Monday, December 12, 2011

The veteran journalists who advise Centennial's journalism program + Press Freedom winner

We are very lucky at Centennial College's three journalism programs (Fast Track post graduate, undergraduate joint program with University of Toronto, and the three year diploma for post secondary students). 
Because our Program Advisory Committee -- the folks who volunteer to make sure we are doing a good job delivering the right mix of training and opportunities for our students -- is made up of dedicated, committed professionals from the journalism industry.  
I don't think many people realize how much time and thought the members of our PAC put in to keep Centennial Journalism on the cutting edge of journalism education, and combined with the energy and vision of the faculty and staff, and the talented students, it was a very rewarding opportunity for me to attend the most recent meeting, to share what we are doing, and ask them for advice and input. 
Some of the discussions ranged around telling Centennial Journalism's story more effectively on the web, and about possible new courses or future speakers and panel discussions for the students, especially about the ethics of online corrections. 

The members of the PAC are:

  • Eric Morrison, former head, The Canadian Press
  • Marci Ien, Canada AM host
  • Jennifer McGuire, editor in chief CBC News
  • Sam Donkoh, freelance journalist and p.r. professional
  • Michael Brooke, Concrete Wave magazine publisher
  • Bert Bruser, media lawyer
  • Georgia Balogiannis, the Etobicoke Guardian, (Centennial grad!)
  • Chris Boutet, deputy editor (digital) the Globe and Mail
  • Heather Evans, CBC National News Health Unit 
  • Alexandra Ward, student
  • Jesse Mirsky, student
  • Sarah Taguiam, student 
  • Jeffrey Dvorkin, former CBC Radio News chief, NPR ombudsman, now U of T Journalism director

Alex Ward (student), Lindy Oughtred (faculty) and Nate Horowitz (Dean) at the program advisory committee meeting for Journalism

Stephen Cogan, Centennial College Journalism Coordinator, and Marci Ien, CTV Canada AM

Eric Morrison, former head The Canadian Press, committee chair, and Bert Bruser, media lawyer Toronto Star

Jeffrey Dvorkin, U of T Journalism director

Marci Ien, CTV Canada AM
Georgia Balogiannis, The Etobicoke Guardian
Really bad and blurry photo of Heather Evans (sorry!) , CBC National News Health desk, executive producer (bottom right)
Jennifer McGuire, CBC News editor in chief

Yemeni journalist Khaled al-Hammadi, with Al Jazeera, won the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression International Press Freedom award here in Toronto in November. We were lucky to have him visit journalism students at Centennial College during his whirlwind trip to the city for the ceremonies. Students asked him how he got interested in journalism, what dangers he has faced, how he gets stories when in Yemen only the government is permitted to speak on the record, and other aspects of his courageous career trying to cover the Arab Spring and its effects in Yemen.

Khaled Al Hammadi with Centennial/U of T joint journalism program coordinator Ted Fairhurst

Khaled Al Hammadi talks to Centennial Journalism students 

Where are they now?

Jennifer Phillips at Toronto City Hall, December 2011

Jennifer Phillips' profile on Bleacher Report
Jennifer Phillips, Centennial Journalism grad from 2005 or 2006, now works in communications at Toronto City Hall in the office of Mayor Rob Ford, in the protocol section. She is also an avid sports fan, and has written for the Bleacher Report, covering the Leafs, Marlies and other local sports teams.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Canadian Association of Journalists 2012 Conference..Save the Date

 Save the date! The 2012 CAJ conference is coming to Toronto

OTTAWA, Dec. 7, 2011 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Journalists'
annual conference is coming to Toronto in 2012.

The conference is scheduled to run from Friday April 27 to Sunday
afternoon April 29, 2012 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.

For the first time, the CAJ's three-day line up will kick off during
Newspapers Canada's annual Ink&Beyond conference, which starts April 26
at the same hotel. This partnership will allow those attending either
conference to attend a full day of sessions on the Friday April 27, a
day that's capped off by the annual galas for the National Newspaper
Awards and the Ontario Community Newspaper Association.

