By Nannie Narcone
The Eyersonian recently obtained a press release indicating that an event occurred in June 2016, in the Rogers Communications Centre (RCC).
The event, held by the Ryerson journalism department, in partnership with the Digital Media Zone (DMZ) was called How to Be a Business Journalist, where panellists covered topics like innovative journalism, how to present yourself as an innovative brand, and the emerging importance of hyperlinks in a story.
“It’s all about the clicks,” said Joseph Toeseph, a print journalist. “I like to add as many links on a page as possible—otherwise how will people find the rest of the story online?”
Toeseph also made an “internet correspondent over quality content” joke and admitted that if it really came down to it, he would advise making every word a hyperlink and sacrificing real content for “the greater good.”
Representatives from student-based university publications chimed in, adding that although statistically, polls have determined that readers prefer interesting and attention-grabbing headlines, that they, even more, prefer to use a direct approach: a mundane headline and briefly glossing over any actual news.
“There’s not enough imagination with kids these days,” said Ryerson journalism department head Marty Stevenson. “The goal here is to create a generation that really knows how to think for themselves.”
According to the press release and a reporter from The Eyersonian who was present at the time, eager Ryerson journalism students gathered in the Venn last year to participate in various generic games pertaining to innovative journalism.
The games included PR-PR-journalist, a similar game to duck-duck- goose, but with public relations figures and journalists. The group also engaged in a game of “find the hyperlink in a haystack”—a game where students dive face first into a pile of hay blindfolded, situated in the middle of the Venn and find the print pages with hyperlinks on them.
The group gathered in the empty room, minus the hay, with a bunch of chairs and a bunch of tables. The room was similar to how the Venn looks now, only different because this was 2016 and things change in a year.
Toeseph kicked off the event with a PowerPoint of hyperlinks, and a question for the room—“Is Etobicoke considered the downtown core?” he asked, with genuine curiosity.
Genny Fadam, a third-year journalism student at the time, now in her fourth year—said the event was life changing, and that the information she retained that day has still stuck with her one year later.
“My favourite part was playing board games,” said Fadam. “I’m not sure what they had to with innovative journalism—I can’t remember, but bridge and bocce are my new favourite games.”
The event wrapped up with a talk led by Toeseph, who stressed the importance of building positive relationships in journalism, adding that rivalling publications should be kind to one another.
The Eyersonian spoke to Toeseph a year later, who has since resigned from his job as a print journalist.
“The panel was a year ago,” he said. “I’m not sure why you’re asking me these questions now.”
Since his resignation just four days following the panel, Toeseph found work in a PR firm called Timeliness, a job he admits he loves.
The second annual How to Be a Journalist panel happened three months ago in the Venn, according to a press release obtained over the summer.
More to come.