Bridging to MJ

Bridging students Joelle Seal and Busayo Osobade.
Bridging students Joelle Seal and Busayo Osobade.

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Our Bridging to Master’s program is an intensive preparatory year for students who have an undergraduate degree, but not in journalism. It gives you all the base skills you need to successfully create a graduate-level journalism project in the second year of studies, and to thrive as a professional journalist on graduation. It’s also an excellent choice for international students who may have a degree in journalism, but would like experience in a Canadian context, including a 13-week internship in a Canadian newsroom.

From the very first day of class, you'll learn how to gather and report stories that matter. You'll learn how to conduct yourself ethically and do excellent research, which are the foundations of journalism. In class, you'll discuss what's going on in the world, and how journalism can make a difference. Our instructors will work with you to master the technical side of journalism as well, including publication design, posting stories online, taking great photos, operating broadcast cameras and more. Through coursework and a paid summer internship, you will gain the foundational knowledge and work experience you need to excel when you enter the MJ program.

The Fall semester begins with ethical studies and basic research, interviewing and reporting skills in print, broadcast and online. In the Winter semester, we move it up a notch, introducing investigative journalism, current affairs broadcasting, elective studies in journalism topics and photojournalism.

During the Winter semester, you and your classmates will run the campus-community online news site Ink Online, and have your radio work aired on CJTR community radio. You will also complete a current affairs television show.

During this semester, you will also formally apply for admission to the MJ program, conditional on successfully completing your summer internship and maintaining a minimum 70 per cent CGPA as a Bridging student.

In the Spring-Summer semester, students fan out across the country for their internships, returning in September to begin the MJ program.

To be eligible, a student must have an undergraduate degree with an academic average of at least 70%.

The annual application deadline for Bridging students is Feb. 15.

Please follow the instructions under the 'Apply' menu item.

FIRST SEMESTER

JRN 300 Introduction to Print Journalism

Students will study and practice newsgathering fundamentals and principles in reporting for daily and weekly newspapers and their websites. Focused on information gathering andclear, complete, accurate and fair story writing to deadlines, this course covers the essentials of headline writing, page layout and editing according to the Canadian Press style guidelines followed by newspapers across the country.

JRN 301 Introduction to Broadcast Journalism

Students will study and practice newsgathering, writing and reporting for the broadcast news format of radio and television. A focus on the development of broadcast specific skills enables students to better understand and communicate daily events and issues of public importance.

JRN 302 Rights and Responsibilities of the Journalist

Students will take a critical look at the social role and ethical responsibilities of the news media. An introduction to journalistic responsibilities and legal parameters.The course covers court reporting, use of images, libel and slander, protecting sources, etc. It focuseson understanding the rights of the journalist, including freedom of expression, access to information and the justice system.

JRN 303 Research Techniques for Journalists

An introduction to well-researched and well-told reporting the course covers building a research file, research sources and tools, libraries and archives, fact checking, placing facts within narrative structure, engaging and informing the reader, using research to enhance descriptive power, and analyzing and translating complex information for a mass audience.

JRN 304 Foundations of Interviewing for Journalists

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of conducting a successful interview. It focuses on developing interview techniques and style, accurate note-taking, the process of re-telling people's stories, placing interviews within narrative structure, handling ethical dilemmas, active listening, understanding memory and human psychology and the analysis of live and taped interviews.

SECOND SEMESTER

JRN 305 Intermediate Print Journalism: The Multimedia News Room

Students continue their study and practice of newsgathering and writing for daily news, in print and on the web with in-depth reporting on current issues. The focus shifts to beat coverage, print and web production, preparation of features, backgrounders and analysis pieces and ethical and style guidelines for news. Topics covered include a critical study of the policies and ownership patterns of Canadian daily and weekly newspapers and a review of examples of excellent investigative journalism, models of excellence in print journalism are analyzed, examined and debated.

JRN 306 Intermediate Broadcast Journalism in a MultiMedia Environment

Students continue their study and practice of newsgathering, writing and reporting for radio, television and multimedia newsrooms. The focus shifts to longer form broadcast reporting, with specific attention to the skills needed to fit in-depth analysis and commentary of public issues into a variety of broadcast formats ranging from talk tapes to mini documentaries.

JRN 307 Investigative Journalism

The history and social role of investigative journalism is examined. Students will explore investigative tools and techniques, including accessing public information, approaching and interviewing hostile sources, computer assisted reporting, online resources, ethical pitfalls, journalistic numeracy, avoiding legal problems, ensuring accuracy, fact-checking and security.

JRN 308 Contemporary Issues in Journalism

This course explores contemporary threats to journalistic freedom and excellence, including: media concentration; commercialization; systemic bias; war, media-violence and crime reportage; panic campaigns; job-insecurity and self-censorship and; the vast apparatus of manipulation and disinformation. Each of these problems involve threats to fairness, accuracy and professional credibility in reporting. They also pose a clear and present danger to independent thought and action, the bedrock of a democratic society.

Plus one 300 level journalism elective.


THIRD SEMESTER

JRN 400 Internship

The internship spans a period of three to four months to be served in the field in a work/study capacity. Students select prospective internships and are interviewed for placements with media outlets. However, final decisions on placements are at the discretion of the School.Students must accept placements as assigned. Internships are offered in the Summer semesters.