The CAJ events committee is currently finalizing the full conference
schedule, but some of the panels and speakers that are already confirmed

   * Local TV news is back! Featuring Ward Smith of Global TV, Sophia
     Hadzipetros of the CBC, Tina Cortese of City TV and Steve Kassar of
     CTV Toronto

   * A kickoff panel on the state of our industry featuring CBC News'
     Jennifer McGuire
and other industry leaders
   * Sports journalism before the summer Olympics: moderated by Malcolm
     Kelly, CBC
and co-ordinator of Canada's only post-grad
     sports journalism program
   * The latest in training on using Buzz Data, Google, and Adobe CS.
   * Daylong data journalism / computer-assisted reporting courses led by
     David McKie, Investigations team, CBC Radio News and the Ottawa
     Citizen's Glen McGregor.

   * The CAJ Awards gala Saturday night, April 28.
   * Sessions on trauma, professionalization, privacy, ethics and more.

The conference fee for CAJ members in good standing has already been set
at an early bird rate of $229. Other rates for students, single day
attendance, and keynote luncheons, are also available. Delegates
attending the Newspapers Canada conference and those attending the
National Newspapers Awards will qualify for reduced rates to the CAJ
conference. A room rate is available at the Royal York starting on April
26 and is set at $185 a night.

The CAJ will continue releasing more information on the 2012 CAJ
conference as it's confirmed and scheduled. For the latest information,
visit the Events / 2012 conference page

The CAJ is Canada's largest national professional organization for
journalists from all media, representing almost 600 members across the
country. The CAJ's primary roles are to provide high-quality
professional development for its members and public-interest advocacy.

*For further information: *

Hugo Rodrigues, CAJ president - 519-756-2020 ext. 2226, 519-535-8680

Ellin Bessner, 2012 conference committee -

416 289 5000 ext 8826

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Peter Mansbridge dissed my Iphone and other tales from a CBC tour with my senior journalism students

Centennial Journalism students meet Peter Mansbridge, CBC's The National chief anchor, at CBC HQ in Toronto
It's not every day I get to show my students a real working newsroom, nor have them hob nob with Canada's most famous news anchor, Peter Mansbridge.

The encounter came at the end of a half day behind the scenes tour of CBC where my graduating journalism students got a close look at how local, national and international news is produced.  For many platforms, including radio, online, and local and national television.

Although our host, Mark Mietkiewicz was a little reluctant to bother Mansbridge, I insisted we get a look at his new office on the fourth floor of the CBC building at 250 Front Street West. Mansbridge, always amenable to talking to journalism students, came out, and greeted our group.

After all, I reasoned: he'd already met them before, kind of, when he spoke at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus a few years ago. At least that's what I told him. I even named dropped, mentioning one of the students who had interned with him for a few days directly as a result of his visit there.

He asked us what we'd thought of the tour, and I told him we got to see the Toronto supper hour newscast be off the air for the first 10 minutes of the show. That was a really unusual occurance (you can actually call it a disaster in the tv news biz), which had the anchor reading an apology, and the control room staff coping with the unforseen.

After the quick Q and A session, I begged Mansbridge for a group photo, and he kindly agreed. So I whipped out my I phone and asked our host Mark to do the honours and take some pictures.

When my sluggish cell phone with the cheap flowered pink rubber case took its sweet time coming to life, that's when the ribbing from Canada's most trusted anchor started.

"What, is that a 3G?" he said, incredulously. "Why don't you have a 4G?"

I mumbled something about not being able to afford one, embarrassed.

Only later, when the tour was over, did one of the students confirm that, yes, my I-phone had been dissed.

Do you think that is a small price to pay for a photo op with one of our idols?

What would Steve Jobs do?

That was the highlight of the tour for me.  But for my students, it might have been getting the chance to sit at Mansbridge's anchor desk in the main CBC studio where they do "The National" every night.

And oh, by the way, he was wearing a purple dress shirt, in case you watch tonight's show. Check it out, and see if he changed.

Of course, Mansbridge doesn't sit. He stands, as we all know, since they revamped the look of the studio. Only the anchors for the CBC News Toronto local supper hour show get to sit down when they use the same set between 5 and 6:30 p.m.

Kyle Larkin in the studio of "The National" at CBC Headquarters in Toronto

Jessica Lee sits at the anchor desk in "The National" tv studio.

