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Keeping up with journalism’s drastic changes

North American journalism educators recently converged on Concordia to discuss the state of teaching
August 11, 2014
By Sara DuBreuil

Concordia's Department of Journalism
Concordia's Department of Journalism has trained journalists who reach millions of readers and listeners across the world daily.

Journalism is constantly evolving, which is precisely why Concordia’s Department of Journalism partnered with the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) to hold a “teach-in” event on August 5 in Montreal.

“Any time we have an opportunity to discuss new ways of approaching teaching, we jump at the chance,” says department chair Brian Gabrial.

The event was held on Concordia’s Loyola Campus and brought together professional journalists, representatives from the Scholastic Journalism Division of the AEJMC, educators and student media to discuss teaching in secondary and post-secondary journalism programs.

“The theme was inspiration, motivation et déjeuner,” says event organizer Jeffrey Browne of the University of Colorado. “The focus was to inspire and motivate educators and to give fresh ideas on how to teach journalism at universities and at CEGEPs.”

The AEJMC is one of the largest journalism organizations in North America and works to promote high standards of journalism education. The teach-in kicks off the AEJMC’s annual conference, which is held in a different city each year. 

The partnership between Concordia and AEJMC has wrought mutual benefits. Browne says the AEJMC chose to partner with Concordia because of the university’s thriving journalism department, while Gabrial says he was happy to hold such an important journalism event and to make connections with the AEJMC.

“It is important for our university, as the only English journalism program in Quebec, to gain visibility with the AEJMC,” he says. “We have a great journalism department, so it’s important that people are aware of our program and our academics.”

Concordia also sent student ambassadors to the conference to help show participants around and to answer any questions they had about Concordia and Montreal. Katarina Koleva, a master’s student in the journalism program, says that the conference was a great opportunity to meet other journalists and to share their experiences.

“The AEJMC conference was a great place for Concordia’s Department of Journalism to be introduced and to position itself among North American academic institutions that are passionate about journalism,” she says. “I was proud to share that Concordia’s journalism program has trained a great number of journalists reaching millions of people every day.”

The event began with a keynote address on the history of the press, its role in keeping government in check and how that role has shifted with new technologies. Throughout the day, there were eight sessions that covered a range of topics, including student-press freedom, developing compelling story ideas and how to tell them over multiple platforms.

“The day was outstanding,” says Calvin Hall, head of the Scholastic Journalism Division of AEJMC. “The sessions were very informative and covered everything you’d want to know as an educator or someone involved in student media. The people who presented were great and the topics important.”

Learn more about Concordia’s Department of Journalism.


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