For Emily Conohan, journalism was always in the cards.
“When I was around 10 years old, my grandfather always had a lot of newspapers. I would come home after school and just sit on the floor and read [them],” the FYP (Journalism) student recalls fondly. “And he always thought it was funny, because I would highlight any errors, any writing mistakes I could find.”
Over the years, reading the daily paper became more than just an entertaining pastime; Conohan grew to appreciate the philosophy behind newswriting as well.
“I loved how every day it was something new and different…I’ve always loved writing in general, but reading articles was really interesting to me because you can learn so much in a short amount of time and there’s always something new.”
This love of learning brought her from her hometown of Sydney, N.S. to King’s, where she holds the Global News Scholarship.
Announced in January 2022, the scholarship is valued at up to $12,000, providing $3,000 of renewable assistance per year to a Black student in the Bachelor of Journalism (Honours) program. It’s one of two scholarships funded by Global News to support Black students in King’s School of Journalism, Writing & Publishing.
To qualify for the award, students had to demonstrate academic excellence and community involvement. The scholarship also offers the opportunity for the recipient to receive one-on-one mentorship from journalists at Global throughout their four-year education. Conohan says she’s looking forward to this element of the award.
“I would be so honoured to learn from someone firsthand on how to navigate the industry. It would be so nice to have a role model, or someone who can help me with my career aspirations.”
When considering universities, Conohan says King’s small community and journalism program appealed. She also liked the idea of living in Halifax, having visited the city many times with her family growing up. Now in her second semester of the Foundation Year Program, Conohan says her postsecondary experience is living up to her expectations.
“It’s definitely a little bit challenging doing FYP and journalism at the same time, because they require very different styles of writing,” she admits. “But it’s also really rewarding to be able to learn both at the same time.”
Other first impressions include being surprised by how much she’s enjoying subjects like Greek poetry and philosophy. She’s fascinated that ancient texts contain themes and ideas still relevant today.
“The thing that I find is really cool though, is that [in FYP] you actually get a chance to read all of the famous works that you hear about your whole life,” she says. “You hear the names Plato, Aristotle, Sophocles, your entire life…and the same goes for like, The Divine Comedy. You hear about it all the time. But to actually sit down and read it is a completely different experience, especially when you go in with no prior knowledge and no expectations of it, just coming at it with a fresh point of view. It’s really cool.”
As much as Conohan is enjoying her first months at King’s, she already has ideas about what she’d like to do next. She got her start copy editing on her grandfather’s floor, but eventually she wants to focus on broadcast journalism.
“I think that that would be really perfect for me and the type of content I want to do.”