Yamri Tadesse ready for prime time at CBC 'The National" studio

Speaking of the studio, we learned that it had been designed by a fellow who actually isn't a TV insider, but rather, runs and designs nightclubs. Including a couple on Queen Street in Toronto. That explains the cool, disco lights and non-traditional materials they used to give the studio its distinctive look.

And, we learned you could transform the studio into a nightclub in no time at all.

Good to know in case we need to book a graduation party, or our next corporate function from Centennial Journalism.

Sophia Hadzipetros, Managing Editor of CBC News Toronto explains the lineup for tonight's Toronto local supper hour show with  Mark Mietkiewicz, Staff development, and David Downey,  compliance, our tour guides for the CBC Tour.
Alexandra Sienkiewicz, Centennial Journalism/U of T joint program grad from 2007, now show producer of the CBC Toronto supper hour newscast.

Do you think she looks a bit stressed? Alexandra Sienkiewicz was typing in an apology for the anchor Dwight Drummond to read on air, after it was discovered that the first 10 minutes or so of the 5 o'clock newscast weren't seen by viewers due to mix ups in some master control room somewhere (we're not quite sure what happened).

She was in the first class of joint journalism students who took the combined U of T/ Centennial four year program at the college's Morningside campus when I began teaching the core News Reporting class there in 2006.

We also visited with the CBC Radio program "The World this Hour" and watched host Bernie McNamee read the 4 o'clock news, and perhaps we brought bad luck everywhere we went today, because at about 3 minutes into the broadcast, we started hearing him have trouble breathing. Then he would turn the mic off for a second, resume the newscast, and read like he was choking.

I was worried he was sick. The students in the control room looked at each other and wondered what was going on.

My old friend, producer Peter Leo, didn't appear too worried, though.  And eventually, McNamee made it through the 9 and a half minutes, without any further trouble.
Kyle Larkin and Bernie McNamee with Mersiha Gadzo
Afterwords, he told the students the audience is usually very forgiving of stumbles. What they hate, he told us, is when you pronounce a place name incorrectly. Then, watch out!
Melanie Schawill at the CBC Weather Centre

Do you like ad libbing without a teleprompter, do you like gesturing to a monitor on the side of the studio, and pretending you can actually see the cities, their temperatures, and the cold fronts moving in from the west?

Then presenting the weather is for you. 

Our students got to try their hand at being weather forecasters at the CBC weather centre. And, oh yeah, when we arrived, the anchor, Michelle Leslie was stressing out because her weather computers weren't working. 

It seems to have been a theme today. Bad luck everywhere we went. Eventually, Nick Czernkovich, her colleague and national weather anchor, was able to get the weather computers working.
Octavian Lacatusu learning how to do the weather

Mersiha Gadzo shows us showers in Buffalo
Mersiha Gadzo with Ellin Bessner behind the lines at the CBC Weather Centre

A special special thanks to our tour guides extraordinaire Mark Mietkiewicz and David Downey of CBC News, who also showed us the "Here and Now" radio program, the High Risk deployment desk which takes care of reporters and crews in dangerous places like Afghanistan and Libya, and took us through the maze of corridors and control rooms that make up the 4th-5th-6th floors of the amazing CBC building.


Cool CBC Weather thermometers, and some Online News handbooks, and some great contacts for future internships.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ontario Election 2011 live coverage by Centennial Journalism students

Our students did themselves proud tonight fanning out across the city to bring our viewers and readers the latest results from the Ontario provincial election 2011.

From Scarborough to East York, they covered the ridings and the close races, in print, online, radio and television for, the print editions of the Scarborough Observer and the East York Observer, Centennial Journalism's website, and Observer TV News.

Nicole Pulsinelli works the camera for Observer TV News
Ani Hajderaj checks the camera

Yamri Tadesse and Aneta Tasheva for the 10:30 p.m. show

Yamri Tadesse and Deeanna Charrion on air with Ani Hajderaj on camera

Lindy Oughtred watches as  Alex Ward and Shannon Keller  cover the East York races
They did two live television shows from the newsroom of the Toronto Observer in East York. With hosts Deeanna Charrion and Aneta Tasheva, and analyst Yamri Tadesse, with sports updates provided by Mike Woodrow of Centennial Sports TV, and by Kyle Larkin and James Wattie of the joint journalism program with the University of Toronto.

