It started with introductions. Eleven students and recent graduates from SFU and UBC, a professional editor, and one activist, said what they read on a daily basis and what makes them passionate enough about writing or editing to volunteer their time with VO. It added up to a pile of information for me about how university students and recent graduates consume the news.
They came from programs at SFU and UBC to focus on public relations and/or writing and editing at VO. The public relations volunteers divided up into groups of two and three to focus on promoting specific sections of the site. The editorial volunteers came with me.
Dominque went first. She said doesn't read any publication every day. She gets her news from Facebook and MSN.
Vanessa reads the Vancouver Sun daily.
John follows economy and tech online. He's interest in "content analysis.
Willow checks in on Facebook, gets news through email forwards, and samples The Tyee occasionally. She peeks in on 24 Hours on an "ad hoc" basis, when she's downtown. She occasionally reads the Globe and Mail, calls herself a "quiet activist" with strong values.
Stephen said he doesn't read print newspapers, because, "I find paper a bit clumsy." His passion is photography.
Ryan follows Salon.com "religiously." Locally, he reads Andrew Sullivan and 538.com. He's training to be a journalist at UBC masters in journalism program, although, he said, "writing doesn't come easily.
Katarina, a German student, follows online newspapers. She love literature and has been covering events for the Vancouver Observer. She amazed me when she handed in her first story. Although English is her second language, her grammar is good and her writing is strong.
Mary, who has a background in editing for Royal Roads University publications, said she just canceled her subscriptions to the Globe and Mail and the Vancouver Sun. She wasn't reading them. They were piling up. "I'm making the transition to online," she said. She reads The Tyee "a bit," she said and "fetishizes print." Nonetheless, she finds a "vacuum with hard news." She said she is passionate about media and community.
Scott doesn't read "journalism." He reads ABClub.com and Pitchfork. "I'm more into fiction and graphic novels," he said. He has published short stories through publications at University of Victoria where he studied until recently.
Kevin also doesn't "read a lot of newspaper." His main source of information is MaCleans's Magazine, the print edition. He goes online to read about biking. "I mainly read dry stuff like poetry and literature," he said.
Sofia, who immigrated to Canada from Iran three years ago, said, "I have to go on Al Jazeera and the BBC every morning. I turn on BBC radio (on the internet). I don't buy anything in print except for The Economist." Sofia is going to be in Brooklyn for the next month working in a women's shelter, but she'll be back in June. She's interested in writing about international news and anything to do with women's news.
Alecia said she mainly reads literature. "I have a huge library," she said. "I'm into grammar. Spelling mistakes bother me."
Charlotte tries to read the BBC and the Economist but finds The Economist too expensive. She is also interested in writing about world events.
In the other room, I heard Meghan talking with her group about topics she'd written up in her meeting plan.
Becoming a Social Media Expert
Everyone and their grandma has Facebook
Can you 'Digg it?'
Let's see what ya got!
What's Your Online Personality
Overview of Roles
It was a great day.