Jamie Kennedy, Chris Spence, Jian Ghomeshi and Centennial Journalism

Andrew Phillips, Sarah Dayal, Melanie Schawill interview Chef Jamie Kennedy at Centennial College Journalism, photo by Octavian Lacatusu

With one week and a bit left in the winter semester, students (and faculty and staff) are feeling the pressure to get the assignments completed (and get the marking done) and finish the next issue of the Toronto Observer print edition before the May 2 federal election.

In this newsletter Vol 3 edition, we’ll focus on the fabulous guests that have been seen in the halls of the CCC and the Morningside Campus the last few weeks, as students in the Advanced Interviewing courses put into practice all the skills that they’ve learned in order to interview real newsmakers and celebrities. Using the tips and tricks (or Trips and Ticks, as Ellin Bessner calls them- shout out to Kyle Larkin!) has helped one group schmooze a tired chef Jamie Kennedy.   Melanie Schawill revealed to the chef that she once micro waved a dish covered with tinfoil, because she doesn’t know how to cook. Yes it exploded. Kennedy perked up, laughed, and then she was able to ask him what was the craziest sandwich he had ever assembled.

Paramedic Steve Darling of York Region EMS was a reluctant guest, stepping in to replace one of his staff who cancelled their interview with students in the joint journalism program at the Morningside campus.  Interviewer Jessica Lee kept at him, asking him about his regrets after a 30-year career. He admitted to her that if he’d only studied harder in high school, rather then fool around, he might have been a doctor today, and still hoped to go to medical school in the future.  He emailed back to say how much he’d enjoyed the interview experience and would be willing to come back next year!  Check out Jessica Lee's gorgeous photos here, on her jessicaology's flickr account. 

Check out the Centennial Journalism Flickr account for photos taken by Octavian Lacatusu, Jessica Lee and me, of the great guests, and the students who’ve interviewed them.  Next week, final interview with Jian Ghomeshi of CBC’s Q in the Q radio studio by 3 UTSC joint journalism students! We’re bringing him a bunch of Arsenal souvenirs and pistachio nuts, as apparently that’s his favourite team and snack!

Read the great stories written about their guest interviews by Advanced Interviewing students at JJ/UTSC, now posted on Centennial Journalism's wordpress blog.

GRAD/ALUMNI updates:

Jaclyn Desforges (fast track 2010) writes to report she’s done her internship at Homemakers.com now and she just started a new job as a Media Monitoring Specialist at FPinfomart.ca (a clipping service owned by Postmedia.)

Josh Ungar and Rob Ford
Josh Ungar covering the Rob Ford campaign October 2010 for the East Toronto Observer.

Josh Ungar, UTSC Joint Journalism (2010) has completed his internship at 680 News in Toronto and has been hired on staff doing audio editing and web content editing and writing. Josh writes that he did a mix of overnight/day/morning shifts for the first 10 weeks.

“ I was bouncing around doing a little bit of everything... Going out on the street to get MOS tape, doing police/fire checks, monitoring foreign news services like BBC/Al Jazeera ect, writing press releases into copy for radio, monitoring the web for kicker and entertainment stories, rewriting stories for radio, doing TV and radio line-ups for competitors... Progressively I did a little more, going to the scene of actual crimes and police press conferences to get tape and turning them into script/clip stories, calling around to get interviews from professors and media reps for stories etc... After about 10 weeks I ended up covering an actual audio editing shift, got noticed by the web department and did some preliminary training, then for four weeks I worked with the head web editor, writing stories and learning their web system.

After that I was offered a position working part-time doing a mix of audio editing and web content editing/writing, which I'll be starting next week.”

Check out the new Promo of UTSC/JJ 2010 grad Sarah de Mille on the Centennial College website.  http://www.centennialcollege.ca/thecentre/utscjournalism


The Advisory Committee for the Journalism program met April 12 at the CCC campus, with some high profile names from the industry helping to steer the school in the right direction: Eric Morrison, CEO of The Canadian Press, Gino Apponi, chief of Staff to Jennifer McGuire who is GM of CBC News, Marci Ien of CTV Canada AM, Chris Boutet, digital media senior producer at National Post. One recommendation: to bring more alum and grads back to campus in the fall to meet current students and discuss where the jobs are and to act as mentors! Shall do!

A Toronto Star photographer came to Observer Radio News Wednesday morning April 20 for a photo shoot of journalism students who were performing live newscasts on air. It was for the Star’s Guide to GTA Colleges and Universities – the next edition. Our stars Kyle Koivisto, Kris Ali-Trotman and Braydon Keddie all wore their best black t-shirts for the impromptu session.


Alina Smirnova (JJ 2010) has won the Dean’s Award for entrepreneurship in  the Joint Journalism program at Morningside campus, for her leadership in running the Observer during the recent municipal election, as well as her solid editing and fact-checking skills on her group’s beat reporting project. For one of the stories in that magazine, Foodshed Magazine, she also climbed on rooftops of the Royal York Hotel and the U of T to interview urban bee keepers.

Joseph Jacobsen (JJ 2010) has won the Dean’s Award for the student in the JJ program with the highest GPA. His beat magazine project Top Shelf Manzine, with colleagues Josh Ungar, Ryan Jhagroo, Billy Courtice and Brad Featherstone, was the Beat Idol judges pick for best magazine of the year.

Congratulations to you both. See you at the ceremony April 28 at the CCC.