Participating in the Fraser Institute’s Economics for Journalists program, and meeting and interacting with other reporters from across Canada, was an enriching experience, says columnist.

Column: Economic workshops provide national perspective

Earlier this month, I attended the Fraser Institute’s Economics for Journalists program in Toronto

Math has never been a strength of mine and neither has economics.

It’s this fact that is a big reason why I am in journalism and not accounting.

However, earlier this month, I attended the Fraser Institute’s Economics for Journalists program in Toronto, a three-day course designed to teach reporters the basics of economics, policy decisions made by governments, the impact those decisions can have and much more.

And I have to say, it was a lot of fun.

Each year the Fraser Institute holds these three-day program sessions in Vancouver and Toronto and only 25 journalists are accepted into either the Toronto or Vancouver session. It’s an all-expenses-paid program that many other journalists in Canada have attended, including some of my colleagues with Black Press.

So for three days, myself, along with 24 other journalists from across Canada learned about opportunity costs, sunk costs, primary and secondary choices, the laws of supply and demand, market clearing price, intended and unintended consequences of economic or policy decisions, property rights and other subjects.

Although the event is hosted and organized by the Fraser Institute, they brought in professors from the United States and Canada to teach the lessons. Some were more hands on – we played games that related to the material we were learning – while other lessons were more reviews of history and policy decisions made by governments.

Although everything was paid for by the Fraser Institute, the professors and organizers were clear that it was up to each individual to do what they want with it.

The most interesting part about the entire program, in my opinion, was the lessons around analyzing provincial or federal budgets. While I was hoping there would be more of a focus on municipal budgets, the tips I learned from this session were very helpful.

My biggest critique of the program was that there was more of a focus on history. While it is important, I felt that our time could have been better spent going over different ways to analyze budgets or other ways to ask questions related to economic data.

Although I learned a lot about economics and policy decisions and was given a different perspective, the most valuable experience, in my opinion, was meeting and interacting with other journalists from across Canada. It’s not often that I get the opportunity to meet and spend a few days with reporters from beyond the shores of Vancouver Island, so being able to spend time with journalists from across the country was incredibly enriching.

During the lessons, we asked questions about the material we learned and it was refreshing to hear other journalists in the room ask questions specific to their regions.

A few of us got together after the eight-hour sessions and hung out in Canada’s largest city together, talking about stories we’ve been covering or the challenges each newsroom is dealing with. Just hearing questions and different ways of thinking from other journalists was just as beneficial as any of the material I learned over three days in Toronto.

At the end of the day, my experience at the Fraser Institute’s program in Toronto was one I will not forget. I learned a lot, made some new friends and as someone who always wants to learn, grow and improve, my time in Toronto was absolutely worthwhile.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Truck convoy honouring Nanaimo boy who died after being struck by vehicle

Trucks left from Victoria and others joined along the way up the Island

Nanaimo women look for forward steps at march

Nanaimo Women March On held downtown on Saturday

Nanaimo candidate, premier address spec tax at B.C. NDP event

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

RDN board to vote on spending $150,000 for mapping software

ESRI Canada successful RFP proponent, RDN to vote as part of 2019 budget

Nanaimo’s École Hammond Bay school unveils new gym expansion

Larger gym can accommodate home games and assemblies

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Support pours in for Vancouver Island couple whose home was destroyed by massive blaze

GoFundMe page reached $10,000 in one day for soon-to-be parents

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found in Cowichan Valley

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

Most Read