The Michener Deacon Fellowship

Receiving the Michener-Deacon Fellowship from Canada's Governor General David Johnston. Photo: Jean Levac/Ottawa Citizen

In June 2012, I was named the first-ever recipient of the Michener-Deacon Fellowship for journalism education by the Michener Foundation.

The Michener Awards annually recognize journalism excellence in the name of public service in Canada. It was a huge honour to receive this Fellowship, which was presented on behalf of the Foundation by Governor General David Johnston.

As part of my fellowship, I taught a multimedia journalism course to third-year students at Carleton University’s School of Journalism. Topics included: blogging, social media and journalism, deadline writing and writing for the web, audio reporting and multimedia storytelling.

I also had a research project, that examined community newsrooms and the impact on traditional news organizations. (Yes, this sounds very broad, and like it could be a PhD dissertation – I’m grateful Chris Waddell, the director of the school of Journalism, helped me narrow the project’s focus to something achievable in four months.)

Here’s how I planned to examine/research/submerge myself in the community newsrooms of North America.

And here are the conclusions I made after researching community newsrooms.

All of this will culminate in a talk at Carleton, as well as in my newsroom at the Ottawa Citizen, and likely a 20-30 page paper. Fun!

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