CFN – I bumped into St. Lawrence College Dean Don Fairweather yesterday. The mild mannered gentleman and I caught up, and I was saddened to discover that no new students will be admitted to the journalism program as it will be folding.
The current class of students will be the last. We exchanged a few words and I suggested that it was the school’s failure to grasp the current conditions of Media and offer up skill sets that could lead to grads actually earning a living in journalism.
Program lead Terry Tinkess, and his instructors had been negative against CFN to the point of harassing the two interns from the program that briefly worked with CFN which has now entered the hallowed grounds of being in the top ten Independent Online Newspapers in all of Canada.
Instead of working with CFN and learning what we do that works Mr. Tinkess and his cronies would criticize CFN sending Journalism students to Art Galleries and museums to intern instead of the kids cutting their chops on real stories and creating a portfolio of real journalistic work. As a matter of fact the Journalism program was so weird that graduating students were being hired as instructors without really earning a living in the field!
I shared with the dean that our last “unofficial” student from his school, Amanda Cross, was bullied to the point that she has apparently given up on journalism and St. Lawrence College and shifted to Algonquin College in Ottawa; and that it looks like another bright young mind will be leaving Cornwall.
I felt bad for the Dean; but I feel worse for our community when a school like St. Lawrence College would play politics(the city kicks in $100K per year (approx.)to rent its auditorium. (Aultsville Theatre) to the detriment of itself and those that they are paid to serve.
Personally I think a Journalism & Communications program at St. Lawrence College could work if it were manned by good teachers that reached out into the current state of our industry. Sadly the school would rather mothball a program that implement it well.
What do you think CFN viewers and especially those that took the J program at St. Lawrence? You can post your comments below.