather, they cover hard news stories such as community news, courts, crime and speeches by notable people. In broadcast, beginning journalists also may do pre-interviews and research for senior journalists.

An entry-level reporter often does "general assignment" stories rather than stories for a specific beat. General assignment stories are given out to reporters by the city desk or assignment editor.

Is journalism for you?

Asking yourself the questions below will help you determine whether journalism is a good career choice for you.

Do you regularly read at least one newspaper or consult an online equivalent, such as
Do you regularly watch or listen to television or radio newscasts?
Is it important to you to keep up with current events?
Are you interested in other people’s lives?
Are you able to talk to a wide variety of people?
Do you work well to deadlines?
Are you persistent and willing to dig for information?
Have you mastered basic writing skills? (see below for expectations)
If you answered NO to even one of the above questions, you may want to think again about whether journalism is a good match for your interests and abilities.

What does the Journalism Program at Western cover?

The Master of Arts in Journalism is a well-rounded, professional program that prepares graduates for entry-level positions in newsrooms. The program stresses a balance of academic and practical courses and offers a solid grounding in the basic tools and practices of print, broadcast and online journalism. The curriculum of the Master of Arts in Journalism program is not focused on producing graduates to work in public relations or communications positions.

Expectation of writing ability in the journalism program

It is expected that students in the MA in Journalism program have mastered basic writing skills, including grammar, syntax, and the ability to conceptualize and articulate ideas in writing. A writing competency assignment will be given at the beginning of the summer term and students with writing difficulties will be identified. Students who do not meet the expectation of writing ability will be required to seek remedial help external to the program at their own expense, if necessary. A follow-up writing competency assignment will be given towards the end of the summer term.
The Graduate Program in Journalism at Western
The Journalism Program at Western offers a post-graduate degree - Master of Arts in Journalism - that can be completed within one year. The Program is a combination of an academic foundation and hands-on experience in all branches of journalism. The faculty consists of academic specialists and professional journalists. The Program is designed to produce graduates who are immediately employable but who also have the skills, motivation and intellectual capacity to become leaders and entrepreneurs in Canada's media community in the years to come.
The Program's academic year runs from May to mid-April of the following year, and is divided into three terms of fourteen weeks each. Throughout the year, there is instruction in two complementary areas: academic and professional. The academic courses range from Law and Ethics, Media Theory and Criticism, Media and Politics to Research Methods and Media Organizations. In the professional courses, students begin to work immediately in print, television, radio and new media. They write and cover stories against deadline. The assignments become more ambitious in each term. It is not unusual for students to have their work published and broadcast in mainstream media, such as The London Free Press and CBC Radio. In television, the students' productions are shown in five-half hour magazine programs on London's local station, The New PL. The programs, entitled Thirty Minutes, are also shown on other stations in the CHUM group in southern Ontario. At the end of the fall term, students are placed in four-week, unpaid internships in major media organizations.
Admission Requirements
Applicants for admission to the Graduate Program in Journalism must meet the general admission requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Normally this means graduation from any recognized University in an honors (four-year) program or equivalent with at least a "B" standing in the final two years. There are a limited number of places available each year. Admission to the program is very competitive and meeting the minimum criteria will not guarantee admission.

Expectation of writing ability in the journalism program

It is expected that students in the MA in Journalism program have mastered basic writing skills, including grammar, syntax, and the ability to conceptualize and articulate ideas in writing. A writing competency assignment will be given at the beginning of the summer term and students with writing difficulties will be identified. Students who do not meet the expectation of writing ability will be required to seek remedial help external to the program at their own expense, if necessary. A follow-up writing competency assignment will be given towards the end of the summer term.

Structure of the Curriculum
Admitting highly qualified students with degrees in a wide range of disciplines, the Graduate Program in Journalism aims to build onto that diverse post-secondary educational preparation the knowledge and abilities of the graduate professional journalist in an intensive one-year program of study. The approach to achieving this is three-pronged. First, students must have preparation in the intellectual foundations of journalism: the theory, history, ethics, law, and research methodologies relevant to the discipline. Second, they must also have a solid foundation in the different media of contemporary journalism, since the convergence of the media now resulting from the electronic revolution means that flexibility and versatility in all the media constitute the best preparation for the new graduate. Finally, individual interests are encouraged by the availability of a variety of courses preparing the student in the issues and distinctive requirements of different journalistic and media-related work settings.

