Debate Magazine

Reporting Back on Rising Stars (it Ain’t Easy)

Posted on the 01 February 2011 by Fcarletti
Reporting back on rising stars (it ain’t easy)

Oh, the subjectivity of taste! Image by Arty Guerillas on Flickr

Forget comparing apples and oranges, I’ve been trying to rank fruits of all flavours – and it’s not going so well.

Last week I took a very unscientific approach to answering (what seemed like) a simple question from my first year undergrad students.

They wanted to know the names of emerging journalists to watch, and perhaps emulate. And I wanted to do something other than list off the young superstars I, personally, have come across. I decided to ask my peers to submit their suggestions — you know, to broaden the sample — and assumed it would be nooo problem to highlight deserving candidates from there.

Well, to begin with, I received many more suggestions than I had expected. Then, after checking so many links to their great work I thought, “Seriously? How am I ever going to select from here? They’re all so delicious!” (Sorry, I’ll drop the fruit metaphor now.)

While pondering, I got a topical email from Sun Media’s William Wylie who rightly suggested that comparing the careers of individual young journalists may be a little misleading.

“It’s a competitive and changing industry, but there is room for everyone who works hard,” he wrote. Even though he put forward a few favourites, he was careful to qualify:

Everyone’s path to success is unique, depending on their drive, passions and
particular areas of interest. On your site right now are friends of mine
(Erin Millar, Sarah Millar, Nick Taylor Vaisey) and colleagues (Chloe Fedio,
Eric Szeto). But each of them are successful in their own particular way.

.. Those who succeed are those who are willing to pursue their passions, take chances and pursue opportunities where they present themselves.

I think William is right. Perhaps it would be more fruitful (ack – sorry) to continue forward in a different way.

So, we know all the people I highlighted last post are highly regarded by their peers, and are very likely to make their mark in this industry. What we don’t know is how they would answer the following question:

“What advice would you give to a first-year undergrad who’s thinking of getting into journalism?”

Over the course of this week I will attempt to collect answers from the very successful (and very busy!) reporters who were recommended. I think this filter will be much more meaningful than any arbitrary attempt I can make at further narrowing the nominees.

The beautiful thing is the array of perspectives we’re likely to gather.

Some of the nominees discovered their love of journalism through the student press, others sought master’s degrees in the profession, and still others sort of wandered into this thing after waking up in a newsroom holding an empty bottle of scotch. (Not so unbelievable, is it?)

Fret not – I’ll still post what I come up with. For now, enjoy what follows.

Reporting back on rising stars (it ain’t easy)

Image by theseanster93

The fruits of their labour: exemplary work by emerging journalists
(Sorry! I couldn’t help it! Okay, seriously, no more fruit jokes ...)

These are some sample works by young journalists, which were sent to me by their peers.

Truth be told: I got a little overwhelmed when putting together the photo gallery in the previous post, so some of these journalists are not yet pictured. Also, this is not the full list of samples I received. I’m going to keep adding to both posts in my spare time. For now, enjoy what I have managed to post!

Oh, and THANK YOU to everyone for taking the time to help me with this insane little project. Enjoy!

  1. Ghana: Digital Dumping Ground PBS Frontline (video)
    By: Team from UBC journalism, including Jodie Martinson and Allison Cross
  2. Suicide Notes Ryerson Review of Journalism (print feature)
    By: Liam Casey
  3. Downtown shoppers paying a premium for groceries OpenFile (print + interactive map & scribd document)
    By: Leslie Young
  4. A relentless hunt for elusive clues in 1973 slaying The Toronto Star (print)
    By: Robyn Doolittle
  5. Ontario athletic scholarship gender gap probed CBC Ottawa (print + interactive map)
    By: Lucas Timmons
  6. G20: Police given extra powers OpenFile (print)
    By: Bethany Horne
  7. Brouillette lays down the law for Als CFL.ca (print)
    By: Arden Zwelling
  8. The HST Monster Pique News Magazine (feature, pdf)
    By:Jesse Ferreras
  9. In This Class, Everyone Gets an A+ Maclean’s on Campus (print)
    By: Karen Pinchin
  10. Human trafficking and Hamilton’s Hungarian connection The Hamilton Spectator (print + slideshow + family tree)
    By: Nicole O’Reilly
  11. Mr. Tree Alberta Views (multi-part magazine feature)
    By: Jeremy Klaszus

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