As journalism students at Carleton, we have the enviable yet sometimes frustrating duty of tracking down sources in networks we barely comprehend, so that our stories can be better-informed and more lively.
The task is often rewarding: I have talked with fascinating people, both in person and on the telephone, whom I never would have imagined meeting were it not for my choice of Masters program. As sources teach me every day, Canada is replete with fascinating, enlightening, and endearing people.
Sometimes, though, journalism students hit a wall. By conducting interviews, we interfere in people's daily lives. Our interruptions are sometimes welcome, but many potential sources are dismayed that we are mere students: they would prefer to give their messages to journalists who will disseminate them in "a real publication."
Enter The Graph News Magazine. Our class of 19 students has decided to put some coursework online.
This website joins our repertoire of foot-in-door routines. When we present ourselves to potential sources who may scorn students, we can pose as "real journalists." Also, we have less temptation to assure sources that we "won't be publishing this story anywhere," a self-demeaning habit which sacrifices real-life experience for better off-the-cuff quotations and, consequently, grades.
Furthermore, our clippings are legitimate: they have been published, and we can use them to apply for jobs in the ever-dwindling world of newspapers.
If you are curious about what kind of work we do as students, visit The Graph News Magazine at http://graphnews.ca. It is very sparse now, we have yet to determine which stories we ought to upload, and the style is far from finalized, but these faults are a testament to its shiny newness.
A link on the main page lets you subscribe to new posts. Do so to watch an entire journalism class learn the craft.