1. Foundations of Journalism
The courses offered within this framework will provide students with the necessary tools to come to an understanding of the issues and intellectual framework that constitute the field of journalism and its role in the wider contemporary world of mass communications and new technologies. In order to enter the profession and to succeed within it, modern journalism students must be exposed to an intensive study of the historical evolution of the field; be equipped with the intellectual tools to grapple with difficult and often contradictory issues in the realm of ethical practice; have a solid grounding in the work of major theoreticians such as Harold Innis, Marshall McLuhan, Noam Chomsky, and Neil Postman and the interpretational tools they provide for handling texts of all kinds; and as well operate within the framework afforded by a fundamental knowledge of the law as it affects media practice and content. Students will be required to be familiar with the contemporary literature in each subject area as well as being required to be familiar with major journalistic approaches and issues as they appear in the media. Students must be able to apply the media concepts discussed in classes in history, theory, ethics and law to journalistic practice. Students will also be required to undertake research projects subject to the standards applicable at the graduate level which will be designed to further increase their comprehension of the field that they are about to enter.

2. Media-Related Professional Courses
The production of hard and soft news in print, including both newspapers and magazines, and in radio and television is studied and practised. The program of instruction in media-related courses will consist of two components, an intellectual and academic approach to the media in which style, content and issues will be examined and discussed through lectures and demonstrations, and practice in which the issues discussed within the classroom setting will be put into practice in the field. Students will not only be exposed to journalism as a major contemporary player in democratic society, but as a system of professional practice as well where the skills of the profession will be taught. Students will be expected to demonstrate excellence in writing and reporting as well as electronic literacy in the creation and reporting modes demanded in sound and pictures.

3. Journalistic Specializations
As with other contemporary enterprises, journalism now supports more complicated and necessary structures. Although reporting the daily news continues to be a very important function in journalism, modern reporters are expected to have at least a working knowledge of a number of other areas which would have been restricted only a short time ago. The Master of Arts in Journalism program offers elective courses that enable students to gain knowledge in some of these areas. Possible elective courses that can be taken cover the fields of media management, political issues, medical and science reporting, organizational communications, reporting business, finance and industry, and newspaper editing . The courses contained in this component of the program will allow students to add elements of new expertise to their educational portfolios. All these courses will combine the essence of modern journalism education at the university level, a combination of theory through classroom lectures, demonstrations and discussion and practice which will require the student to put into practice the issues discussed and analyzed in the classroom setting.

Journalism Course Offerings, May 2007-April 2008
The minimum residency requirement is three terms of full-time study starting in Summer (May-August), followed by Fall (September-December), and Winter (January-April), completed in this sequence. Classes typically end the second week in April.

Students must successfully complete sixteen courses, as specified. All courses, except where otherwise noted, are 14-week half courses.

Elective courses will be offered according to curricular needs and instructor availability. Spaces may be limited, particularly in the media courses.

We will make every effort to place you in courses according to your indicated preference, but reserve the right to do so based on academic standing in your chosen specialization.

Course offerings, content, and enrolment maximums may vary from year to year. The administration reserves the right not to offer all courses and to cancel undersubscribed courses.

