Friday, December 9, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
Join us by viewing the live stream of this event.
Please note that this is a Flash-based stream and is not viewable on Apple portable devices such as iPod, iPad or iPhone.
Thanks to John Pura for setting up the streaming.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Lindsey Wiebe, the energetic and readable social media reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press – “the least defined job I’ve ever had” – offered them to Creative Communications students on Oct. 20.
Wiebe, who graduated from CreComm in 2004, backed up her recommendations with her experiences in the unpredictable but rewarding field of journalism.
Do things that don’t seem like what you are supposed to do.
In 2009, a year of layoffs at most news media and closings at some, Wiebe wrangled a nine-month leave of absence from the Free Press, and moved to France.
Smart move: the newspaper saved her salary for almost a year, and then was able to take her back.
Get a wide skill set; learn anything you can.
Next week Wiebe is scheduled to manage the Free Press apps.
Pitch stories your employer isn’t doing.
Wiebe created a niche covering the environmental issues the Free Press hadn’t found a way to handle. She even got to eat local Manitoba food for a month and write about it. In November. Hmm … perhaps not her best choice.
But all this self-invention brings another benefit: confidence about the future.
Wiebe says she doesn’t know if her job will exist two years from now. But, she says, “I’m OK with that.”
Friday, October 14, 2011
Don’t think you’re smarter than the people you interview, he warned. Learn everything you can about your topic before conducting interviews.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Not a bad mission statement for journalists.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
“Raising children is a good formation for dealing with editors and journalists. They are fiendishly clever at promising compliance with the wishes of the owner, appearing to give superficial adherence while in fact continuing in their exceptionable practices.”
Monday, September 5, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:(a) freedom of conscience and religion;(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication …
Monday, August 22, 2011
Joanne Kelly will be my new colleague in the Journalism part of the program. One of our innovations will be an e-textbook for first-year students, consisting of five chapters of The New Journalist: Roles, Skills and Critical Thinking from Edmond Montgomery Publications. Yes, it’s Canadian.
The projected price is under $30, less than half the price of the entire dead-tree text – which we would not use completely, anyway.
In late September students will watch Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times, at Cinematheque.
I’ve seen it, and it’s well worth watching.
A bit of journalistic history, a bit of social media, and the beautiful new Times building, all seen though the eyes of a former crack addict, now a Times reporter.
Afterward, students will be able to discuss how Watergate and the Pentagon Papers relate to WikiLeaks and Twitter.
Also this year, the Manitoba election on Oct. 4 will generate a couple of assignments and will give me an opportunity to rail against the lack of civics lessons in Manitoba’s public schools and universities.
No worries, though: the CreComm curriculum will make up for it.
Other highlights include the city council and Remembrance Day assignments, back by popular demand.
And that’s just Journalism, one of seven required courses.
In co-operation with Advertising, Public Relations and Creative Writing instructors, some of them shiny and some slightly shopworn (but we’re all good friends; really!), the J instructors will work with the first-year students on their weekly blogs.
Students and instructors will also use Twitter and LinkedIn social media.
It will be a busy year – two years actually, for the whole program.
Abandon your lives, all ye who enter here!
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
We were all appalled and shocked when we heard about these allegations yesterday.
I have to tell you that I am sickened that these events are alleged to have happened.
Not just because I was Editor of the News of the World at the time, but if the accusations are true, the devastating effect on Milly Dowler's family is unforgivable.
Monday, June 20, 2011
What makes the blog assignment a “professional” endeavor is that it gives potential employers a sense of how well a person can write, how often, “voice,” style, interests, sense of humor, anxieties, etc.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
I have been editing parsnips and carrots in our Back 40 (square metres, not sections).
The seeds of these root vegetables are too small to plant individually, so you sprinkle them in a row, then stand back and watch 'em explode.
The result is a row of tiny plants, competing for room to grow.
Unless they are thinned out, you'll get a mass of roots too skinny for human consumption.
