Category Archives: Journalism

More on U of T’s J-School program

I came across some more information on the University of Toronto’s proposed journalism program in The Varsity (the university’s student paper). I’m not sure why I didn’t see this article before.

Unfortunately, it might not be exactly what I want in a graduate school. The idea is that it will train individuals with a specialty to report in their ‘niche’:

“Doctors, lawyers, grad students, advocates, and other people with substantial life history would participate in a program tailored to their niche. While learning the fundamentals of journalism, students would focus on reporting in their specific fields and would begin freelancing by second semester.”

The details of the program have not been disclosed, but there are a few questions. Will freelancing be a requirement for graduation, like an internship? What if articles in your ‘niche’ are of low demand? How would they select applicants from different niches?

It seems there will be some technical training of some kind, as offered at other grad schools: “Students would be taught how to create a personal studio, complete with all necessary tools for reporting through multiple platforms on the issues relevant to their work.”

The world “freelance” in the description scares me. I do not want to, and cannot, make a living as a freelance journalist. Perhaps I should backtrack. Lately I’ve been questioning attending J-school. Journalist jobs (as of today) are hard to come by, it’s a competitive and tough industry and doesn’t have a high starting wage.


My New Strange Love: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love [PR]

Almost everyone I know is aware that from a very young age, my answer to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” was always “a journalist.” While I have not given up on journalism altogether, I have done a lot of introspection over the past year, and have concluded that I will no longer be actively pursuing this career path.

It is not because I was influenced by Kai Nagata’s quarter-life crisis that resulted in his exit from one of Canada’s top broadcast organizations (more on that later). I just realized that, even though I can have it, I’m pretty sure I don’t want a journalist’s lifestyle.

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The Walrus: “Too Brazen”

I just wanted to post this blog entry from Jeet Heer on The Walrus’ blog. I agree 100 per cent with its take on the “Too Asian” issue.

Live Blog: UBC “Too Asian” Panel Nov. 25, 2010

My attempt at live blogging the “Too Asian” panel. Sorry it’s ghetto, just refresh the page.

Panelists: Dr. Kerry Jang, Professor, UBC Psychiatry and Vancouver City Councillor
Dr. Henry Yu, Associate Professor, Dept. of History, UBC and Principal pro tem, St. John’s College, UBC)
Dr. Candis Callison, Assistant Professor, UBC School of Journalism
Elysa Hogg, Undergraduate Student, Faculty of Arts
William Tao, Undergraduate Student, Faculty of Arts

[Square brackets denotes when I’m speaking.]

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My take on the “Too Asian” article

Until now, I have hesitated to comment on the Maclean‘s article titled “Too Asian?” that has been stirring controversy in the media over the past two weeks. Before I express my dissent for the article, I’m going to make a few disclaimers:

a. I worked with one of the authors, Stephanie Findlay. We worked together at The Ubyssey Student Newspaper a few years ago. I consider her a very intelligent person. As (hopefully) future journalists, we will one day be asked to critique the work of others—even though those people might be our friends or colleagues. I also understand the editorial process, and how what’s printed can look radically different from the original draft.

b. I’m 100% Chinese. I’ve been mistaken for Filipino, people think I’m half-white, etc. However, I’m second-generation Chinese-Canadian—it means I’m the first generation to be born in Canada—and that means that, while I have adopted a lot of Western culture, I still retain a few of the Chinese customs and values.

To put it simply: I did not like the article “Too Asian?” I found it sensationalistic and offensive. I will be repeating a lot of what I have read in opinion pieces and columns that have been published, but I’ll try to comment on the dialogue out there at the end.

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U of T to offer Masters in Journalism

The University of Toronto will be launching a Masters in Journalism program September 2012!

Yesterday, Alfred Hermida, Associate Professor for UBC’s School of Journalism, tweeted about the new program. The blog post says that the program will be based out of the university’s Monk School of Global Affairs.

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The future of print

I stumbled across this image a few days ago, and found it striking. It is an infographic predicting how soon newspapers will be extinct all over the world. It was created by Ross Dawson, an entrepreneur and author of the book Living Networks (which his bio claims predicted the social media phenomenon).

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Transat Vacationer Contest

I’ve applied for an awesome job. Transat Holidays is offering applicants a chance to be their travel reporter and brand representative for one year. What a fabulous opportunity! I submitted my application yesterday. The next step is to make it to the final 50.

View the video I made for the contest:

Networking: SLC 2011?

I’ve just submitted my proposal for a workshop for UBC’s Student Leadership Conference (affectionately abbreviated SLC), to be held on January 8, 2011. I should know by next Wednesday if my proposal is accepted. Here’s the blurb I submitted for my workshop:

Six degrees of separation. Facebook friends. Tweets. Blogging. How does the web translate to a coffee date, a potential colleague, or a new friend?

Sam will teach you the do’s and don’t’s of maintaining your online profile and keeping it clean. She’ll show you the different kinds of contacts you can have, how to make connections – and maintain those relationships once you leave university. She’ll show you how the line between contact and friend can blur…but that it’s all right, and can sometimes work in your favour. Finally, Sam will show you how to use Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks to get your name out there and give yourself an online presence, as well as translate those web conversations to in-person meetings.

I’ve never been to UBC’s SLC, and I’m going to go even if my proposal doesn’t get accepted. It should be a lot of fun!

Kids in a Great Glass Elevator

When I think of my final year of high school, my mind usually recalls a few fabulous memories: band, graduation, my acceptance to UBC, and a great glass elevator. My English AP teacher, the lovely Ms. Sawkins, prompted me to enter a contest put on by CBC Radio and The Georgia Straight to be one of their Rookie Reporters for a week. Little did I know that those five days would push me on my current career path towards journalism.

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