CORNWALL Ontario – St. Lawrence College Cornwall campus put to death its journalism program officially.
While not surprising, it’s a sad tale that shows an ineffective, and ignorant side to the college which refused to embrace the realities of the very industry it was supposed to be training people to enter.
Most of the blame has to be squarely leveled at Cornwall Campus Dean Don Fairweather.
Francis Racine reported in Le Journal de Cornwall:
Done are the days where curious soon-to-be journalists could be seen throughout Cornwall, in search of a good or interesting story. Gone is also The Point, the only newspaper to cover news at the College. “Every time a program ceases to operate, it creates sadness,” explained the dean of the College, Don Fairweather. But the college is a business. When a program isn’t profitable enough, we have to shut it down.”
But it was Dean Fairweather himself that refused to work with CFN which when started in 2009 has been cutting edge in the industry which would give students the skills that could actually lead to jobs in the industry. CFN itself has led its market since early 2012 yet the Dean and his team refused to allow us interns from the school, ( students were sent to private businesses over the largest media outlet in the region) essentially refused to advertise or work with CFN, and instead had teachers of journalism that actually included one of its grads who never really had worked much in the industry. One of its former teachers complained that CFN was too much TMZ. It should be noted how many are employed by TMZ when considering such a statement….
It also focused on long gone principle’s of print media and did not adjust to the realities of the online industry including elements such as blogging.
Mr. Fairweather is also on the board of directors of where CFN banks and sure enough, they also boycott the newspaper even though we have the audience, demographics and value compared to where they do advertise.
Sadly in 2015 there is a huge demand for future journalists that can adapt and work in the changing medium and changing demands for journalism. Shooting video, photos, working live, and social media are critical for successful journalists today.
Dean Fairweather did not respond or comment to this story.