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Pressing Matters: A Roundtable Discussion on the Digital Newsroom

The first decade of the twenty-first century has seen a dramatic, largely technology-driven revolution in newsgathering, news reporting, and reader engagement:  new models of content aggregation and curatorship have emerged; the vertical hierarchy of traditional news media has given way to increasingly horizontal, collaborative, and cloud-based models; independent content providers (e.g., Mediaplanet, Huffington, Salon) now complement traditional newswires; more and more print newspapers and magazines are investing in a significant online presence; and the number of digital-only outlets is on the rise.

During the Writing for Digital Media course, the McGill Writing Centre (MWC) will host a roundtable discussion among journalism professionals on what the advent of the digital newsroom means for professional writers. Topics will include the proliferation of new markets for professional writers, the nuts and bolts of working in a virtual media organization, reconfiguration of profit models for traditional news outlets, the impact of online publishing on pay rates, copyright and reuse, the blurring of the line between advertising and news, the rise of the citizen journalist and the blogosphere, and the evolution of ethics and professional codes.

Facilitated by Nancy A. Locke, who teaches the MWC’s course on Writing for Digital Media, this event provides an opportunity for participants to gain insight into how the emergence of digital media has triggered a fundamental shift in how news is defined, shaped, distributed, and consumed. 

Date: TBA
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Location: TBA
Fee: $59 plus applicable taxes


Roundtable participants:

Patrick Bellerose, a journalist at Huffington Post Québec, writes on a range of topics including politics and marketing.  Recently, he has written about some of the most hot-button issues in Québec: the Charter of Values, the Charbonneau Commission, and the turbulence within major political parties.  He has also covered Montreal Restaurant Week and a fundraiser for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. A graduate of UQAM, Peter was a freelance journalist from 2008 to 2012.

Julian Brault, a journalist, author, and editor, has worked with a variety of publications including CommerceLe monde diplomatiqueLes AffairesAffaires Plus, and Ici Montréal.  For five years, he was the editor of Livre d'ici, a publishing industry review. In addition, he published a dozen books at Amérik Média, a publishing house he founded in 2006 then sold in 2010. Julian is the author of Péladeau - Une histoire de vengeance d'argent et de journaux (Québec Amérique, 2008) and Robert Bourassa (Les Malins, 2010).

Thomas Ledwell is the Community Editor at CBC Montreal, where he develops new and creative ways to share stories in digital spaces and to build successful content strategies. He has worked in journalism and communications for more than ten years in Canada and the UK, primarily with the CBC, the BBC, and The Montreal Gazette. Currently, he is focused on social media, audience development, and community engagement. Thomas is also active in the community, volunteering with several public institutions and advising them on communications and public relations strategies.

Les Perreaux joined the Montreal bureau of the Globe and Mail in 2008. He previously worked for the Canadian Press covering national and international affairs, including federal and Quebec politics and the war in Afghanistan. He started out in the 1990s on the Prairies, where he was born and raised, working for the Saskatoon StarPhoenix and as a correspondent for the National Post.

Nancy A. Locke is a freelance writer, translator, editor, educator, and public speaker who works in both the print and digital domains. She has provided copy on a range of topics for a content provider to the traditional press, specialized trade publications, blogs, and commercial websites. Since 2011, she has maintained a personal blog that currently contains 196 posts and has garnered nearly 65,000 visits.
Nancy also teaches entrepreneurship for translators at the Université de Montréal, translates and adapts web content, and collaborates with clients to develop their content and social media strategies.

Cancellation Policy

All cancellation requests must be made in writing on-line: click here to cancel. Please note that you will be required to quote your registration reference number.

If you cannot attend the event but wish to send someone in your place, you must send a request in writing to mwc [at] mcgill [dot] ca.

The following cancellation policy applies:

Up to 5 days prior to the event: Full refund
Within 5 days of the event: No refund

If no notice is given prior to the start of the event and you fail to attend, you will be liable for the full fee.

The MWC reserves the right to cancel this event up to 5 days prior to the start date.

Contact Information

Telephone: 514-398-2351
E-mail address: mwc [at] mcgill [dot] ca