Celebrating 50 years of quality journalism

The Journalism – Mass Media program is celebrating 50 years of excellence.

The first issue of the Durham College (DC) Chronicle was published in November of 1973. Over the ensuing decades, the world of journalism has experienced a number of seismic shifts, and the Chronicle has kept pace. What started as a printed campus newspaper has grown into an online platform that incorporates social media, Riot Radio and YouTube. But what hasn’t changed is the hard work of the award-winning students and professors who deliver the news from campus and the surrounding community with accuracy and integrity.

“This year is a chance to celebrate that we are still here, and that journalism is still very much alive and it’s still really important to democracy,” said professor and program coordinator Danielle Harder. “A lot of the world thinks journalism is in decline, but we like to think we’re just changing with society. We’re still telling the same stories; we’re just changing the ways in which we tell them. We’re telling them with more context and on new platforms.”

The internet may have irrevocably changed the old media landscape, but it has also created limitless opportunities for those with the skillset an education in journalism can provide. Graduates aren’t relegated to jobs as reporters or broadcasters anymore.

“Our students take the skills they learn from us and apply them in really interesting ways. We have students who go out and work in communications, and others who create social media content. We have some who write reviews for video games,” she said. “We’re teaching how to tell stories, how to think critically, how to ask questions that get to the truth.”

The 2023-24 school year will feature a number of special events to commemorate the Chronicle’s semi-centennial:

  • A series of panel discussions will highlight important issues, beginning on Tuesday, September 26 with ‘Indigenous Voices in Journalism.’
  • At the campus Library, a microfiche machine will allow for perusal of copies of the Chronicle from throughout its history.
  • During Social Justice Week in January, professor and writer-in-residence Alvin Ntibinyane will discuss the importance of equity in journalism, while librarian Trish Johns-Wilson and students from the program will promote digital literacy and provide tips on how to critically analyze information and navigate online platforms.

There are also plans for a panel discussion involving graduates of the program who have gone on to exceptional careers.

All of the successes the program and its students have enjoyed over the last 50 years wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the campus community, according to Harder.

“We would like to thank people for supporting our students on campus as they learn to become journalists. We have really appreciated the support of leadership, faculty and staff.”

Stay tuned for more information on this year’s anniversary events to learn how DC’s homegrown journalists are leading the way.