By Colleen Marasigan
Although he has been a journalist for 15 years, Shane Dingman says he owes a lot of his development as a writer to the Eyeopener.
Dingman began contributing to the paper in his first year of journalism school and stayed for another four years.
For him, the newspaper was a chance to continue doing something he loved. With students in Ryerson’s journalism program only getting their feet wet in print journalism in first year, then waiting until third year to pursue their specific interest, Dingman wanted to find a way to continue to develop as a writer.
“I did the Eyeopener to keep doing what I was doing and it was the best place to keep doing it,” says Dingman. “It was also a fun time.”
Throughout his four years of university, Dingman progressed from being a volunteer reporter, to the features editor, to the arts and life editor. Returning for a fifth year, Dingman then took on the role of editor-in-chief.
With experience trying to fill a news hole every week, along with editing articles, Dingman gained a lot of knowledge that he says has shaped who he is today.
For him, journalism is a continuous learning experience. As an editor for the Eye, Dingman learned a lot of the basics.
“Through an editing perspective it was hugely helpful. As an editor, you have to take a person’s story and copy edit. You have to ask yourself: does the writer know what the story’s about? That was hugely important.”
But besides the development, what else does Dingman remember?
For him, a series of articles that focused on the potential cancellation of Ryerson’s annual fashion show has left a mark on his memory. The stories included quotes on peoples’ reaction to the potential shutdown. Eventually the show was saved.
For Dingman, that felt like a huge success.
“It was incredible to be a part of that,” he says. “To show that information in long form, to make a change, and to know it was all me.“
From a volunteer reporter at the Eye, to an entertainment sector editor in a city just south of London, U.K., to the current technology editor at The Globe and Mail, Dingman has shown his progression.
For him, the Eye was Journalism 201.
“I think there’s definitely something to be said to do something you like to do over and over,” he says.
“Journalism is a craft, a profession, and a job, yes, those are all true, but it’s a practice as much as anything,” he says. “And that’s the Eyeopener. The Eyeopener is about practice, it’s about doing it over and over and over and about committing to journalism.”