Full-Time Journalism Faculty
Benedetti, Paul. BA(Hons.), MA, McMaster

professional experience in daily print journalism as a columnist, feature writer and investigative reporter
extensive experience in online journalism as executive producer at
co-author of Spin Doctors: The Chiropractic Industry Under Examination and has written extensively on alternative medicine and health fraud
Blackmore, Tim. BA, MA, PhD, York

specializing in socio-cultural aspects of media, media criticism and representation
Compton, James. BA, MA, PhD, Simon Fraser

political communication and critical political economy of news media
professional experience as a reporter/editor for Canadian Press/Broadcast News and announcer/reporter for TV and radio
Doyle, Mary. BA, MA in Journalism, Western

professional experience as an editor with the Globe and Mail
seven years of summer fill-in work on the foreign desk at the New York Times
summer work on the universal editing desk at the London Free Press, 2004
Keightley, Keir. BA, MA, McGill; PhD, Concordia

theory and practice of radio broadcasting, with a view to the integration of radio and online media
Levine, Meredith. BA, Queen's

Executive Producer/Producer, CBC National Radio Current Affairs for almost a decade
Freelance print journalist for various publications including the New York Times, The Nation, the Newstatesman, the Globe and Mail and Chatelaine
Documentary TV producer for Breakthrough Films
Lonsdale, Cliff.

a former Executive Producer of The National and Chief News Editor for the CBC Television Network, Cliff has been a journalist in television, print and radio for nearly 40 years
his 14 hours of independently-produced documentaries have been broadcast in Canada on the Discovery Channel and have also been seen in 90 other countries
Cliff draws on his broad international experience to teach in the television specialization of the MA program
Robinson, Daniel. BA, Carleton; MA, PhD, York

tobacco marketing and advertising
public opinion polling and politics
communication history
Smith Fullerton, Romayne. Honors B. of Journalism, Carleton; MA, PhD, Western

with an academic and professional background in print journalism, Romayne is involved in teaching and research related to print journalism, journalism ethics and media representations of women.
Spencer, David. BA, MA, York; PhD, Toronto

experienced in radio broadcasting
some experience in television news and production
currently specializes in history and theory of print media, and political cartooning
Part-Time Faculty
Cornies, Larry. BA, Waterloo; MA, Western

teaches Journalism Law and Ethics
taught secondary school in Ontario for five years before turning to journalism full-time in 1980
has worked in radio, television and print in both Canada and the U.S.
currently Editor of The London Free Press
awarded fellowships by the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism, University of Maryland, in 2001 and 2003
winner of a number of journalism industry awards
Ellwand, Geoff.

Ennett, Gary. BA, Western

radio broadcaster and manager for 20 years in the London, Ontario area
currently at the CBC Radio Bureau in London
heavily involved teaching in the radio specialization
Estok, David. BA, Western; MA in Journalism, Carleton

teaches media organizations, and business reporting
currently Associate Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs for Western
formerly Associate Business Editor for Maclean’s Magazine
previous experience as senior editor and writer for The Financial Post and The Hamilton Spectator
winner of numerous journalism awards, including Journalist of the Year
Gibson, Candace. BSc, McMaster; PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

with a background in the sciences, Candace specializes in medical and science reporting and online journalism
previous experience as a medical reporter for the Discovery Channel, hosted a weekly science program on CHRW FM97.4, and freelance writer for Globe & Mail and London Free Press
Harris, Gord. BA, Sir George Williams

28 years of on-air broadcasting experience
currently News Director for four London area radio stations
host of Gord Harris Live, on London radio station AM980
has taught radio broadcasting for past 20 years
numerous awards in radio broadcasting
Hoffman, Richard. BA, Guelph; MA Journalism, Western

teaches Introduction to Journalism and seminars in news design as part of Online Journalism
daily newspaper and wire service experience in Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton. Managing editor of the London Free Press until establishing design and marketing consulting firm in 2001.
National Newspaper Award, 1998
Nolan, Michael. BA, Ottawa; PhD, Western

formerly a CTV correspondent and anchor, and radio broadcaster, Michael now concentrates on broadcast structures and policies, and media and politics.
Vigars, Julie. BA(Hons.), BEd, LLB, Western

teaches Journalism Law and Ethics
instructor in the Law Clerk Program at Fanshawe College
has taught at high school, college & university for 24 years
practised criminal & civil law
recently researched & developed course in Electronic Law with specific application to contract & employment areas; cybercrime; privacy concerns; protection of computer data and intellectual property interests
Production Team
Crouch, Wendie. Radio Specialist. BA, Western

has been teaching radio production for past 25 years
strong interest in new media technologies and does occasional freelance work
Mills, David. Broadcast Manager

instructs students in all aspects of TV production and video editing
runs Contact Western, the media service to TV news networks from the FIMS television studio
freelance videographer
Professors Emeriti
Bambrick, Ken. BA, Western; MA, Michigan
Desbarats, Peter.
Laing, Mack. BA, Western; MS, Wisconsin
Nolan, Michael. BA, Ottawa; PhD, Western

