FRIENDS & NEIGHBOURS The media is the message for two young people with journalism projects It’s September, and Mallory Cramp-Waldinsperger is back at Carleton University for her third year in Journalism. Adam Folland is back at school too, starting second year in Fleming College’s Fish & Wildlife program and carving out time for duties as Frost Student Association Vice President. It might seem odd to tie them together in the same column. One grew up here and is studying elsewhere; the other grew up in Guelph and is studying here. One grew up listening to CBC radio and exploring ideas with classmates in IB English and Theory of Knowledge courses at I.E. Weldon; the other became obsessed with wolves at age five and grew up camping and exploring the outdoors. What connects Mallory and Adam is that over the summer each engaged in an ambitious journalism project. Mallory joined our Advocate team. (There’s a sample of her writing in this issue.) Adam spearheaded a revival of a Frost campus student publication that had quietly expired six years ago.
It was back in April that Mallory approached Advocate publisher Roderick Benns. She’d already lined up a summer job as Community Event Promoter for United Way but wanted to contribute to the Advocate in the time she had available. Roderick was quick to take her up on the offer and an informal apprenticeship was arranged. She was given press releases to shape and tighten up, but mostly she wrote articles. Some topics came out of discussions with Roderick, a few were assigned, but most were proposed by Mallory herself. “She always came to the table with her own ideas,” says Roderick.
“She’s story-wise beyond her years.” The example that comes to his mind is a “Passion Projects” series that introduced Advocate readers to local makers-turnedentrepreneurs. At Carleton she’d learned about journalism that sheds light on issues (“Advocacy journalism”). A number of her articles did just that: a report on a climate march, another on the Pride Picnic, a much-viewed piece on waiting lists for Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and several on youth and the coming federal election. A highlight of Mallory’s summer was being assigned the August cover story (‘Did Mother Nature turn her back on area farmers’). “The stakes were high,” she says. “I knew it would be in print and wanted it to be good.” Her summer with the Advocate has given her confidence and she has become more comfortable sharing her work. It’s been valuable to the Advocate as well. She brought curiosity, energy, and a fresh perspective, and her social media savvy equipped her to strengthen the Advocate’s Instagram presence.
Mallory Cramp-Waldinsperger and Adam Folland