The Future of Journalism at Trent

The Trent-Loyalist Journalism program needs a critical review. The idea behind the whole program is that students are able to acquire one experience through two very different styles of curriculum.

A university joint major paired with a ‘focused’ practical journalism skillset. Being a new program there are always speed bumps, but overall the current state of the program is laughable at best.

The constant changes lead to more students dropping out than staying in. Here are a few reasons why: Trent and Loyalist curriculums don’t mix well; the right hand often does not know what the left one is doing.

Learning to write critically and developing transferable skills is crucial to any Trent-Loyalist journalism student during their academic career. Starting at university made me a better writer. It forced me to think outside the box and apply difficult theories and concepts.

However, does that justify spending thousands of dollars traveling between institutions, where we could be investing in Trent’s rising media studies program? Trent-Loyalist students are currently required to move to Belleville for six weeks during their first two years at Trent.

It’s messy. When students are attending school in Peterborough moving to Belleville for less than two months it is impractical.

Would Trent suffer from having a dedicated journalism program? Arguably not.

Trent has a rich media background, boasting notable alumni such as Steven Stohn, Linwood Barclay and Don Tapscott.

Further, there is a little-known Trent Qnet-news Mac lab completely underutilised on the main floor of Bata Library. The most recent post was uploaded in 2014, not a single story has been posted since. In fact, students stumbling across it use the room more frequently than the journalism students it was intended.

Instead of supporting the facilities Trent already has to offer, students are placed in the crossfire between two administrations. By having one school running the program you could avoid mass confusion. Each year the program has changed so drastically that I have been left feeling like a guinea pig.

We don’t have any input on what Loyalist does.”

Trent hasn’t spoken to us about your credits.”

We don’t know.”

These are just a few responses I have received from academic advisors, teachers and counsellors upon raising concerns pertaining to the program.

Students are dropping this program. My year began with 40 students and we now have a grand total of seven.

I would argue that these students did not drop because they did not wish to study journalism, but rather because of the plethora of hurdles we are forced to navigate in order to complete this program.