Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The values of hard work - journalism style!

Life can get pretty hectic. Nowadays I'm trying to find time that isn't. But I like hectic. It means you're actually getting off your tuchus and doing something (or should I say many things). It's certainly a lot better than sitting around and doing nothing.

So far I've gotten a nice taste of life = hectic with the journalism program. I don't really realize until after I've done the work that I've just exhausted myself and that the robot in me needs to recharge. The work is tough but I enjoy it. The Ethics of the Fathers (Pirkei Avot) teach us that one should build an appreciation for work - a strong work ethic - no matter what the toil may be. So I do my best to weather the storm...

A lot has happened recently:

Last Thursday (October 30th), our class got to visit Toronto headquarters of the Canadian Press, or as my prof calls them : "Canadian media royalty." Two words come to mind from this trip:
Fascinating & Overwhelming.

Why fascinating? Whatever your occupation/niche/favourite hobby may be, imagine getting the chance to go visit the top producer/performer/institution of that field. Or just picture how excited the class nerd might feel when told his class was going on a field trip to the science centre/observatory (he'll need two big puffs of his inhaler just to regain normal breathing). That's kind of how it was for me. I was pretty psyched to go. Well maybe I'm over-exaggerating but as a wannabe journlalist, it was very cool to go see an all-out, top of the line newsroom. Next time I'll make sure I go to the washroom before the tour begins so I can actually give 100%, 100% of the time ;)

Overwhelming? Try this: While walking around the newsroom, my imaging professor pointed out the shower to us. That's right, the shower. These people work so hard that sometimes so much time flies by that you gotta freshen up @ some point. I wonder where they keep the cots? Beds would take up too much space and money.
I guess my point is that it seems like work is life to the people who work there. I'd be lying if I didn't say I was afraid of that notion. Then again, asides from putting money on the table (which I will soon make very clear in a later post IS NOT the ends to the work I do, its just another means to a greater goal), here's a setting where people have honed their skills to the point where they are capable of handling the over-bearing levels of work. And certainly they wouldn't be working there unless they didn't enjoy it (another important life lesson). Seeing those kind of qualities is something I can look at, admire and aspire to be able to maintain that kind of work ethic one day, G-d willing.

Speaking of working because they like it, that's exactly what award-winning reporter Dave Seglins said when he visited our class this past tuesday (November 4). Seglins is currently the anchor of the CBC Radio 1 national news program entitled, The World this Weekend, which airs every saturday and sunday night between 6-7pm. In the midst of our unit on covering crime and police, Seglins took the time to talk to us about some of the characteristics of that field and shared some of his own endeavours as well. I really got a lot of when he talked about some of the methods he used to get stories, such as word of mouth and following trends, which could eventually lead to massive stories. Take this one for example, he notices a recent trend that a certain type of car has been stolen frequentley over a certain type of time. Upon further investigation, the trend leads them to a huge scoop about a massive auto theft ring (front page material!!). It was of great benefit to hear from a pro and get an idea of how he gathers info and puts stories together.
That's Dave Seglins speaking to our class. See that head in the bottom right corner? C'est moi!

In the upcoming posts, I'll be talking about:
- a university I don't like, yet can't help but feel bad for (we'll see about that after tonight...)
- my first crime report - the actual report, and the cool story of how it landed in my lap
- everyone's new favourite person (or at least america's): Barack Obama (and some election editorial)

Class dismissed, time for recess!

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