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Journalism Crash Course

Scott is a veteran journalist and editor for various media outlets, including the Ottawa Sun, London Free Press and The Canadian Press. He has been nominated for a National Newspaper Award and has had a novel, Passing Through Oblivion, published.

By Scott Taylor

FACTS: Truth is both stranger and funnier than fiction. You don’t need to make anything up, elaborate or even exaggerate. The late-night hosts, especially John Oliver, are handed gold everyday. It’s what you do with it that counts.

SLANDER: That is “the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person's reputation.” As in "he is suing the TV company for slander". Slander is bad. Libel is the written form of slander.

SPELLING and PRONUNCIATION: Make sure you have names and places correct or you’ll look like an idiot.

B-ROLL: Most of your filming will be of you, another person and/or a setting. But you’ll need B-roll. That’s film that goes with the story you’re telling when you're doing a voiceover. Price of gas? Film a gas station, pumps, the sign with the price, etc. Politicians? Film the exterior of their HQ, walking down the street, at an event.

Regardless of what some people think of the media (it's usually the same people we're reporting on), it's crucial in a democracy. Everybody in power needs to be held accountable. Good journalists stand up for the little guy who doesn't have a voice. The United States would probably BE Russia right now if not for the media.

You have the opportunity to be part of this noble profession by using your keen mind and great sense of humour. It's needed now more than ever.


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