Anchor Mansbridge panelist for Sing Tao

by Susan Stern
Staff writer

Peter Mansbridge, anchor of CBC's The National, and William Thorsell, editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail, are among the distinguished panelists who will take part in the Sing Tao School of Journalism's first public event on Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. in the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts.

Titled "Media Wars: The Battle for Your Time," the discussion will reveal views on where journalism is going now that the Internet is a full-fledged member of the media.

Other panelists include Roger Fidler, a professor at Kent State University, who will demonstrate what he believes is the way of the future - a paperless newspaper; and Jeffrey Cole, a leading North American researcher on the impact of the Internet.

"The Internet, and to some extent television, is where people are increasingly getting their news," says Donna Logan, director of the school. "I think the role of the newspaper is changing already, evolving into a contextual format providing background and analysis."

Seventeen students from academic backgrounds ranging from science to fine arts will be the first to begin the school's two-year graduate program Sept. 8.

Eighty per cent of the students who applied to the school found out about it on the Internet, says Logan. She expects up to 30 students to attend next year.

The school's major research thrust will be the impact of new media on conventional media, she says.

Among the courses students will study are principles of investigative journalism, issues in contemporary journalism, ethics and the law, and the development of research, interviewing and critical analysis skills.

As part of the program, students will write a thesis, which may entail a series of investigative or feature articles involving extensive research. Students will also work in the media on three-month internships. An on-line publication called The Thunderbird and produced by the students, will deal with media issues and ethics.

Sing Tao is the first graduate program in journalism in western Canada.

Full-time faculty include Logan, a former CBC executive and senior Montreal Star editor and reporter, and Assoc. Prof. Stephen Ward, a veteran Canadian Press journalist with a PhD in philosophy.

Part-time instructors include journalist and author Peter C. Newman, Vivienne Sosnowski, managing editor at The Vancouver Sun, and Shelley Fralic, the paper's deputy managing editor.

A book, Journalism in the New Millennium, has been published to commemorate the opening of the school.

Twenty-two Canadians prominent in the media, including newspaper magnate Conrad Black, Discovery Channel president Trina McQueen and CBC correspondent Ian Hanomansing, comment on issues ranging from what journalism students should be learning to forces in society that influence the media.

The book will be on sale for $19.95 at the school as well as at the Chan Centre on the night of the panel, Sept. 18.

The school and its building were made possible through the generosity of Sing Tao Ltd. and Sally Aw, chair of the Hong Kong-based media corporation.

As seating is limited, those interested in attending the Sept. 18 panel, which is free of charge, should call the Sing Tao School of Journalism at 604-822-1513 or The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at 604-822-2697 for tickets. Parking is available in the Rose Garden Parkade located west of Gate 3 on Northwest Marine Drive.