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Students from the first semester of Fast Track journalism sent in stories from their ridings and instructor Ted Barris was still marking copy at 3 a.m.  And students in first semester of the Centennial Joint Journalism program with UTSC were out across the GTA last night, from Brampton to Ajax interviewing the candidates they'd profiled earlier in the semester. Rebecca Raveendran sent this snapshot from the victory party of Kathleen Wynne, former Minister of Transportation, who was re elected in Don Valley West.

Kathleen Wynne, photo Rebecca Raveendran
 And Teona Baetu sent this one in from Mike Colle's too-close-for-comfort 5th re election in Eglinton-Lawrence.

Mike Colle celebrates victory, photo by Teona Baetu

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Toronto Observer redesign unveiled + newsroom tv studio new look


One of Toronto's award-winning community newspapers, the Toronto Observer brand, has been given a spiffy new look, and the first edition rolled off the presses Friday for distribution in the Scarborough area.

First edition of Scarborough Observer, new design

The newspaper, with its online companion, is produced by journalism students at Centennial College in Toronto. It has two readership catchment areas: East York, and Scarborough. This is due to our dual campus locations for the past half dozen years: East York's students at 951 Carlaw Avenue, near Danforth and Pape, and the UTSC/Centennial Joint Program students working from 755 Morningside, at Morningside and Ellesmere.

This fall, all the journalism programs are now located in Centennial Journalism's revamped newsroom in East York, where students from both the U of T/Centennial Joint Program and the East York fast-track and three-year programs work side by side with the Sports Journalism students.

The redesign, by Observer instructor Andrew Mair, who also works at the Toronto Sun, was unveiled earlier this week, after extensive consultations with outside experts and academics. Stories will be shorter, they will be focused on how they impact the readers, and layout and colour has been updated as well.

Andrew Mair with redesigned Observer template

Journalism students get a sneak peak of the new Observer
What do you think? Click here to see the old Observer and the new one, side by side.


As part of the overall renovations to Centennial Journalism, the broadcast studio has also been given a new look:  a new lighting grid installed by technicians from Videoscope, under the leadership of Ken Thasan. The anchor desk was donated by Earl Helland of Up Workshop, who's company has also built sets for Sportsnet, Maple Leafs TV, CTV and many more. It's still not done yet, but plans are to have everything ready for the live broadcast October 6, when students will cover the Ontario Provincial Election.


Digital Imaging class gets clicking in the courtyard with Instructor Neil Ward.

Neil Ward gives photo pointers to Fast Track journalism students

Radio host Nicholas Pescod has been busy with his popular online music show "Radio Nation" which is broadcast from the lobby of Centennial Journalism's East York Campus.

In June Radio Nation was mentioned in the Brantford Expositor:

(Page 25 middle column at the bottom.)
Pescod says,  "It's a small blurb but none the less it was pretty exciting." 

In July he was interviewed on a Florida online radio show called, Friends Music Life (FML Radio) on 

Listen for an interview with Sarah Lenore in late September. She was featured on America's Got Talent in 2008. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Centennial Journalism, Anderson Cooper, and Harry Potter

How I spent My Summer Vacation:  Centennial Journalism student visits Anderson Cooper's new show in New York.

Anderson Cooper and Aakanksha Tangri 

Anderson Cooper's new day time talk show hit your televisions this week in North America. It's a departure from his usual disaster-coverage reporting seen on his other show "Anderson Cooper 360" every night on CNN.

This lifestyle show, available at 5 p.m. on CTV Toronto, is called "Anderson".  It will feature folks like Snooki from Jersey Shore, and other softer news interviews.

Our own Aakanksha Tangri, who is in her final semester of the joint journalism program with the University of Toronto, scored some coveted tickets to several of the tapings and even got to meet Cooper.

Here are her impressions of watching the star at work.

