Since starting at Shootin’ the Breeze as a summer student in 2020, I have fallen in love with all things journalism and decided to study it at Carleton University. This summer marks the end of my first year and I look forward to sharing all of my jaunty journo-jargon with you, dear reader.
So like any good journalist, let’s start with the facts. Carleton University, then Carleton College, was founded in 1942 in an effort to promote formal education through the Great Depression.
The school introduced the country’s first bachelor of journalism program in 1945, in part as an opportunity for returning soldiers. The very first class held only five students — three women and two men.
The program started with a heavy focus on print news but has since evolved to provide formal education on the many methods and media of delivering news.
My draw to the university was the department’s emphasis on opportunities and experiences, and its long course list of seemingly every different method and angle of journalism.
Now, if you’ll indulge me, let’s sit down with our pens and typewriters handy and talk about what you learn as a student of journalism. History is a fun tool for most things, so I’ll take you to the beginning.
With the Renaissance came the new desire for knowledge, literacy, art and wealth, and with the printing press came big strides toward achieving such things. The world saw the codification and standardization of languages, as well as progress to widespread concepts of communication and the spread of knowledge.
The notion of newspapers followed. As the need for mass communication grew, printing became the solution for efficiently producing large quantities of media and printed newspapers emerged in the 1600s.
Growing literacy promoted these historical developments and newspapers became essential for informing the masses of relevant events and issues.
Just as you may have read Shootin’ the Breeze articles on Covid-19, newspapers were responsible for reporting the small-pox epidemic.
And like books sparked religious reformations, newspapers sparked political reformations. Political change has often been measured as the changes in the ways in which people exchange ideas, and newspapers offer a forum for information and opinions coming from the people, rather than from power.
News also grew as an important democratic player. The “Fourth Estate” emerged when the media began to have a place in democratic structures in their efforts to keep the public engaged and involved.
Today, you might look to your local paper for the latest on big events and political controversies, but also for the latest on your neighbours and the community you call your home.
In journalism school we talk about all the ways our practice has changed, along with all the ways it has stayed the same.
At Shootin’ the Breeze, we want to share knowledge and community connections with you — to see you in the past, report to you in the present and walk with you into the future.
Right now, you might be holding our print paper in your hands, staring down at an email link, or reading on the Breeze website. No matter how you choose to be with us, we’re happy to share our journalism with you, and I’m happy to share all this jaunty jargon with you as your local journalism student.