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Wondering about journalism school? It’s still wonderful to be a journalist

April 15th, 2011 · 12 Comments

It’s been a rough time in journalism the last decade (or three?). It’s also been one of the most exhilarating times, as you feel journalism re-inventing itself under your feet.

Like many in this profession, I still wake up many mornings after 25 years, thinking, “Wow, people pay me to do this? How great is that.” I was reminded of that yesterday when a tweet rolled by, linking to a a stream of comments for high-school students on why it’s still important (and fun) to have a career in journalism.

As many of you know, I also teach journalism at Langara, where I see new, young people coming into the field and feel energized by the new ideas and passion they’re bringing to the job. We just waved goodbye to another class, where people are off to jobs at the Vancouver Sun, at Global, in Terrace, in Fort St. John, and elsewhere across the country. Students from my previous classes are all over the city and province. (Plus a few in Alberta — hi Victoria and Doug!)

For those out there who feel the call, I urge you to listen to it. Yes, the industry is going through big upheaval. But it’s still thriving in many ways, and new jobs are starting to come onstream to replace some of the ones that disappeared from the old model.

It’s become increasingly obvious, in the information-overload world, that journalists — people who will search out information for the public whether they agree with it or not, people who will double-check and doubt even the most credible-sounding information, people who will sort through the tsunami debris of fake facts, conspiracy theories, perpetual opinion yellers, obfuscation, genial spin and more — are more valuable than ever.

Plus, it’s a great new world with so many ways to tell stories.

There are good journalism schools all over Canada, but Langara, where I teach, has been a pillar of the B.C. journalism world for over 40 years. It’s where people come when they are really sure they want to work in field and they’re looking for an intense program that is completely focused on learning all the skills you need to function out there.

There are two programs — a one-year certificate program for people who have degrees already and a two-year diploma program for those without degrees. If you’re looking for a degree, there are various paths to follow post-diploma at other universities that can get you there.

You can look at Langara’s Facebook page (Langara Journalism) or check out the official website for the program. It’s not too late to apply for next fall.

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