Reader's Digest Visiting Journalists
The Reader's Digest Foundation has generously given a grant to Western's Journalism program to enable well-established and experienced senior journalists to participate in the education of new journalists. Each year for the duration of the grant, 1-2 distinguished journalists have been invited to play an active educational role in the MA in Journalism program. During either the Fall or Winter term, the visiting journalist is on-site during several multi-day visits and interacts directly with the students by giving talks and lecturing, acting as a mentor, helping students develop viable projects, vetting student work and providing wise counsel on journalism careers.

The visiting journalists have included:

2007 Dealing with Trauma - in Others and Ourselves
Visiting journalists and trauma specialists participated in a special seminar on trauma and journalism, held February, 10, 2007.

2006 Anthony Reinhart, The Globe and Mail
Participated in J763 – Media Specialization: Print

2005 Sig Gerber, freelance television journalist and international journalism trainer
Participated in J762 – Media Specialization: Television

2004 John Stackhouse, The Globe and Mail
Participated in J763 – Media Specialization: Print

2003 Susan Delacourt, National Post
Participated in J763 – Media Specialization: Print
Rick MacInnes-Rae, Dispatches, CBC Radio
Participated in J764 – Media Specialization: Radio and J722 – International Reporting

2002 Rita Deverell, Vision TV
Participated in J762 – Media Specialization: Television
Jay Ingram, Discovery Channel
Participated in J730 – Medical/Science Journalism

2001 Murray Campbell, The Globe and Mail
Participated in J763 – Media Specialization: Print
Anthony Germain, CBC Radio
Participated in J764 – Media Specialization: Radio

Admission Scholarships
The recipients of the following Admission Scholarships will be selected by the Faculty of Information and Media Studies Scholarships and Awards Committee. No application is required, unless otherwise indicated.

CNW Group Journalism Entrance Scholarship
Awarded to a full-time graduate student entering the Master of Arts in Journalism program, based on academic achievement (minimum 80% admission average). $1,500.

John K. Elliott Scholarship in Journalism
Awarded annually to a full-time graduate student entering the Master's program in Journalism, based on academic achievement (minimum 80% average) and demonstrated financial need. Students will be invited to apply. $2,500.

Susan Kennedy Grant Memorial Entrance Scholarship
Awarded annual to a full-time graduate student entering the Master's program in Journalism based on academic achievement (minimum 80% average) and demonstrated financial need. Students will be invited to apply. $1,000.

Norman Jewison Admission Scholarship
Awarded to a minority applicant entering the Journalism Program, assessed on his/her academic record, with preference given where possible to a student of Native Canadian ancestry. $2,000.

Manjunath and Roja Pendakur South Asian Student Scholarship in Journalism
Awarded annually to a full-time graduate student in the Master of Arts in Journalism program based on academic achievement (minimum 78% admission average). Priority will be given to students who can provide documentary evidence that at least one of their ancestors (parent, grandparent, great-grandparent) came from a South Asian country either directly or by diaspora. These countries include: Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Tibet, Afghanistan, and Bhutan. The deadline for applications is May 30. The recipient will be selected by the Associate Dean and the Manager, Graduate Student Services, in consultation with the appropriate faculty members. This scholarship was made possible by a generous donation from Dr. Manjunath and Mrs. Roja Pendakur, gifts from the South Asian community, and matching gifts from the University and Foundation Western. $1,000.

Mary Helen Sweeney Scholarship
Awarded to a student entering the Graduate Program in Journalism, based on outstanding academic achievement (minimum 80% entrance average). $3,000.

