Tag Archives: Education

How to ‘wow’ during a newsroom internship interview

At a job interview
You don’t have to feel like this (Photo credit: Arroz y Asado)

Recently I was contacted by a candidate who had been short-listed for the Ottawa Citizen’s year-long internship opportunities.

(Note: all our interns are paid positions. Understatement: This has become a hot topic recently.)

(Also to note: If you’re entering the newsroom as an intern this summer or fall, here are a few tips I blogged about last year.)

Okay, enough notes, back to the point of this post…

I’m not on the hiring committee for these positions, but I was impressed that this candidate was doing his homework and felt comfortable reaching out to me. This was, after all, the kind of ‘cold call’ he’d be required to do on the job should he be hired.

This person’s questions were simple, but direct: how had past candidates ‘wowed’ me in interviews? And what about the top interns, what sets them apart?

Continue reading How to ‘wow’ during a newsroom internship interview

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When journalists don’t know math: Exhibit A

A while ago, I wrote about the importance of knowing simple arithmetic, how I taught math in a second-year fundamentals of reporting course at Carleton University’s journalism school.

In that blog post, I wrote that simple mathematical errors can damage credibility and lead a reader to lose focus on the whole report. 

A perfect example was today’s report from CBC Ottawa on its analysis of police salaries in the city. The oval highlights are mine.

 

math2

Please tell me you can spot the error.

 (Note: Since I grabbed this shot of the error, CBC has corrected the error.)

Why I hate granting extensions to students

deadlinesWhen was the last time you asked your boss for an extension on a project you were working on?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot the last two weeks, as many students have been asking me for extensions on their assignments. The excuses/reasons aren’t that compelling – usually, it’s because they can’t find a story to cover before the deadline.
And I have failed them: I have granted extensions this past week that I never would have. I don’t know why, I must have softened. But I promise you it won’t happen again (without tough extenuating circumstances, of course).
Because getting an extension from a university prof/instructor on an assignment is not real life. If you keep asking for extensions in the real world, you’re just snowballing your workload, you’re risking holding your team/company back (hello RIM), and quite frankly, you’re risking your reputation as a person who can deliver.

What I’ll be doing during my Michener-Deacon Fellowship

The amazing folks at the Michener Awards Foundation have recognized the importance of journalism education, and created a Michener-Deacon Fellowship this year that allows for a ‘journalist-in-residence’ at a journalism school in Canada.

More amazing is that I’ve won it.

I’ve had a few people ask me what exactly I’ll be studying/researching/teaching about community journalism at Carleton University from January to May 2013. So, I decided to post my proposal here. (Where, I’ll also be reporting my findings throughout the Fellowship)

Continue reading What I’ll be doing during my Michener-Deacon Fellowship

Using Facebook and Google to run a student newsroom

I teach a second-year ‘Fundamentals of Reporting’ class at Carleton University’s j-school –  but often I’m learning just as much from the students.

These past three weeks, we’ve been running ‘newsroom days’ – students come in with a story, and then head out for the day to chase another, putting out a publication at 5 p.m. The class is large enough that we actually put out two publications at the end of the day, with students alternating roles between Managing Editor or desker and reporter.

This year, Facebook and Google played key roles in putting out our student publications at the end of the day.

Continue reading Using Facebook and Google to run a student newsroom