St. Lawrence College in Cornwall Ontario to Fold Journalism Program by Jamie Gilcig

jg2CFN – 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.

Amanda covering city council.   LINK  Covering and interviewing the band HELIX  LINK

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.

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  1. so sad to hear another program cut from as if the citry is trying to quiet the view of new minds out there trying to make a point . Here we are trying to keep young poeple from leaving town yet we have a great college that keeps cancelling courses sending young minds elsewhere. On a brighter note congradulation Jamie for making it on the top ten list of independent online canadian newspapers.

  2. Nothing good to say on the issue ADMIN so I will instead congratulate you on your own achievement !

  3. Author

    Thank you David. I just shrug my head sometimes over how far this conspiracy stretches….

  4. Amazing how much conspiracy you can make up out of your own little mind.

  5. When a college starts to cater to agendas rather than business needs it’s time to shake things up. It’s regrettable that the journalism class has to suffer from the small minded and petty attitude of those that would want to manipulate the media through the students.

  6. First of all, the program coordinators name is Terry Tinkess, and from what I have been told, the program is NOT going to be cut. Although there had been discussions about it, there seems to have been an increase in enrollment and the program at this point, will continue.
    I personally know Terry Tinkess, and he is anything but a bully. It looks like the bully here is you, Mr.Gilcig. Funny how I see no quotes from anyone in your article. I am a graduate from the journalism program. My placement was with a reputable newspaper and I know for a fact that so were the other students in my class. I now work at a reputable newspaper in Cornwall. You sir, are misinformed.

  7. Author

    Diane not sure if you read the story; but the closure came from Dean Don Fairweather who I imagine is an acceptable source to any student of Mr. Tinkess.

  8. The reputable (ouch my ribs) newspaper that Diane refers to as a workplace, is the S-F.

    An example of that publication’s work caught my eye today…

    “A new era is being created at Cornwall’s Eastcourt Mall, and shoppers and storekeepers at the retail facility are eager to embrace the changes as that new era takes shape.”

    Unless this is some Onion type satire or parody of small town news reporting, the author might consider a return to school, or seek out a publisher that employs an editor.

    And while T.T. may be a writer, he is no journalist… not judging at least, by the number of construction, demolition, development, real estate, and municipal government scandals he choses to sit on rather than report.

  9. I am very sorry Dianne ” I now work at a reputable newspaper in Cornwall. You sir, are misinformed.”

    You madame are working for a news organization that has lost its way

    In very recent history the SF made a slur against First Nations people…then to make matters worse..issued a half hearted apology and never fully explained their error..shamefull conduct..the sunmedia way… cover yourself legally..sad

    From a recent news story..that talked about potheads…thats opinion…NOT NEWs
    Former city hall reporter Cheryl would cover a story…then give her personal views on her blog…a huge no no…for a real professional journalist.

    From the resume of the program director…I have been a retailer, a police officer, a log home builder, a sawyer, a journalist, educator and, through most of it, a photographer. While pursuing all these somewhat unrelated career options
    “Pay attention because things change quickly and get involved, because life is not a spectator sport.”

    I have an Honours degree in Journalism as well as a Master of Arts degree in Canadian Studies

  10. Recent “NEWS” story in Standard Freeholder

    New stores make mall patrons forget loss of Zellers in Cornwall

    A reader got 24 likes (a SF record) for pointing out these companies have few if any full time employees making it almost impossible to support a family on the low wages.

  11. Congratulations CFN! All the best in the future.

  12. Why not hire all those well spoken radio announcers at Corus Ent. to teach this class? We can all learn why one still needs his Mommy or how to be a tramp in 10 seconds or less each and everyday. We can learn how to talk stupid, fast, sound like idiots, pretend we are funny AND play Madonna and Brian Adams day after day and if we’re really lucky Shania Twain too (oh, they do that already).

    We can get paid enough money to cover rent and laundry soap so we can do laundry at our parents house. We can be part of Cornwall’s group of no nothings too. There you go. Corus Ent. providing laughter for decades and stupidity even longer.

  13. Many decades ago, would-be journalists worked as apprentices to veterans in the field. Back then, real journalists such as the late Edmund R. Murrow exposed political mischief . . . these days, we have any number of ‘journalists’ writing testimonials to attest the fine character of public officials. I would ask if they did their apprenticeship with PRAVDA, the news agency of the old USSR.

    Back in the days when real journalists exposed political mischief, even the US president could find himself having to account for his actions . . . as happened with Richard Nixon and the Watergate episode. Journalists from the Washington Post exposed some high-level corruption in the US Government . . . . resulting in Nixon having to resign from the US presidency.

