Journalism programs offer student networking opportunities

A partnership between The Rotary Club of Whitby, The Rotary Club of Whitby Sunrise and Durham College (DC) – facilitated by snapd Whitby – has opened doors for journalism students to gain hands-on experience while sharing stories about the great work local agencies are doing for the community.

After joining the Rotary Club several years ago, Danielle Harder, journalism professor at DC, formed a public relations committee with fellow Rotarian and former long-time director of sales and marketing at Hertz Rent-A-Car, Geno Diraddo. She began writing monthly features for snapd in hopes of extending the Rotary Club’s awareness in the community and furthering the reach of their fundraising efforts.

Recognizing an opportunity to benefit both the community and DC journalism students, the Rotary Clubs began compiling a yearly list of stories they wished to highlight. Harder then assigns the stories to her students, helping them to find contacts and gain experience through the writing process.

“Writing for snapd gives many students their first byline outside of The Chronicle, DC’s student-run newspaper,” said Danielle Harder, professor of the Journalism – Web and Print and Journalism – Broadcast and Electronic Media programs. “It gives them the opportunity to strengthen their portfolio which means they are better prepared for the job market and it allows them to develop real world connections before they even graduate.”

This agreement between the Rotary Clubs, snapd – both located in Whitby, Ont., and DC has been ongoing providing numerous students with valuable hands-on experience and even presenting a former DC journalism student the opportunity to attend a Rotary youth leadership event.