I watched a taping (actually three…) of Anderson Cooper’s new daytime talk show Anderson in New York City. After getting through security and filling out the waivers, we were seated in the studio. The set is classy and overlooks Columbus Circle. Cooper got a standing ovation when he walked in. After the first taping, we were told they had a “surprise” for us. It turned out to be Harry Potter star, Daniel Radcliffe! Radcliffe and Cooper worked together in the Broadway play “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” The conversation was lighthearted and he took questions from the audience.  There was another taping after and those who wanted to stay back could, and I of course did…

Throughout the three tapings, there was a lot of audience interaction and we could ask the guests questions (and to Cooper during commercial breaks). I observed the interviewing techniques he used and I knew those (and had even applied it) from what we learned in class. Leaning forward, pauses between questions, lingering eye contact and the different styles of questions. As a journalism student, I’m always curious to know what interviewing techniques good journalists use and I had a sense of reassurance seeing him apply what I’ve learned in j-school.

His producers and crew were very friendly and kept the atmosphere on the set light and humorous (some of them even danced!).

What struck me the most was how unpretentious and friendly Cooper is. He accepted when he made mistakes and discussed everything under the sun the audience wanted to. It was a memorable experience and I definitely learned a lot about interviewing by being part of the audience and watching the tapings.  
Anderson set in  NYC, photos courtesy Aakanksha Tangri

Do visible minority journalists in GTA newsrooms have to give up their cultural identity to be accepted by Canadian audiences/readers?

That's the question University of Toronto/ Centennial Journalism graduate Abbas Somji asked prominent journalists in the Greater Toronto area this summer in his new documentary film "Invisible vs Visible." The study of Toronto's newsrooms was part of his master's thesis for Ryerson and York's joint program.

He interviewed Tony Wong of the Toronto Star, Harold Hosein of 680 News, Aparita Bhandari of CBC, among others. His findings and documentary are here on Vimeo:

Oh, and you can now call him Abbas Somji, MA.

We've invited Abbas to screen his film at Centennial Journalism later this school year.

Where our Grads Are:

Dan Bilicki blogs about sports for the Toronto Sun…from a young person's perspective. 

Jon Spratt is the Muskoka reporter for Metroland. 

 Back to School: Week 1 

Journalism students search for story ideas everywhere. Pipe cleaners can even be a story, if you do a little research.
Pipe cleaner creation "eyewear" in J0-211-100 Intro to Reporting

Friday, September 2, 2011

My family helped Lloyd Robertson cover 9-11 and other memories of Canada's Most Trusted Anchor

"Goodnight Lloyd"

When the twin towers were hit on Sept 11, 2001, I was working for CTV News and CTV Newsnet in Toronto (before it was renamed CTV News Channel, it used to be called Newsnet) in several capacities.

I was a business anchor in the CTV national newsroom (see screen cap), but I also did writing, and editing for Newsnet, I worked as one of the writers for the CTV National News with Sandi Rinaldo, I wrote and posted stories on  and I worked on their coverage of Pope John Paul the second's illness and death.

At CTV National News, it isn't unusual for journalists to do a lot of things. That's one of the great things about working there: lot's of opportunities.

But part of the reason why folks do a lot of different journalistic functions at CTV News headquarters might be because the CTV national newsroom is pretty small, despite how it looks on TV.

Everyone works closely together in a main hub, at Channel 9 Court in Toronto. The assignment editors, writers, producers, video editors, master control, and the senior news executives' offices all are in or on top of this open hub.

Which is how I got to rub shoulders with Lloyd Robertson.

His office is, as CBC Ombudsman Kirk Lapointe points out in his blog, pretty small for someone who has been a giant in the Canadian news business for so long. It was located in the north east corner of the newsroom, right beside where the staff mailboxes were, on the way to the bathroom and some recording rooms and the library.

So when I was a business anchor there, my anchor desk was actually right beside Lloyd's office. I remember how awed I used to feel as he would come into work in the afternoons. He drove his own car. No limo driver for him. And he always encouraged everyone with a friendly greeting, a supportive comment, and made everyone treat him as if he was an ordinary guy.

I only heard him yell once in the years I worked at CTV (1997-2006).

It was when he was anchoring a newscast.   When the show went to commercial break, he was livid because someone had gotten the name of a newsmaker wrong in one of Lloyd's scripts, or had misspelled the name (I was never quite sure). He yelled down from his anchor chair to his senior writer Jeff Wigle (who is now at the helm of Sun TV News) to find out how this had happened. I imagine it was horrifying to Lloyd because he was a consummate professional and didn't enjoy what he must have felt was a blow to his credibility as a newscaster.

