More than 40 students took part in last week’s panel talk hosted by The Medium discussing the past, present, and future of journalism.
Moderated last Monday by The Medium’s former editor-in-chief and current UTM Professional Writing and Communications instructor Robert Price, “The Medium Talks” featured panelists Karlene Nation, Justin Robertson, H. G. Watson, and Nick Kozak, who discussed the concept of journalism.
“Journalism is moving constantly and shifting how we see the news,” said Nation, a UTM alumna who has worked on-air with CTV News, when asked how a journalist is defined. “We have the shifting landscape where we have to broaden that definition to include this emerging new group that is coming up. Whether we call them journalists or citizen journalists, it will be up to people to define that, but it is shifting definitely.”
“The second you pick up a phone or send an email to check a fact or [when] you decide, ‘I want to look one step beyond,’ ” is when a person becomes a journalist, said Watson, who has previously reported for The Grid and the Daily Xtra and is currently the associate editor of J-Source.
Justin Robertson, a freelance journalist who has previously written for The Globe and Mail and The Walrus among others, added the importance of telling stories across varying platforms.
Kozak, a freelance photojournalist, provided his thoughts on what differentiates citizens from journalists.
“Fact-checking and making sure you’re getting to the truth to whatever degree possible is the real focus for the people working as journalists and photojournalists,” said Kozak, who also explained that getting the photo is just as important as fully engaging with the story.
When asked how students can enter the field, panelists provided their advice.
“It’s something that you’re always working on and hopefully getting better at,” said Watson, who described journalism as a craft needing to be developed. “I’m now on to my third job as a professional journalist and I still feel like I’m learning something new every day”.
The panel discussion, hosted in partnership with the Career Centre, UTM/TV, ICCIT Council, and UTM Scribes, was followed by a social reception in The Medium’s office.