Trent Magazine Sneak Peek: Editorial

I’m up to my eyebrows in writing/editing/and generally chasing my tail in the thrice-annually production of Trent Magazine.

This edition focuses on alumni in the media, and we will be featuring bios of several prominent Trent Grads, including Leah McLaren and Linwood Barclay.

To whet your appetite, I’m throwing out a usual teaser: my editorial.

It's funny where Trent Alumni turn up.  I take a turn sitting in George's chair.

It's funny where Trent Alumni turn up. My chat with George didn't make it to air, though.

Alumni in the Media: The Trent Report

I remember the first time that I seriously considered a career in journalism: I was sharing a cigarette with Moe Jacobs, my Grade 13 English Literature teacher – it was a different world back then – and he wanted to know what it was, exactly, that I was planning to do with my life. At the time, I wanted to write the great Canadian novel.

“You’re a pretty good writer, Fraser,” he said collegially. “And you’re Canadian. All things considered, it’s a combination that will surely lead to poverty.”

He took a drag, looked me in the eye and then suggested I explore the world of journalism.

“Go to a good, small school,” he advised. “Learn everything you can about just about everything. And when your head is full, empty it with your pen. Eventually people will pay you for it.”

He paused for a moment before adding one more bit of sage advice.

“You may want to consider marrying someone with a good career.”

He was a wise man, that Moe Jacobs. So I took his advice. I attended Trent, learned more than I could possibly remember, and began pouring it onto page. Sure enough, people began paying me for it. Heck, you reading this editorial is proof of that. Editing this magazine is one of my many writing/editing gigs.

This puts me in some pretty good company as a Trent Alumnus – after all, we’ve produced a dazzling list of journalism/media types. It is my honour to showcase some of them in this magazine.

Trent is the perfect school for young journalists. With small class sizes, immediate access to course professors, and plenty of opportunity for reading/thesis courses, students are offered valuable instruction on how to begin writing on a topic, as well as excellent feedback on the work they produce.

Then there are our student-led media outlets – which have a rich history of helping train prospective journalists. Many of the alumni in our “Media Profiles” reminisced about their time working with Arthur, while others looked fondly back on Trent Radio. With a steady buzz of arts and social activism, there has never been a shortage of things to report upon at Trent.

The alumni in our profiles have all carved exceptional niches for themselves in media – at both the local and national levels. They should be extremely proud of their rewarding and fruitful careers.

As for me, I’m glad I followed that last bit of Moe’s advice and married a teacher. After all, it’s a tough, tough go being a writer in Canada. Even for a Trent grad.