I also remember feeling secretly scandalized, yet proud, when I once saw Lloyd dressed for anchoring in his suit, but wearing bedroom slippers on his feet under the anchor desk. I thought that showed that he was a normal human being who also suffers from sore feet once in a while.

But Lloyd's the coverage of Sept. 11, 2001 showed how extraordinarily talented he is.

When the news broke about the Twin Towers, I wasn't scheduled to work that day. Like most people, I was glued to the TV and feeling extremely shaky and scared. But I called the human resources guy Ted Wilson and asked to be able to come in to the newsroom to help. When I got there at 5 p.m., Lloyd had already been on the air for hours, live.

We were all flying on adrenaline, as no one had experienced anything like this terror attack before. Tom Haberstroh and Joanne MacDonald and the specials team were hunkered down in the control room, while Lloyd was in the national news desk chair, calmly and authoritatively reviewing the information for Canadians, as it came in, and taking directions in his earpiece. As he has said, the crazier things get, the calmer an anchor needs to be to avoid panicking the viewers.

Lloyd's live 9-11 special needed continuous interviews and guests to fill the airtime, so I whipped out my little black book, and got to work. My step-sister Karen is a Canadian lawyer who lives with her family in New York City. I got her on the line, asked if she would take a call and be interviewed by Lloyd. I remember she told him she was sitting on the floor in their apartment hunkered down, and in shock at what had happened.

Next I got my sister's sister-in-law lined up for Lloyd to interview: Rhonda is a Canadian psychologist specializing in anxiety and stress disorders for people who've survived terrorist attacks. She's normally based in Israel but she was in New York on 9-11, and decided to make her way down to the hospitals to see if she could help out. Lloyd interviewed her, too, about what the psychological implications would be for survivors of the 9-11 attacks.

I don't remember seeing Lloyd leave the anchor desk for the entire 14 hours he provided live coverage of the 9-11 attacks.

Watching his daughter's tribute documentary and his final newscast last night will be required viewing for my television students this fall at Centennial College in Toronto.

Goodnight Lloyd.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

Jack Layton and Centennial Journalism

Toronto Star coverage of Layton's visit to Centennial Journalism January 17, 2006

Jack Layton and Olivia Chow scrumming with reporters at Centennial Journalism, photo by Mark Toljagic

Jack Layton scrumming with students at Centennial journalism during election campaign January 2006/photo by Mark Toljagic

Jack Layton has been one of the most high profile newsmakers to be interviewed by students at Centennial Journalism over the years. Not only was he the local MP for the riding where our college journalism school is located, Toronto-Danforth, but as national leader he brought his campaign bus to the School of Communications, Media and Design on Carlaw Avenue for a whistle-stop tour.
The Toronto Star story from January 17, 2006 shows journalism students including Sean Pearce, Justin Warner, Liz Dewdney, Vanessa Gates, Dharm Makwana, Megan Eves, George Zicarelli and Neil Springer, as well as instructor Ellin Bessner, scrumming Layton in amongst the national news reporters like James Murray of CBC.
Layton's campaign office in the May 2011 election was on Broadview, just a few blocks away from the Toronto Observer newsroom, where our students put out an online and bi-weekly newspaper.
He will be missed.Check out the Toronto Observer for more coverage and archived stories about him by our students.
This note was sent today by the marketing department of Centennial College.
"It is with great sadness that we have come to hear that Mr. Jack Layton - by far the most trusted federal party leader with whom a majority of Canadians had wished to share a drink and a chat - passed away early this morning in his Toronto home surrounded by his family and close friends. He was 61 years of age.
Mr. Layton visited Centennial College during the 2006 federal election when he came to The Centre for Creative Communications in his East York riding to hold a press conference, in part for the benefit of our Journalism students. By all accounts he was a polished and eloquent speaker who chose to take the high road and speak about sound policies and nation-building, rather than engage in mud-slinging.
Our country has lost a passionate leader and a great Canadian. As someone remarked online today, when we lost Pierre Trudeau we lost a link to our past; when we lost Jack Layton we lost a link to our future. Out of respect for the Layton family, we are lowering our campus flags this week until Mr. Layton is laid to rest. "

