March 30, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 94  

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Journalism students hit big time

By Dan Perry
Gazette Staff

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 media studies.

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 said.

“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.”



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