Class of 2024: Advanced Journalism students hit their stride at King’s

Class of 2024: Advanced Journalism students hit their stride at King’s

Charlotte McConkey

If you want to study journalism, the University of King’s College is where you need to go. Since 1978, the four-year Bachelor of Journalism (Honours) program has drawn students from across Canada to think critically about current affairs, conduct research and tell stories in several media formats.

But the four-year program is not the only journalism program offered. There’s also a one-year Bachelor of Journalism program for students who already have a degree and a two-year Master of Journalism program.

From Burlington, Ont., Charlotte McConkey decided to go the intense, one-year route after first getting a Bachelor of Arts in political science at Dalhousie. She was attracted as much by King’s itself as she was by the program.

“I really like the environment at King’s: the strong relationships with professors, the vibrant queer community, the diversity of the student body,” says McConkey, who took a few classes in Early Modern Studies and Contemporary Studies while doing her degree at Dal. “King’s was always more my place than Dalhousie ever was.”

With a background in poli-sci, combined with a keen interest in pop culture and current events, McConkey says the one-year program was exactly what she was looking for. “You learn in such a hands-on way, figuring out how to report and what makes a good story. And ending the year with an internship is the best way to do it. Once you’re done, you’re good to go. You’re a journalist. Whereas when I graduated from poli-sci, it was like, ‘Where do I go from here?’”

McConkey’s paid internship took place at the Brandon Sun, a venerable, six-days-a-week newspaper serving western Manitoba. Until she showed up for work, she’d never been to Manitoba before. When the internship wrapped, she was offered a longer-term position with the associated Westman This Week, and is stoked by the chance to write longer, more in-depth feature stories.

So far, her months-long career in journalism has been exciting, fun, and creative, but McConkey is not sure she’s done with King’s yet. The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction program is calling.

Fiona Clancey

When Fiona Clancey was pondering what to do after finishing her undergraduate degree—a Bachelor of Music majoring in classical voice at Mount Allison University—the logical route was to go into teaching. But then, “I didn’t feel the spark,” she says, gravitating instead to a field that would combine her love of music with writing. King’s Master of Journalism program was the answer.

“I love school and it feels like I never want it to stop,” says Clancey, from Dartmouth, N.S. “What appealed to me about King’s is the chance to do in-depth and focused research. Longform writing and investigative work are really fun for me.”

She got to stretch those investigative and writing skills while researching her professional project on the Mother-Child program in Canada’s federal prisons. The underused program allows incarcerated mothers to have their infants and toddlers live with them in prison.

“I started diving into the data and there was so much to find out,” says Clancey, who hopes to find a publisher for her work. “I think it will interest people and perhaps even spark some change.”

Now with graduation on the horizon, Clancey is taking a break from education as she ponders her next move. In the meantime, she’s taking private music lessons and sings in a choir while working as a server in a local restaurant.

“King’s has been awesome,” she says. “I feel like the doors are wide open for me.”

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