Staying fearless in a dangerous time

staying fearless - the collector blog
Journalists will always have stories to tell.

Canadian journalists are going through difficult times in terms of employement.

Yesterday, Postmedia, Canada’s largest publisher of newspapers, cut 90 jobs as a result of merging newsrooms in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa. Affected journalists have been sharing their thoughts on Twitter.

From the business perspective, this kind of move might be viewed as a ‘smart’ way of operating newspapers under one editorial team. Taking care of budgets in the middle of a delicate economy might make sense.

In reality, it’s not a smart move at all from the content perspective.

Less staff will not be able to sell more stories. Solid teams are required to report relevant information, gain credibility and, hence, keep generating revenue. The industry depends on journalists to make all these things happen.

Journalists are the essence of the business, and they’re constantly leaving the newsrooms due to cuts.

True. Postmedia must pay debts right when the Canadian dollar is struggling; therefore, it costs more money to pay. Burning question: why is it smarter to fire 90 people than cut executives who desperately need $1M in bonuses?

On Nov. 27, 2015, CBC news published an article that reported details on those bonuses. Postmedia’s priorities and visions are clearly stated: $400,000 for CEO Paul Godfrey and $25,000 for National Post president Gordon Fisher. They both made the company’s acquisition of the Sun possible. That’s why they deserved a prize.

How about storytelling? Isn’t that the core of the business?

Today, one of my instructors at SAIT asked us, journalism students, to stay optimistic. He said that we need to keep developping skills in order to deal with difficult times. No doubt that it’s important to stay fearless.

My thoughts are with the talented journalists that were affected. Remember, dear colleagues, readers will always have an appetite for stories well told.

Alice

 

Photo credit: Gabriele Forcina at unsplash.com

 

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A story of art and entrepreneurship

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Jack Giesen – Calgarian artist, illustrator and designer

Jack Giesen, 26, is a Calgarian artist, illustrator and designer of indie science fiction and fantasy book covers. She has taken all of her talents to maximize their potential through entrepreneurship. Her parents were her first point of reference in aiming for an independent career, and her grandma inspired her to get into the creative world.

As for her name, it is what it is: Jack. Not Jacqueline.

The first steps

 She grew up in Saskatchewan and lived there until she graduated from high school. Because she was in a small town, she had to travel to a city on the weekends in order to take art classes.

“As soon as I graduated [high school], I was ready to go,” said Giesen. She recalls coming to Calgary in 2005 to take a pre-college program at The Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD). Then, she built a portfolio that was sent to several art schools. She got accepted to ACAD and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD).

Giesen decided to fly to Nova Scotia and begin a new journey far from the town where she grew up, which she didn’t like much. However, after a couple of years in that new program, she decided to leave.

“I left because they didn’t really teach any of the business side. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do afterwards, and I also wanted to run my own business,” she admitted.

So she went home and then returned to Calgary to work in the marketing and public relations field. Later on, she came across Royal Roads, a university in Victoria, B.C., where she is about to complete a bachelor in professional communications.

Read More »

Christmas spirit

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Zoolights – Calgary Zoo

I confess I haven’t felt the Christmas spirit in a while.

I don’t know. Other situations seem to be more powerful than taking the time to feel that spirit.

This year, the season is different.

It’s probably the first time that I’m excited about Christmas because I feel I’m part of new traditions.

I confirmed that at the Zoolights in the Calgary Zoo. I’m so grateful for being able to perceive all these new vibes in the air.

I’m loving every second of it.

 

What’s next for Calgary?

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Ken King talking about CalgaryNEXT

 

Last Tuesday I attended a press conference by Ken King, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Calgary Flames.

He came to SAIT Polytechnic to talk about the project CalgaryNEXT.

The objective of this project consists of a globally recognized centrepiece that will transform the way Calgarians live, work and play. At the same time, it will be a destination for world class events.

CalgaryNEXT is yet to be approved. King is explaining the plan to different publics including citizens, the government and companies. He’s convinced that this is the right time to propose this kind of project and make it a reality.

In that aspect, I admire his enthusiasm. It’s true that, right now, the economy crisis is critical in the province. It seems like there’s other issues with higher priority; however, in the long term, a project like this can bring great benefits in terms of employment, tourism and entertainment.

I’m curious to see how the project progresses.

 

Calgary Zoo Lessons

A couple of weeks back I visited the Calgary Zoo at night to enjoy Illuminasia, a lantern & garden festival presented by Sinopec Canada.

I was deeply impressed.

The concept captured cultural aspects of China, Japan and India through food, garden and art. All at night.

One would think that a zoo has a fixed schedule, and that there’s nothing to do at it after 8 pm.

That’s not the case here, and that’s fantastic.

I learned two lessons from that experience:

  1. Culture can be transmitted through creativity at a zoo. It’s not an exclusive thing from libraries or museums.
  2. Art is a way of expressing knowledge.

I love you, Calgary Zoo.

The Beakerhead Experience

I recently heard about Beakerhead and found it very interesting.

I truly believe that art and science can be combined, and it’s possible to do so through creativity.

Intrude, by Australian artist Amanda Parer, was the event that caught my attention because of its huge rabbits. I have a story on why it was important for me to capture that exhibition: it all started last month when my roommate and I spotted a couple of rabbits behind the building where we live. We both stared at them while they stared back completely frightened by our presence. I was amazed.

“Haven’t you seen a rabbit before?”, she asked. “Not in a city!”, I replied. Eventually, one of the rabbits jumped away to feel safer. I don’t blame him, we looked like giants in his eyes.

So when I saw these huge rabbits at Central Memorial Park, the roles certainly changed: now they were giants, and us humans were small. Imagine if they were for real…we would run away too, right?!

This is why Intrude is so brilliant. Humans and rabbits share some space in the city and it’s essential to learn to co-exist.

Here’s a few pictures I took with my brand new camera.

Let’s respect nature.

Alice