Training journalists for niche markets
a new graduate-level fellowship program
at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of
Global Affairs aims to teach doctors, lawyers
and financiers how to be working journalists
and sell their stories to publications and broadcasters around the world by specializing in
their area of expertise. The program would
offer six to eight one-year fellowships starting in September 2012.
Robert Steiner was appointed head of a
new Journalism Lab at the Munk school in
October 2009 with the aim of establishing
the new program. Mr. Steiner, a former Wall
Street Journal reporter and former communications executive at U of T, says much of the
recent media growth has been in niche markets, such as science journals, specialty magazines or financial news services. But, despite
that shift, he says most journalism schools
are still focused on training general assignment reporters for jobs at a city newspaper.
“What we wanted to do is to switch the
equation a little bit, and rather than try to
teach a couple of courses in the basics of science or the basics of business to a general-assignment kind of person, we wanted to go
and get folks who already have an advanced
knowledge of a given area and teach them
how to cover their discipline as global journalists,” says Mr. Steiner.
The fellowships will combine introductory courses in journalism, entrepreneurship
and global affairs with a mentored practicum
that would see students produce freelance
stories throughout the eight-month program.
Mr. Steiner had originally floated the idea
of a master’s program, but now says the need
for tenured faculty and a fixed curriculum
made that idea unworkable. One needs to be
“radically flexible from year to year ... in order
to really participate in the experiment that is
journalism today,” he says. – rob thomas
Elizabeth May, seen here at a campaign rally during this spring’s election, is the only woman to lead a major national party.
Centre aims to advance women’s
one in four: that’s the ratio of female to male
MPs elected to the 41st federal Parliament.
It’s a staggering underrepresentation, and yet
it’s the highest level yet attained for women
in the Commons.
These gender imbalances are evident not
just in politics but in many senior leadership
positions, a fact that has led to the creation of
increased research, by holding specialized
events and through engaging the community
in critical conversations around the topic of
women in leadership roles.