A Little Bit of Journalism

by 38 Concordia graduate diploma students

Congratulations!

Congrats Dips! What an interesting year it has been. I hope you continue to post your work on this blog even when you’re off working and doing amazing things. Post links here so we can all see what you’re doing in TV, Radio, Print and Online.

Good luck in all your endeavours! I’m sure we’ll be seeing and your names and faces in media all over the world.

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April 16, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Moonshine: under the radar

A radio documentary about modern moonshining in Canada.

December 4, 2009 Posted by | People, Politics, Radio | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sailing Free

Now playing: jmvdono

A radio documentary about Paula Stone and the AQVA – L’Association quebecoise de voile adaptee – recorded on location at the Point Claire Yacht Club in Montreal

November 24, 2009 Posted by | People, Radio | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Soldier’s Perspective

This is my radio documentary on the experiences of three Canadian soldiers who went to Afghanistan at least once. There are some edits I’d like to fix, maybe on a rainy day when I have time!

Anyway, hope you enjoy!

November 7, 2009 Posted by | People, Radio | , , , | Leave a comment

Editing Speech as if it were Music

Over the weekend, I attended PodCamp Montreal, a social media conference. John Meadows gave a great talk about editing sound and I thought some would be interested in hearing it before jumping into our radio documentaries.

Listen to the talk.

September 22, 2009 Posted by | Radio | , , , , | 1 Comment

Jordan Poppenk – Firing on all Synapses

Somewhere between the heart and the brain lies the world of Jordan Poppenk, the multitalented host of The Green Majority (TGM), Canada’s only environmental news hour.

When not involved in radio, the 26 year-old kills time as a neurology PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, a passionate film critic, a cyclist and a swing dancer.  Poppenk’s near-crazed energy for life is enough to make the most self-assured person feel like a disappointment.

The list of his achievements would be maddening if not for his disarming character and his calming radio presence.  To know him is to be sucked into a whirlwind of eclectic activities.  “I’m interested in others’ knowledge and perspectives and so ask a lot of questions. I think people engaging on familiar terrain can put people at ease,” Poppenk said confidently, his charismatic personality complimented by a handsome, sincere look.

The contagion of Poppenk’s enthusiasm is what has made TGM such a success.  Now carried by 13 different Canadian radio stations and on the Internet, the show takes a refreshing look at the environment without becoming overbearing and preachy.  “Our programming is not activist,” he said.  “The Green Majority is a source of news and ideas, but not a campaign.”

While he enjoys cycling and maintains a soft spot for the Lindy Hop, Poppenk’s serious pursuits are decidedly cerebral.  As if taking cues from his neurological research, he uses radio in much the same way that the brain uses neurons: as a vector for information, a way to convey abstract ideas tangibly.

“Radio is personal, and ideal for engaging the imagination,” he said musingly.  “People tune in while they’re on their own doing laundry, commuting to work, times when they have the mind space to really listen and think things through.  Where else in the media landscape can you spend twenty minutes really getting to the bottom of an issue?”

As environmental issues gain steam, and heads become hotter, TGM is unique in the media, an industry innovator.  “Quite organically, we’ve attracted a theologian, scientists, a social justice advocate… all our correspondents are “expert” in their topic area,” Poppenk said.  “That’s surprisingly uncommon in mainstream journalism.”

And TGM runs with a minimalist, volunteer-based budget.  “People are there because they love radio and they’re passionate about the issues,” according to Poppenk.  “We have more fun.”

TGM is refreshing in its scientific, Quirks and Quarks-esque presentation, avoiding the sensationalism and polarized politics that sometimes creep into environmental programming.  “The findings tend to be pretty dramatic on their own,” said Poppenk.  “All we do on our program is give scientists a place to tell their stories and help listeners understand the impact of their findings.”

Even with a research background, though, dealing with the depressing reality of environmental news can be trying.  The usually steadfast scientist has had trouble dealing with the volume of bad news that can arrive at once.  “On those weeks it can be a struggle to put a positive face forwards, but I do my best,” he said

A career as a journalist has crossed his mind, but he said he feels happier volunteering on the radio while pursuing other studies.  “I think there’s a big opportunity for citizen-driven media to make strides in the coming years.”

Despite the incredible amount of effort it takes to produce TGM, Poppenk and company are fueled by a hope that their efforts go some distance to improve democracy in Canada.  He said, “it helps to have a program dedicated to education about green issues and current events – that’s our contribution”

His vision for the community-based stations from which he broadcasts is long term; “I hope to see growth towards community-media models, with listeners providing the substantial funding needed to keep an active news organization humming, and eventually, to fund full-time citizen reporters.”

“For the time being, I’ve found a way to contribute to the best of my ability,” said Poppenk, remaining humble about his own future.  “Regardless of how things turn out, that’s important to me.”

August 5, 2009 Posted by | People, Print | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment