End of era for Cornwall SLC Journalism-Print program

St. Lawrence College Journalism-Print Coordinator Terry Tinkess, front center, with current and former faculty and students during a year-end party for the program. It also marked the end of an eight year run for the SLC course in Cornwall. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – As the sun’s rays cut through the windows in the River Room, so too is the sun setting on the St. Lawrence College Journalism-Print program.

There, current and former students and faculty met Friday afternoon to celebrate, not only the end of the year, but the end of an eight year run for the program.

The two-year diploma course provided the building blocks for a career in print and broadcast journalism.

“It’s sad to see it come to an end,” Program Coordinator Terry Tinkess said. “The numbers that we’ve had, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion, unless something drastic happened, that the end was going to be there. It’s sad nonetheless. I’ve enjoyed my time with the students. I think we did some really good things.”

Tinkess says the state of Canadian journalism is part of the downfall of the program but he still believes there is growth in the trade. “It’s a growth industry. It’s different skills but you still need people to write the stories – people to cover the events – and I think that part won’t change.”

The professor of journalism says the most memorable moment of his eight year teaching career was at the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) conference in Toronto three years ago.

“I’m listening to a professor from the Missouri School of Journalism and I thought she stole my notes because what she was teaching was almost verbatim what were were teaching here. Everybody likes validation and it was nice to know what we were teaching students were the things that one of the preeminent schools of journalism thought their students needed to know as well,” Tinkess said.

The final exam for the class, which has dwindled to six students, is next week.

“Every ending is a beginning and it would never surprise me to see something start up again,” Tinkess explained. “There is a demand for journalism. There is a demand for students. Calling it Print Journalism, I don’t think that helps things because, while there is still print, there are a lot of other forms of journalism. I think just journalism itself is the answer.”

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