Depending on funding and other considerations, the Langara College Journalism Department is seeking instructors to fill positions ranging from a single specialty topic to half-time, three-quarter-time or full-time teaching load beginning September 2013.

Langara is Western Canada’s oldest journalism program and has the only one-year post-graduate program west of Ontario. Graduates work at media outlets throughout B.C., across Canada and around the world in print, radio, television, online, in public relations and as freelancers. The journalism department is staffed by prominent, professional and dedicated instructors. The department offers a one-year Certificate program for students with a bachelor’s degree and a two-year Diploma program for students who do not have a degree. The program retains its original high reputation for fostering strong print newswriting skills but now embraces excellence in all media platforms.

All candidates should indicate which of the following courses they feel qualified to teach. They should spell out what teaching load and combination of courses they prefer.

Courses are normally taught between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., with some flexibility required in order to integrate evening field trips or reporting assignments.

Courses in photojournalism, television, radio, copy editing, magazine production, media and society, and online journalism are fully staffed. However, candidates applying for the open positions listed below should indicate whether they feel qualified to teach any of the currently staffed courses if the need arises.

Required Qualifications:         

  • Minimum 10 years experience in professional, paid journalism
  • Teaching experience at the post-secondary level and master’s degree in a relevant discipline are preferred
  • Applicants with the most current experience and who demonstrate strong familiarity with evolving models of journalism and the use of multiple platforms for reporting, including social media, are preferred.
  • Candidates applying for full-time or near-full-time positions should indicate their interest in and qualifications for leadership roles in the future. The department, like the industry, continues to evolve, and candidates for those positions should be prepared to demonstrate the competencies and the vision they have for taking the department forward.

COURSES FOR WHICH APPLICATIONS ARE SOUGHT

Note: One section per semester equals quarter time; four sections equal full time. One section normally requires four classroom hours per week, plus office hours for student consultations as well as class-preparation and marking time.

Fundamentals of Reporting (two sections in fall term)

This course introduces students to basic concepts involved in generating and writing news stories. Topics include definitions of news, strategies for generating original news stories, structures of hard-news stories and short features. This is a writing-heavy course with at least one writing assignment per week.

Qualifications: Minimum 10 years experience as a news reporter or news assignment editor/city editor. Applicants must have a strong background in generating news story ideas, in demonstrating commitment to essential standards and style of hard-news writing, and experience in writing a wide variety of news and feature stories. Experience in using social media as a reporting tool or platform preferred.

Journalism Research (two sections in fall term)

This first-term course introduces students to the essential skills for obtaining information through interviews and document research. It is typically divided into two major sections, one on interviewing and one on finding information through a wide variety of library and Internet sources, with a smaller section on budgets and math for journalists.

Qualifications: Minimum 10 years experience as a news reporter. Applicants must have demonstrated experience in accessing all types of information sources and resources, including criminal, government and business records. Applicants must be familiar with Freedom of Information/Access to Information law and application process, interpretation of budget documents, and interviewing skills.

Journalism Law (.5 section in fall term; .5 section in spring term)

This class presents the basics of court reporting and relevant legal issues (such as libel, slander, publication bans, defamation, copyright, harassment) surrounding publication of all types of news and feature stories.

Qualifications: Minimum five years experience in court reporting or making front-line legal decisions in a newsroom. Applicants should be familiar with media rights and obligations in law, as well as with emerging legal, constitutional and procedural issues.

Journalism Ethics (.5 section in fall term; .5 section in spring term)

This course introduces students to the types of ethical issues journalists are likely to face and the principles of ethical decision-making.

Qualifications: Minimum 10 years experience in hard-news reporting or assigning news reporters. Applicants should be familiar with the rationales for ethical journalism, Canadian ethical journalism standards and guidelines, and emerging trends and challenges. A wide knowledge of examples of discreditable and exemplary media incidents or long-standing practices is essential.

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Feature Writing for Magazines (one section in fall term; one section in spring term)

This course focuses on the craft of feature writing, with its demands for characters, setting, narrative structures, and a variety of writing techniques. Students write several feature stories of varying lengths and on a variety of topics. Students also learn how to pitch stories to editors and how to analyze publications to determine length, tone and audience appeal of potential stories.

Qualifications: Minimum 10 years experience as a news feature reporter or magazine writer. Applicants must have a strong track record of writing features on a wide variety of topics. They must also have a proven background in skills such as networking, market analysis, pitching and conducting a freelance career. Evidence of connections within the market is essential.

Advanced Reporting (one section in fall term; one section in spring term)

This course focuses on teaching students about the structures of local government (school board, city hall, transportation authority, regional government, local impacts of provincial and federal policies) and about strategies for covering a beat. As currently designed, students tweet, blog, pitch story ideas, and write news and features about a Lower Mainland municipality, primarily focused on news that is connected to local- government policies and decisions.

Qualifications: Applicants must have covered a hard-news beat for an extended period of time, with experience in using social media to complement traditional reporting. Knowledge of local government duties and responsibilities, sources of revenue, and legal frameworks is essential.

Voice Newspaper Managing Editor (two or three sections in fall term; two or three sections in spring term)

This position involves overseeing two groups of students in the roles of reporters and editors producing The Voice, a weekly newspaper used as a teaching tool. This instructor will co-ordinate with other faculty acting as copy-editing, layout, online, or video coaches. The managing editor ensures the newspaper meets high standards for reporting, research, accuracy, news judgment, and responsible journalism, including plagiarism, libel and copyright obligations.

This position is half-time to three-quarter-time each term, depending on the candidate. (Those interested in packaging this position with one or two other available courses are encouraged to do so.)

Qualifications: Applicants must have 10 years experience in reporting, assigning or overseeing both hard news and features, with a preference for someone who has experience as a coaching or assignment editor, and strong reporting and copy-editing skills. Potential instructors must have a resume demonstrating an ability to develop both hard-news and feature ideas, to prioritize among many potential news and feature stories, to search documents and find sources for stories (or to coach student reporters), and to maintain high newsroom standards.

Working knowledge of layout and photo programs, i.e. InDesign and Photoshop, is helpful but not essential, although the candidate(s) hired for this position will be expected to learn the necessary programs.

Daily Newspaper Writing (two sections in spring term)

This course gives students practice in writing high-quality copy on deadline. The instructor generates assignments linked to current news events that students complete in class with coaching throughout.

Qualifications: Preference will be given to applicants currently working in the professional media industry, who can demonstrate an ability to integrate breaking-news events into assignments. Knowledge of best newsroom reporting practices, strategies for reporting on complex documents and events on deadline, and familiarity with the patterns of typical breaking-news dynamics is essential.

Start Date: September 1, 2013

Salary Range: Salary placement is on Langara instructors’ salary scale in accordance with qualifications and experience.

Employee Group: LFA

Application Information: To apply, send your resume, quoting competition # F017-13 in the subject line of your email to fbula@langara.bc.ca

Deadline: May 23, 2013

Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.