On October 15th there was a student journalist conference held at the University of Manitoba. The Manitoba Student Journalism Conference was organized by the Manitoban, the U of M’s student newspaper. This was the first time this particular event has ever taken place. I was one of the three Quill members fortunate enough to be able to attend.
The day-long conference went from 9:30 AM until 4:30 PM. Among the topics covered were: how to produce clean copy, dealing with communications people, How to file a FIPPA (Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act) request, ways to interview people, and more. Unfortunately, I could not go to every session because sometimes there were two running simultaneously.
In the session on how to deal with communications people I learned how to scrum. In Canada the scrum is a daily ritual at Parliament. Members of the press surround politicians as they exit the chamber of the House of Commons. The reason the scrum is a favored media interview tactic is because of its ability to draw out impromptu and controversial remarks. An example of one such comment is “just watch me” which was remarked to journalists by former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.
In the session on filing FIPPA requests, I learned about what a FIPPA is. According to the gov.mb.ca, FIPPA provides “a right of access to records held by public bodies.”
I found the sessions to be informative and full of great insight. I feel that I gained some valuable knowledge and useful skills in the world of journalism. I hope that The Manitoban makes this an annual conference so that others with an interest in journalism can also attend.