Journalism at Laurier Brantford
Journalism is about telling stories and those stories don’t always appear in traditional media outlets. Society is changing, and strong writing skills are highly valued by employers in diverse areas. The Laurier Brantford Honours Bachelor of Arts in Journalism is designed to not only provide you the skills to tell those stories, but also the background to understand them. Whether it is the ability to quickly assess a provincial budget and its political, social and economic impacts, or sharing the tragedy of a natural disaster that devastated a community, the ability to contextualize the facts and share the story is what journalism is all about.
Our program embeds the theory, history, and critical examination of professional issues of journalism within practical skills training. Committed to openness of thought and career paths, the program design doesn’t impose any one point of view or set of skills, but encourages students to develop their own sense of the world while exploring a variety of technical applications. In short, it recognizes that journalistic expression comes in many forms and that many paths lead to a successful career.
In practical terms, students will learn:
- how to develop story ideas
- how to find contacts and conduct interviews
- how to research background information
- the principles of electronic news gathering
- how to write various story forms, including investigative, narrative, explanatory and profile
- digital editing
- basic skills in layout, design and digital photography
- Unlike Journalism programs at other universities, Laurier Brantford’s Journalism program does not require a portfolio for admission. Instead, our program is designed to provide the foundation of skills required to build their professional portfolio while they are at university.
- In keeping with the program’s prime objective of enhancing complex thinking and integrating complex skills, students in fourth year put their theoretical knowledge and practical abilities in various media to work by completing a capstone project of a multi-platform nature. For example, an interactive web site featuring video, text, and audio and dedicated to reporting on a particular topic.
- The heart and soul of the Journalism program is the Journalism Guild. Guild members run the campus news room, produce clippings for professional portfolios, and host public events and guest lectures. Your Guild membership is noted on the Laurier Co-Curricular Record — an official transcript of your campus involvement that you can show potential employers. The Guild is the program’s cultural hub, giving students with highly individualized programs of study a sense of common purpose and a home base, no matter how unique your course load may be each year.
- Choose from four streams in the Journalism program:
- Print Journalism
- Media Technology*
- Public Relations*
- Emerging Journalism and New Media*
* Students attend Conestoga College in Kitchener in third year, and receive a diploma in their area of study.
- Sports Journalism
- News Photography
- Photojournalism: the Captured Image
- Public Speaking, Magazine Writing
|High School Admission Requirements||College Grade Admission Requirements|
4U English at 75%
Average in top 6 4U or M courses of mid-70's
4U English or college equivalent at 60%
Overall average upon graduation in mid-70's
Becoming a journalist requires a mix of curiosity, knowledge and the ability to ask the tough questions. But most importantly, it requires the ability to talk to strangers and share their stories with the world. It is that combination that Tara Hagan says makes it “the best job you could ask for. Each day, I meet new, exciting and interesting people, and I get to tell their stories.” Hagan was a member of the first graduating class of the Journalism program at Laurier Brantford. Immediately following graduation, she was named the 2008 Ontario Student Journalist of the Year by the Ontario Newspaper Association.
Currently a reporter at The Observer newspaper in Sarnia where she had worked as a summer student and during the holidays, Hagan says she’s “already had some pretty amazing experiences — from the adrenaline-rush of an emergency evacuation, to the star-struck meetings with rock stars at the annual Sarnia Bayfest concerts. I’ve interviewed everyone from John Tory to Bon Jovi,” she says.
Hagan was initially drawn to Laurier Brantford for the Contemporary Studies program, but when Journalism arrived, she was hooked. “I was already writing for the campus newspaper The Sputnik, and the following year I was named editor-in-chief,” she says. “That position, as well as my journalism classes — which exposed me to everything from court reporting, to broadcast, to news photography — definitely helped prepare me for my career.”