Busy days: graduating journalism school, interning at The Vancouver Courier

Bringing a new baby into the planet while grinding out the final stretch of Langara College’s journalism program has been an epic challenge, and regrettably I haven’t been able to post in some time. But now that I’m interning at The Vancouver Courier  it’s a perfect opportunity to share some experiences of writing and shooting for a major media outlet.

My first day was a tad daunting. It was a gloomy Monday in rainy Vancouver and I was mentally drained after finishing a 3,000-word article the night before on the growing trend of people preparing for the end of the world. (Stay tuned as I try and get it published.) Exhausted, I had to quickly adapt to the idiosyncrasies of the Courier newsroom and its staff in addition to the dated equipment they use.

My first published article in The Vancouver Courier was about this proposed 49-storey tower that would reshape the city's skyline.

But even while feeling like a fish out of water, I was able to crank out an article on a proposed tower at the north end of the Granville Bridge that twists from a triangle into a rectangle. The news was two weeks old, but I tried to get latest on where the proposal stood and how the project could set a precedent for future development in the city.

No one answered my calls in the first two hours, but thanks to enduring a class referred to as “Daily Death” where we had to bang out complex news stories in three hours, I was able to reach a city councillor and prominent Vancouver architect and meet my 3 p.m. deadline. (Our instructor Frances Bula often brags about a previous student who had a blood vessel burst during the class.)

Haida carver Clarence Mills is working on a rare 360-degree totem pole made from a 800-year-old cedar. (Photo by Jared Gnam)

My second story, about a Vancouver Haida carver crafting a totem pole from an ancient cedar that fell in Stanley Park, went a little smoother. I was able to get in touch with carver Clarence Mills right away and take photos for the Courier, which are featured in a mini-gallery with the online story.

Vancouver's top cop Jim Chu shows off the new poster aimed at nabbing more suspected Stanley Cup rioters. (Photo by Jared Gnam)

After a day-and-a-half of writing, the rest of the week was pretty slack. I mostly tagged along with photographer Dan Toulgoet and helped with gathering photos.  I was sent on an assignment to shoot a press conference held by the Vancouver Police Department to promote a new poster campaign aimed at capturing more suspected Stanley Cup rioters. City reporter Mike Howell wanted to focus on the volunteers in his article, so I grabbed a shot of a man handing out the posters to the crowds.

Also, I was assigned to shoot a girls basketball game. I was stoked to see a dozen of my photos were published in an online gallery.

B.C. AAA high school girls basketball championships held at Capilano University. (Photo by Jared Gnam)

Well, that was the first week, and I’m excited to see what next week brings. I will pitch stories tomorrow on topics ranging from earthquake preparedness to a new cafe that’s aimed for cyclists and located in an alley in downtown Vancouver. If you have any radical story ideas hit me up at:
jared_jg (at) hotmail.com.

Stay tuned for next week.


One response to “Busy days: graduating journalism school, interning at The Vancouver Courier

  1. Daryl Williamson

    Nice reading,,, may your expanded understanding of life shine in all your work.

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