David Vienneau CanWest Journalism Scholarship
Awarded annually to a student in good academic standing who is entering the Master of Arts in Journalism program. The successful applicant will have displayed high academic achievement in a post-secondary undergraduate program (minimum 80% average) and may not be the recipient of any other major award for the University in that particular year. This scholarship was established by The CanWest Global Foundation in memory of David Vienneau (MA Journalism '75), a leading Canadian journalist and a member of the CanWest organization from 1988 to 2004. $3000.

Journalism Studios and Newsrooms

Our television studio is equipped with industry standard broadcast equipment. Located within are editing rooms featuring non-linear (AVID) and linear (Beta) video editing suites.

There are four portable ENG (electronic news gathering) units that are used to shoot stories in the field. The studio cameras are equipped with teleprompters for newscasting. The studio is often used as a working newsroom/classroom.

The TV studio is also the home of Contact Western Live, a service for broadcasters who wish to interview people from the UWO campus. You may often see a newsmaker sitting in the studio waiting to be interviewed by CBC, Newsworld, CTV or TVO.

Broadcast Manager David Mills oversees all the technical aspects of production.


The development of digital audio desktop editing and mixing has resulted in an ability to do radio work outside of a traditional studio. The six workstations in our radio newsroom are equipped with multitrack editing and mixing software. We use Adobe Audition software (formerly Cool Edit Pro).

We also have two radio studios equipped with new audio mixers, mics and computers for recording and playback. We broadcast live newscasts from master control to the campus station, CHRW, during the first term.


The print newsroom is located adjacent to the radio editing room. This room is equipped with computers, telephones and space to meet and discuss stories. The newsroom will be used to produce the Online Reporter, a web-based publication that contains stories written by print students in third term. Students work in teams to do the editing and production of the Online Reporter.

The newsroom opens onto a ten workstation computer lab for larger group writing workshops.

Journalism students have access to the newsroom, studios and equipment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Students in the University of Western Ontario's Master of Arts in Journalism Program study the theory and practice of journalism in print, radio, television and online. Over the course of the 12-month intensive program, the students produce a body of work in each area. We invite you to experience the stories, documentaries, programs, websites and podcasts they have made.

Journalism Students' Council
Journalism students have their own Students' Council, the officers for which are elected each term. The officers meet regularly with the administration and faculty, and the Council sends a representative to the Faculty of Information and Media Studies Council meetings as a voting member. The Students' Council is responsible for planning social events and for representing the Journalism student body throughout the University. Students are encouraged to participate actively in the academic development of the Faculty of Information and Media Studies by serving on committees of the Council and by proposing changes in the program through their representatives on the Students' Council.

UWO Society of Graduate Students
All students are members of the Society of Graduate Students. The student body is represented on the Executive of the Society.

Students in the Journalism program are encouraged to participate fully in the Society of Graduate Students regarding issues of importance to the Journalism program
Links for Journalism Students
Jeff Gaulin's Journalism Job Board - Excellent Canadian board with broad coverage.


Canadian Newspaper Association - Includes information about careers in daily newspapers, provides a job board of newspaper journalists, and links to many Canadian daily newspapers posted online.

Canadian Community Newspapers Association - Provides information about the CCNA and links to on-line libraries, journalism resources, and web-based papers.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - The official website of the CBC. Provides links to CBC radio, television, newsworld, and infoculture.

Canoe - Canadian Online Explorer - an online source for news. Covers Canadian and international news.

CTV The official website of CTV. Links to job openings in Ontario, and Western and Eastern Canada. - This site is aimed at young, college and early-career journalists. It offers links to job and internship listings, fellowship opportunities and more. The majority of postings are for the U.S.

Insert text here Journalism job sites.

J-Jobs Journalism job bank from UC Berkeley

JobLink for Journalists "The fastest way to a journalistic job"

JournalismJobs.Com Source for U.S. media job postings.

Mediabistro Job listings

Megasources This site contains many useful links for journalism students including links to experts and search indexes. Developed by Professor Dean Tudor of the School of Journalism, Ryerson Polytechnic University.

NewsJobs.Net Canadian and U.S. news jobs. Canadian job openings. Searchable for communications and media related jobs.


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