Category Archives: Post-Secondary

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.


Ways to Avoid the (Dreaded) Unpaid Internship

Since I attacked journalism last time, I thought I’d set my sights this week on a topic that I’ve read a few articles about: the unpaid internship. The most recent article I have read is one by The Globe and Mail, which, despite its redundant headline, argues pretty strongly for the “No” side on whether unpaid internships are ethical.

Much of the time, the types of industries that offer unpaid internships are those that are competitive, i.e. difficult to break into, such as film, journalism, media, art, etc. While some people feel like it is a good opportunity to gain contacts and work experience, others are of the mind that it is unethical and a euphemism for slave labour. I’m in the latter category.

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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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Help me get an A!

For my term paper for Cultural Psychology, I have to compare two or more cultures on an issue or need.

I have chosen to look at the role of the mother in the family, and will be comparing Filipino and Western cultures (in general).

This is where I need your help! As part of my research, I would like to interview a few of you to ask you a few questions on the role of the mother in the traditional Western/Filipino family. If you don’t feel too comfortable, just send me a message/e-mail with a few of your thoughts.

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Rethinking Leadership, Networking and Lollipop Moments

On January 8, 2011, I participated in my first-ever UBC Student Leadership Conference (SLC). The SLC is a one-day, student-organized conference at UBC that connects student leaders with alumni and motivational speakers.

The theme was “Rethinking Leadership,” and the conference was very successful at presenting different perspectives on what the word leadership means.

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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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Why wouldn’t you want a U-Pass?

I can’t believe it: BC Local News reported earlier today that the Kwantlen Students Association (KSA) missed the deadline to hold a referendum to decide if they want a U-Pass in January.

KSA Chair of the Executive Board Matthew Todd told newswire BC Local News that they are pushing for a custom deal with TransLink on the pass, which SFU and UBC students currently enjoy at $25 a month.* The new U-Pass program could (referendum permitting) cost other post-secondary students, including Kwantlen, Douglas and Emily Carr, $30 a month.

If an agreement can be reached, Kwantlen students can vote in a referendum in February and could have a U-Pass by summer 2011.

The KSA’s criticisms of the proposed U-Pass reflect those I’ve previously read about the new BC U-Pass program and about the trial U-Pass programs at the Universities of Ottawa and Carleton.

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