J-Source's new editor-in-chief introduces himself and looks ahead to some of the changes in store for the site.

By Bruce Gillespie, Editor-in-Chief, J-Source

I was a fan of J-Source long before I started contributing to it. As a self-confessed news junkie, I was glad to find a site that aggregated all of the important news about journalism in Canada. I liked that it also featured original reporting and commentary that dug a bit deeper to reveal a level of detail that would bore most general readers but was of great interest to someone like me. I also appreciated how well it balanced the interests of its three main audiences: working journalists, journalism instructors and journalism students.

That being so, I’m delighted to be taking the reins of a site I’ve found so valuable in the past. And I’m indebted to my predecessor, Janice Neil, and her team of editors for leaving the site in such great shape.

Since I stepped into this role on August 1, the question I’ve been asked most often is what changes I’m planning for the site. I’m happy to say that I have no plans to make any major changes for the time being. As uninspired as that might sound, I’m committed to providing more of the same reporting and commentary about the industry, the issues it faces and the people involved that you’re used to finding on the pages.


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That being said, there are some changes in the offing. Mine is not the only new byline you’ll see on the site. In the coming weeks, we’ll be introducing some new editors and contributors to the J-Source team to provide an even wider range of coverage than we currently offer.

The most noticeable changes will likely come in the new year. As you may already know, J-Source is moving to a new editorial structure and funding model by the end of 2013, which you can read about here. For me, one of the most exciting aspects of this transition is the opportunity to create stronger links between J-Source and journalism schools and instructors across the country. One of the ways we’ll do this is by establishing editorial centres and news bureaus that will be housed in various journalism schools and produce a steady stream of reporting about issues relating to J-Source’s editorial mandate that we’ll feature on the site.

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We’re also in discussions with individual college and university instructors across the country who would like to integrate J-Source into their classes. So, starting in 2014, some newsroom courses will produce articles and other content for the site, which I think will be a great way to engage journalism students and give them some real-world experience.

In the months ahead, I look forward to working with associate editor Tamara Baluja and our crack team of editors and volunteers to bring you more news, analysis and commentary. Although I may not always be visible on the site, I’ll be busy behind the scenes, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions, suggestions or story ideas. J-Source is very much a community project and, as such, your input is invaluable.

 

Bruce Gillespie is the editor-in-chief of J-Source and an assistant professor in the journalism program at Wilfrid Laurier University's Brantford campus.