UBC j-school students have fanned out globally taking up their internships in journalistic organizations from the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. to The Victoria Times Colonist, Reuters Hong Kong to The Times of India in Bangalore, Toronto Life, theTyee.ca and the Vancouver Sun.
No question it’s been a tough year for interns. The challenges facing the industry as a whole have filtered down to interns with the result that paid positions are difficult to find. But the students are adaptable, self motivated, organized and proficient across platforms.
Their work is much appreciated in the newsroom. Just this week I received an evaluation from Monica Tanaka’s (‘10) supervisor. She’s been working at CBC radio’s science program Quirks and Quarks. The feedback was beyond encouraging. Here’s Executive Producer Jim Handman: “Well, another outstanding UBC winner for us. I think that makes it about eight in a row!”
But that’s not all we did in science journalism. Amelia Bellamy Royds (‘10) has been at TheTyee.ca (which just won a Canadian Journalism Foundation award for excellence; the first online publication to do so) and she’s been on the leading edge of the ‘shortage of isotopes’ story with her recent story The Little Reactors that Couldn’t.
Amelia reports that not only did TheTyee.ca get a letter of congratulations from a nuclear researcher at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sandia Laboratories but she was interviewed on CKNW about her research.
There have been other chances to do in-depth journalism. Rosemary Keevil Fairburn (‘10) reports that the North Shore News, a small community newspaper in North Vancouver run by top-notch journalists is providing her with great learning opportunities. Recently she wrote a feature on Lions Gate Hospital .
News from farther afield came from Karen Moxley (‘10) who has been working at the Times of India in Bangalore. Karen is having an experience that will last a lifetime.
She told me in an e-mail that:
My greatest highlight so far was a story I was working on yesterday. I traveled to a slum just outside of Bangalore to meet with young women who recently completed a “life skills” course run by a local NGO. The aim of the course is to prepare unemployed and largely uneducated women (18-25) for paying jobs in retail. The story about these youth will be featured in the Times of India. On Sunday there is always a column called Sunshine Schemes highlighting a good news story in and around Bangalore.
Aaron Tam (‘10), a photojournalist, has been working in Hong Kong for Reuters. He was assigned to cover the huge demonstrations that took place in Victoria Park in Hong Kong marking the twentieth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. His recent photos provide a fascinating look at this and other stories.
I look forward to sharing more news and stories as the summer rolls on.