    During the Vietnam conflict of several decades ago, new anchor Walter Cronkhite literally ‘told-it-like-it is” . . . that the US was NOT winning. During the USSR-Afghan conflict, Pravda tried to make heroes out of Soviet troops . . . except at times, entire Soviet converys seemed to disappear off the face of the earth in Afghanistan.

    Journalism is changing and has been changing for several years. I would question the sensibility of St Lawrence College officials for having introduced a propaganda, sorry, I mean journalism program in the first place, given the change that was under way in the world of the media. There is kind of free market in journalism . . . and perhaps changes being caused by that free market is closing newspapers and schools of ‘journalism’.

    Several year ago, I did assignments for the Hearst media group . . . they stopped publishing daily newspapers in several large American cities, cities with many times the population of Cornwall.

    In this modern era, much training for journalism is easily available on the internet . . . both classical style journalism as well as the political-ass-kiss propaganda variety pioneered by one time German information minister, Josef Goebbels . . . and actually taught in many schools today.

    There is a market for the straight-to-the-point, expose-the-political-ass, tell-it-like-it-is style of reporting . . . . that is a style of journalism that very few schools of journalism teach these days. The other variety is far more well suited for people who seek a career as a communications officer in a public (or perhaps large private sector) organization.

  14. As a journalism student at SLc, clearly both the CFN and the College are taking things way out of hand and the drama needs to stop now. We are all adults here. I take journalism seriously and it’s a career I look forward to pursuing for many years to come. Taking the 2 year program I have learnt a lot whilst gaining valuable experience to prepare my self for the fast paced world of journalism. It seems quite evident that Journalism in general is a job field where not many young kids are very interested in, and because of that enrollment numbers are low in the 2 year program. I’m not really concerned about that because I will just end up having way more job opportunities. I am concerned about this article though, and the irony it shows. Who ever wrote it may need to enroll in the 2 year program his/herself to learn about the many obvious unprofessional mistakes in this publication.

  15. “CFN which has now entered the hallowed grounds of being in the top ten Independent Online Newspapers in all of Canada.”

    Says who? Source please.

  16. I graduated from the journalism program at SLC under the direction of Terry Tinkess – and I even know how to spell his name correctly!
    It was a brilliant program! It taught me journalism skills, photography skills, business, politics and computer skills to mention just a few.
    The teachers were all wonderful. I even remember a class on defamation, which you might want to brush up on.
    No program is perfect, and we each will take away different skills from a program.
    Life is what you make of it, as is school.
    Looking for the bright side is always much better.

  17. Everything in this article is true. I watched over half my class disappear. – But it was all the students faults we were told. The administration put it together like Frankenstein, yet never listened to student concerns. I was bullied from my time with CFN along with others and I had to literally secretly tape the dean in a meeting to get him to stay true to his word. I know my Prof. didn’t like that, liked it less when I told him he was the one who taught us that. Frankly, if I wouldn’t have, they would have tried to sweep it all under the rug. I would’ve been one of those students that just gave up. But I didn’t “walk off into the sunset” like I was told I was doing. I fought for my rights and I won. I wish others had as well.

  18. Author

    Thank you Joe. I know it’s difficult to do what you have just typed. I wish Amanda and others would step out of the shadows too. The only way to stop this from ever happening again is to out the bad guys (and girls).

  19. I said it before on CFN that SLC doesn’t have much time left to live and not only journalism but everything that there is being offered. I congratulate Amanda coming here to Ottawa to continue her journalism career and Algonquin is a mighty good college to boot. I have visited inside and a very good place to learn. I wasn’t there to learn – just to accompany some friends who were going to attend. Cornwall is only going to be a geriatric town and all what they are building and have built will be a waste. Young people cannot live in that kind of a setting and no life. I cannot live there at all and I am 62 years old. That would make me feel real bad that I am pushing closer to pushing up daisies and that would be mighty depressing of a life. No thanks I have to have life around me so as to have some hope of having some years of life left in me. LOL LOL. Your paper Jamie is interesting and a lot of good laughs for yours truly especially tonight. I needed the laughs to keep going strong. You are the best there is and that is the truth.

  20. Talking about the school, any word on the feasibility study on starting a local university? Maybe a French language J-program?

  21. Author


  22. Soon nothing will be left in Cornwall at all and even teachers are leaving Cornwall and living in Embrun, Casselman and Limoges as well as Ottawa, etc. All schools of all levels will be closed as well as everything else. Doctors will live in Ottawa and other cities and will just commute when needed. Cornwall is finished and anybody who cannot see it is literally blind. Cornwall has deteriorated so much that there is nothing left.


    Holy smokes! Give it a rest chicken little.

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