I’m a second year anthropology student at the University of Toronto this year with aspirations to become the next great, critical mind on current affairs. I’ve looked and looked for undergraduate courses in communication studies/journalism to prepare me for reporting but I’ve come up dry each time. I’d really appreciate being able to actually apply my study of people outside of academia. Do you know of any such undergraduate courses at u of t or is this something I’ll have to wait for graduate studies to learn?
If you’re at the UTSC campus, you’re in luck. They have their own journalism program! But if you’re at St. George, you’ll have to make do with a hodgepodge of journalism options.
The first thing that I can’t recommend enough is to look into volunteering for a student paper. U of T has a plethora of them – from the college papers to the big kahuna, The Varsity. Every year, papers across campus are looking for interested students to try their hand at reporting, taking photos, copy editing and attending their seminars. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
St. George has some hidden Communications classes tucked away in Innis, St. Mike’s and Victoria. Look into classes in the Film, Book & Media Studies (like hello!) and Literary Studies programs. Here’s a few sample classes you might be interested in:
SMC 291H1F BROADCAST MEDIA AND CULTURE
Instructor: Paul Babiak
A survey of historical and contemporary developments in radio, television, and the internet, and their impact on culture. Lectures examine technological innovations, commercialization, nationalization of the airwaves, government regulation, censorship, ratings and viewership, broadcasting and popular culture, propaganda, and the evolution of the radio-television personality. Examples from Canadian and international media.
Prerequisite: Priority to BMS students
Recommended preparation: SMC 219Y1/228H1/229h1
SMC 315H1F THE NEWSPAPER IN CANADIAN SOCIETY
Instructor: Michael Valpy
Through lectures, tutorials and field trips, this course examines the origins and development of the English-language newspaper in Canada since the eighteenth century. Research projects focus on the historical newspaper collections of the University of Toronto libraries, the Toronto Reference Library, and the Archives of Ontario.
Recommended preparation: SMC 219Y1/228H1/229H1
Best of luck with your anthropological discoveries.