A Queer Notion

Category: Critical Approach

Critical Approach: Slave of the system

The reason I’m in the Masters of Journalism program at Ryerson is because of an unpaid internship.

Damn you, Scumbag Employer.

Damn you, Scumbag Employer.

I came out of an undergrad in theatre studies, my focus on playwriting, with a passion for the arts and writing, but disillusioned about the kind of nepotism and compromise I saw a career in theatre would take. I was working three part time jobs (retail, food service and customer service, the unholy-freaking-trinity) with a whole lot of student debt and very little creative fulfillment.

Then a saw an ad in, the now defunct, Fab Magazine: “Looking for kickass interns!” I sent in my resumé, and started at Fab shortly afterwards. As one of a half dozen interns I tackled a weekly slog of event listings with the promise that I would eventually be able to start (paid) writing for the magazine, which I eventually did. From this I built up a career as an arts and culture writer, blogger and columnist for Fab and its sister publication, Xtra. Now I’m back at school, inevitably accruing even more student debt, to ostensibly become a journalist.
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Critical Approach: Lying in the grey area

After the discussion on the ethical implications of Ken Silverstein’s work for “Their men in Washington,” in turn discussing Mark Lisheron’s “Lying to Get the Truth,” I really wish I had the chance to ask the class’s opinion on a real life news gathering scenario that we all learned about at the beginning of our degrees.

The Grey Area is a real place. In Amsterdam, of course.

The Grey Area is a real place. In Amsterdam, of course.

In September, a few weeks into the program, the two sections of our “Covering the City” course, which teaches on urban, city hall and court room reporting—readings centered around Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel’s The Elements of Journalism, focusing on monolithic professional standards and objectivity—converged for a discussion with a well-known local star reporter.

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Critical Approach: All is well in glorious Republia

Lucas Pope's The Republia Times

Resisting the dominant power is not easy. As editor, you have to help pacify a restive population, restore faith in the tyrannical government and suppress information about radicals following a prolonged, draining international war.

Your paper is The Republia Times.

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Critical Approach: There Are No Ads On Elysium

Secretary of Defense Delacourt, Elysium's power-hungry though ultimately ineffective secondary villain, would shoot down aircrafts for less than a condescending advert.

Secretary of Defense Delacourt, Elysium’s power-hungry though ultimately ineffective secondary villain, would shoot down aircrafts for less than a condescending advert.

I am simply trying to cope with the unsurprisingly jarring experience of holiday air travel as I scroll through the movie options on the seat-back before me. I find explosion-filled, dystopian sci-fi movies relaxing, so I end up choosing Elysium. The first ad of the interminable sort that populate pre-flights/pre-movies aboard “economy” flights begins, though thankfully as the advert-actors chatter away, I’m offered a “skip” button in the middle of the screen.

My finger hits the screen, in perfect timing with a voice in my earphones that sneers, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have control?”

The skip button is fake, the ad’s a trick, the control referring to whatever car feature, from whichever car company, is being hocked off on poor, shell-shocked travelers. I take off my earphones in disgust and scowl out the window at the de-icer, waiting for the ads to finish so I can watch my damn movie.

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