By Janina Stajic
Thanks to a nudge from students and a lot of work by Vancouver Island University’s creative writing and journalism faculty, VIU is offering a minor degree program in journalism.
Up until now, if students took journalism courses, their degrees didn’t reflect that, instead showing a more general certification of bachelor in creative writing.
“Over the years students questioned us about getting a journalism credential, as many wanted to pursue careers in the field and felt their degrees should reflect that they’d studied journalism,” said Rich Dunstan, instructor in the department. “But it was former student, Wawmeesh Hamilton who really encouraged us to pursue creating this minor.
“Hamilton now works for the Alberni Valley News and he e-mailed me after he graduated, to say ‘you guys can and should offer a minor in journalism’.”
With Hamilton’s encouragement and support from faculty, Dunstan researched what would be required to set up the program.
“It was a fairly complicated process, but with all of us working together we managed to put together the necessary elements,” he said.
The courses in the program draw on the expertise of faculty and cover a variety of topics including: news writing and research, online magazine production, writing feature articles, and a course run by the media studies department on making the news.
The school was already running all these programs but now they’re packaged together to allow students to get their minor in journalism credential.
To find out more about VIU’s minor in journalism, please go to www.viu.ca/crew/ or call Dunstan at 250-753-3245, ext. 2110.