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Centennial Journalism on Facebook

Back to school

Monday is the first day back to work for many Centennial Journalism faculty members, although Malcolm Kelly and the sports journalism students have been hard at work all summer. It’s exciting to see the renovations to the Toronto Observer newsroom take shape. Here are the latest photos of the newsroom under construction (from Friday Aug. 19) taken by Ted Fairhurst.
looking north towards Ted Barris' office

From room 147 no wall between classroom and old 149 newsroom

Ted F and Malcolm's new offices

No more door near TV news anchor desk entrance

Another view of new faculty offices 

This fall, all four journalism streams will be attending classes and taking courses only at the Carlaw Avenue campus.

Orientation for new students is Tuesday Aug 30.

Fast track students @ 8:30  a.m. in room 295/297 (lunch included)

Three year, and UTSC joint journalism students @ 9:45 a.m. in room 295/297 (lunch included)

Parking is free. Parents welcome.

First Day of Classes: all programs

Tuesday Sept 6 at 951 Carlaw Avenue.

Centennial Journalism is on Facebook

The program now has its own official Facebook page for announcements, news, photos and events.  Thanks to Steve Cogan and family for setting it up. Check it out! Like us!

Observer Radio News

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Centennial Journalism webmaster and multiplatform instructor Phil Alves has posted dozens and dozens of Observer Radio News voicers from this past semester to the college student portfolio portal Centennial onDemand. Have a listen! If they are yours, don't forget to save the links and post them to your own personal portfolio.

Where are our grads:

Murray Crawford is out in Lloydminster, Alberta at the Meridian Booster, a Sunmedia paper. He was just promoted to senior reporter.

Jane Wang completed the Joint Program in Journalism in December 2007. She then attended law school. Jane wrote her bar exams in the spring of 2011. She is now articling with the Toronto law firm, Torkin Manes LLP.

Lindsay Bodnaruk was in the 2006/07 college cohort. She did her internship at Entertainment Tonight Canada. Lindsay is now an office manager with Buck Productions, a global leader in commercial, film, and television production.

Eleni Kanavas, (UTSC Spring 2008) is a Communications Officer at Sunnybrook Research Institute ( She took the position in August 2010 after beginning her career as a Media and Communications Assistant in the University of Toronto (Scarborough) communications and public affairs office.  Eleni’s stories appear in Sunnybrook Research Institute’s magazine, Inventing the Future of Health Care. 

Cassie (Jeysman) Prosper is a public relations consultant with Hill and Knowlton. She specializes in the Technology Communications Practice and her clients include Motorola and Hewlett-Packard. She was nominated for a CPRS (Canadian Public Relations Society) award in the category of Young PR Professional of the Year. After graduating from the Joint Journalism Program in August 2007, Cassie enrolled in the post-graduate Public Relations Certificate Program at Humber College. She finished that program with honours in October 2008.

Katrina Rozal graduated with her degree and diploma in the spring of 2010. She is now the archivist for Sun News Network. It’s her first full-time job and it grew directly out of her internship as a chase producer for Canoe Live, the current affairs program when the station was formerly Sun TV. Katrina was a recipient of the Dean’s Award.  The award recognizes students who earn the highest GPA score from the college semesters of the Joint Program.

Geoff Micks has a new ebook available on Kindle.

Fans of historical fiction can look forward to an epic family saga covering more than seventy years to include almost everything we know happened between the zenith and nadir of Inca power. More than two-thirds of the characters are based on real people, and every corner of the empire is visited over the course of the narrator’s life: The plot has court intrigue, forbidden loves, triumphs, tragedies, rivalries, heroes, monsters, coups, civil wars, prophecies, plagues, treasures, sex and violence –all before the conquistadors arrive to change everything forevermore.

Jamie Ngo –Graduated from the UTSC/Centennial joint program in 2007, and is now Assistant manager, Communications at Scotiabank. Before that she worked for the bank in the president’s office, after reporting for the Toronto Sun and Omni Television.

Send us your news! We want to hear from you.