Skip to main content
Student profile

Gabriel Ellison-Scowcroft

Bachelor of Arts, 2015
Specialization in Journalism
Now pursuing a Master of Arts in History

“The confidence to call myself a journalist was the most important thing that I got out of the program.”

Experience in the field makes all the difference.

The Journalism program taught Gabriel Ellison-Scowcroft technical skills, confidence, and the importance of the almighty deadline.

What brought you to journalism at Concordia?

I worked for three months as a photojournalist for a newspaper in Cape Town, South Africa, my first experience with journalism. I knew that I wanted to continue to study journalism and to learn more about what being a journalist meant.

What was unique about your experience in the Journalism program?

For the last two years of my degree, I worked almost full-time at CBC Montreal as a researcher and a producer for some of their current affairs radio shows.

The confidence to call myself a journalist was the most important thing that I got out of the program.

What skills did you learn?

The fundamentals of how to write like a journalist, which involves knowing how to do many things: build a story, structure a pitch and approach editors. But you also learn interview techniques and ways of talking to people, and how to track down hard-to-find information.

In terms of broadcast media, you learn how to use technical equipment, how to create a news piece and how to catch and keep people’s attention using just sound.

Then, when you get further into the program, you learn how to apply those skills to more complex forms like literary journalism, the documentary format or weaving together several mediums to produce a multimedia project.

What are some hard-earned lessons you’ve learned during your studies?

The biggest one was getting used to the idea of the deadline. I think the deadline is sacred: you meet the deadline or you don’t — your story gets in the paper or it doesn’t.

The teachers at Concordia were all really good at simulating that in different ways. In one of my writing classes, we would go cover a town hall meeting and then you would have an hour and a half to write your story.

It was really intense but it really helped me to feel comfortable under pressure.

What advice would you give someone interested in journalism?

Spend a lot of time and energy writing. No matter what form of journalism you decide to pursue, the ability to write well is invaluable.

A big part of doing journalism for me was learning the importance of talking to people you might not otherwise talk to and learning about perspectives that you would otherwise not be exposed to. The program at Concordia really embodies that spirit.

Back to top

© Concordia University