Thursday, 11 September 2008


Updated re Mike Jenkinson comment
A Canadian Journalism Project posting today reads:

A group of ten second-year journalism students in Algonquin College's journalism program will be joining the Ottawa Sun’s team of reporters on election night. "

We'll stop there and suggest a rewrite:

Ten second-year Algonquin College journalism students will join the Ottawa Sun's team of reporters on election night.

Sadly, wordy leads are not uncommon. We spotted another 40-word lead in the Toronto Sun yesterday. That reflects a lack of experience and apathetic editors.

Meanwhile, back at the thinning Ottawa Sun newsroom . . .

The 10 j-students will be "collecting quotes from the winners and losers" and assisting with data sorting.

Is that the old school spirit on Sun Media's part, or is it taking advantage of cheap labour?

Mike Jenkinson, media blogger and former Edmonton Sun staffer, fondly remembers his journalism student days with a similar assignment.

"I was part of a group of students from Carleton University's J-school program who did similar work for the Ottawa Citizen on the night of the Charlottetown Accord referendum.

"The paper sent us out to collect vote counts and quotes when the polling stations closed and report them back to the newsroom over the course of the evening.

"It was good, basic reporting experience in a real-world situation - and a fun night, as well."

Thanks for the e-mail, Mike.

So it's a win-win situation for students and the newspapers.

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