Because we want crunchy, delicious carrots and shapely, tasty turnips for roasting, I thinned out those delicate growths, leaving fewer than half to compete for nutrition and sunlight. The losers go into the compost, of course.
This summer I will thin them several more times: ruthless, Old Testament style editing.
As Lyle Lovett says, Joshua Judges Ruth.
Monday, May 30, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
One of my enjoyable responsibilities – honours, actually – is judging journalism awards.
This year my favourite was the multimedia feature category of the National Newspaper Awards, which were presented last weekend in Ottawa.
Yes, these awards are for newspapers, not broadcasters.
Other than cbcnews.ca, no Canadian broadcaster is creating consistently strong journalism that exploits multiple media including text stories, video, still photos and blogs, and creating communities of intelligent online commenters.
But several newspapers are committing the resources of money, time and professional staff to do just that. So is the news agency The Canadian Press.
Judges Colette Brin of Laval University, Ingrid Bejerman of McGill University and I read, watched and listened to the best multimedia journalism created in Canada in 2010.
For the top award we selected The Globe and Mail's Project Jacmel: The Disaster, the Rebuild, the Future. It’s a comprehensive and moving report on how Haitians are coping with the aftermath of the most recent earthquake.
We were impressed that the newspaper stayed with the story, keeping its staff in Haiti after most other international journalists had moved on to the next disaster.
In the multimedia world, Twitter is informative, instant and fun. It propagates breaking news as no other medium can. Sometimes that news is even true.
But to fully realize the possibilities of multimedia journalism you need a much longer attention span.
Congratulations to The Globe and Mail and other forward-looking organizations that are in multimedia journalism for the long haul.
Friday, May 6, 2011
On Tuesday morning eight adventurous students will start my Red River College Intersession course, Editing Print and Online Media.
For seven weeks, two mornings a week, we will practise editing – making print and online materials make sense for audiences.
There will be some spelling and grammar and a bit of numbers.
We will spot screwups in written work from books to billboards to building walls, and in online material from everywhere.
But, more importantly, we will look at how editing and organizing can improve all sorts of writing and other activities.
You can follow the students’ weekly blogs on the list on the right side of this screen.
The last time I taught this course, in the fall of 2010, I was impressed by how broadly students were able to define editing. Check out some of their blogs:
Neil Babaluk wrote about editing video, a time-consuming but rewarding task.
Shelley Cook discussed editing political priorities (are you listening, newly elected MPs?).
Stacia Franz edited Europe (Napoleon and others tried but failed).
Sandy Klowak considered the editing that should go into novels but often doesn’t.
Kimberlee Lawson edited time (I wish I could).
Keep spotting those screwups!
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
They will talk with the actors and the author, Armin Wiebe, and next week they will blog about the experience. And then their semester will be over.
So what and who are Blatz and Wiebe?
“Mennonites in lust! But not talking about it,” is CBC reviewer Joff Schmidt’s capsule take on the play.
Armin Wiebe (The Arminator, to some of his friends) is a Manitoban who has written four novels.
The setting for three of them, and for this play, is the imaginary Mennonite community of Gutenthal, one mile from the U.S. border, a million miles from reality and one inch from truth.
Wiebe writes in his own blend of, mostly, plautdietsch – Low German – and what he calls “buggered-up English.”
The result is funny on the page, hilarious and touching when spoken. That is the strength of the play.
The genesis of Blatz lies in the story And Besides God Made Poison Ivy, published in Due West (Turnstone Press, 1996).
In Spring 2005 Prairie Fire published a revised version called The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz.
Now Scirocco Drama has released the play as a book.
Kevin Prokosh of the Winnipeg Free Press recently interviewed the playwright. He also reviewed Blatz very positively, writing in the spirit of the play.
But hold a minute on!
Blatz also features sex, transgressive and otherwise, cross-dressing, and a brummtopp.
A brummtopp? You have to hear it.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
With a federal election set for May 2, can the elections assignments be far behind?