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Crime Rates in Ontario

According to a 2012 Statistics Canada report, crime rates are declining for both adults and youth in Ontario.

Paul Dobbs, Manager of Technology and Community Development at the John Howard Society in Durham says, “We hear a lot about the need to get tough on crime as if there is some crisis underway.”

Fighting crime is always on the news and makes it seem like crime is on the rise, according to Dobbs, when in fact the crime rate is at it’s lowest. CBC News says it hasn’t been this low since 1972.

Non-violent crimes have dropped 4% for adults and 9% for youth, as well as 3% drop in adult violent crimes and 10% for youth crimes, according to Statistics Canada.

“Why a person breaks [the law] will vary, a person in poverty who steals to try and find a means to survive or a person with mental health issues that cannot understand right from wrong,” Dobbs said.

The John Howard Society helps crime prevention by providing people access to preventative services as well as providing interventions when someone has already been in trouble and needs help getting through it.




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Why is Social Media so Useful for Newsrooms?

Social media is a part of everything we do in today’s society. According to ComScore’s most recent report, Canadians spent 41 hours online each month in 2012.

Ken Pearson, Digital Content Manager for Metroland’s Durham Division gave some insightful information about how crucial it is to be online and current. Not only is it the best way to reach a large amount of people all at once but it also offers more flexibility in how you present your information.

Pearson said, “This is why I love social media. If I didn’t have social media, I wouldn’t have the page views,” continuing that without those page views he and the company would make less money.

Social media allows you to connect with your readers and generate traffic on your website in a fun and creative way that engages everyone.

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Interviewing Chef Lisa McKay

Lisa McKay is a Culinary Technologist at Durham College’s Centre for Food. She spoke about how to be successful in the culinary industry. In the above video, she talked about her hardest career moment as a restaurant owner and why she loves what she does at Durham College now. The one piece of advice she gave to fellow chef’s resonated with me, “You have to work hard and you have to have passion for what you do, cooking is hard work but it’s also very rewarding,” she added, “as long as your heart is in it, then it’s a good career path.”

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Future Journalists: Step Out of Your Boxes!

Journalism is structured and the content sometimes gets lost in the application of the rules.

It’s the best way to get information that is unbiased and learn every aspect of a story. The survival of journalism depends on keeping people interested.

Journalism professor, Ted Conover said, “What makes Journalism interesting is that someone is always trying something new…Journalism is most dynamic when people think outside the box,” which is exactly what future journalists need to remember, find a way to follow the rules while remaining lateral in their thinking patterns.

Some journalism pieces have become like a template. News stories follow a strict set of rules; making it hard to insert anything new into a story. It has become fill in the blank stories and future journalists need to find a way of changing it without changing the integrity.

Dean of Prizes and Programs, Arlene Morgan stated, “The students will pick up technology…but they need to learn how to think beyond their own perspective, outside the little box they live in.” this can be applied to any one in the journalism field.

Future journalists need to learn how to apply the basic rules but keep their creativity flowing when they write. Journalism won’t be able to survive if it stays structured and formal.

Posted in School

Interviewer thoughts and nerves

I was sitting in Interviewing and Research class today and we were talking about our major interview assignment.  We basically have to interview someone of our choice, record it and write an article about the interview with a angle of our choice.

Well I started thinking, I have no issues with writing a blog, an article, pretty much anything.  It’s something I love to do. Now speaking in person is an entirely different subject.  When I have projects, I shake, stammer and lose focus.  I’m hoping I can kick this habit throughout this course.

I am so nervous about this interview because I will be asking someone to tell me all the fine details of their life and recording it.    So I have compiled a list of things that I am going to do in order to prepare for this upcoming interview.  Maybe it will help you with your upcoming project or interview!

  • Research, research, research- lots of background information so I’m not flustered.
  • Questions planned out ahead of time with room for them to contribute different information.
  • Practise speaking in front of people as much as possible.
  • Form a mantra: “I will do amazing, they will be helpful, it will go great!”
  • Take notes, record audio, bring extra pens.
  • Do my best.

This is just a short list off the top of my head. I think the nerves mainly surface because of the unknown.

Wish me luck!


Jessica Maxwell

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Avoiding copyright infringement…

Copyright is like a suit of armour for your stories, articles and anything that falls under a physical creation that belongs to you. It does not include facts, ideas, or phrases. The copyright symbol is not necessary to include as copyright laws apply to the work automatically.

Copyright infringement is whenever you use something that isn’t yours such as, a picture, without the consent of the creator.

For example:  I want to use the following picture in my blog because it is a beautiful flower, my favourite colour and it pertains to my topic.

ImagePhoto by: Cait Knight– A beautiful red flower in full bloom.

In order to use the above photo, there is a process in order to do so.   You NEED the photographer in this instance, Cait Knight to allow you to use it.

So I contacted Cait on Facebook and asked for permission as shown below:

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 2.20.00 PM

She said yes and gave me a copy of the original photo. So I get to use a the picture in this blog post to show an example of how to avoid copyright infringement, she gets her photograph out there and I don’t have to worry about getting any trouble for using something that isn’t mine.

This example applies to everything that is covered under copyright not just photographs.

In summary, copyright is about protecting what is yours and gives you the right to do with it what you want. That’s the importance behind it.  Copyright infringement is when you steal someone else’s work.

I think it’s only fair, we give people the credit they deserve.  There is a lot more to copyright laws and it differs across the world. I suggest before you use someone else’s work that you look into what the laws are surrounding copyright in your area.

Until next time,

Jessica Maxwell