Journalism students hit big time
By Dan Perry
Western’s journalism students will get a taste of the “real
world” this April, as their first foray into the small
screen airs on The New PL.
“This is the 14th year that this [program] has been
done, though it’s the first year I’ve done it,” said
Cliff Lonsdale, a professor in the faculty of information and
The master’s program in journalism at Western comprises
three terms over one year, Lonsdale explainedl; in the first
two terms, the students follow a varied curriculum, and choose
a print, radio or television specialization in the third term.
“This program is done by the people who are specializing
in TV. It’s their major for the term,” he explained. “They
have researched the stories and shot them from start to finish.
“I believe it’s the only one of its kind from
a journalism program in Canada,” Lonsdale added. The
show, a news magazine entitled 30 Minutes, will air at 7:30
p.m. on four consecutive Saturdays beginning Apr. 3.
The New PL’s director of community relations Kate Young
said she would point to 30 Minutes as a program with a long-standing
reputation for quality. “[The program] really gives the
graduate students a chance to spread their wings,” she
“These people are solid journalists,” Lonsdale
said. “By the end of this program [of study], these people
know what they’re doing. And some of these pieces are
quite hard hitting.”
Catherine Ross, dean of the faculty of information and media
studies, explained the value of the co-operative venture.
“It gives our students the opportunity to work in a
professional setting where they can use their skills. It’s
an opportunity to link practical, hands-on experience with
their academic work.”
Young noted the past success of the program. “Right
now, we are in the process of looking at all the documentaries.
We know that because of the calibre of the work in the past
few years that Cliff Lonsdale is able to teach the graduate
students what we need.”