Carleton University’s Journalism program began on Oct. 9, 1945, when its first class of students gathered in a small room in downtown Ottawa. Seventy-five years later, on October 9, 2020, the program will mark that by streaming a virtual celebration.

“In the era of COVID-19, we had to put aside our original plans for a gala, a major keynote address and a reunion of thousands of graduates,” said Allan Thompson, head of the journalism program and associate director of the School of Journalism and Communication. “But we didn’t want that key date to go by, when that first class was held in a rented space in downtown Ottawa. Since then, we have become the largest and best-known journalism school in the country.”

On Friday, Oct. 9, Thompson will be joined by Carleton President Benoit-Antoine Bacon and Brenda O’Neill, dean of the Faculty of Public Affairs, for a socially-distanced event at Knox Presbyterian Church in downtown Ottawa. Student representative Baneet Braich will speak remotely. The theme will be Carleton Journalism @ 75 – the Future of Journalism is Here.

A 1986 journalism graduate himself, Thompson and fellow alumnus Prof. Randy Boswell have collected numerous stories and photos from the journalism school’s history, which will be shared at the event and on a dedicated page.

“We have to strike a balance between celebrating and confronting the challenges we face,” said Thompson. “For one, the industry was already in a financial crisis. That is being compounded by the impact of COVID-19.”

Thompson plans to mark the 75th anniversary over the course of the coming year, beginning with the Journalism in a Time of Crisis Symposium on Oct. 22 and 23. The program will also host its annual lectures—the Kesterton and the Stursberg—as well as a speakers series on the state of journalism in Canada. The School of Journalism and Communication has also established the Future of Journalism Initiative (FJI). This initiative is a collaborative hub where journalists, academics and students work together and independently on innovative projects that further the collective knowledge and understanding of journalism practice.

Media Contact
Steven Reid
Media Relations Officer
Carleton University

Follow us on Twitter:
COVID 19 Updates:

Thursday, October 8, 2020 in
Share: Twitter, Facebook