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Journalism student sees the light

Kwok Wong, who’s entering his fourth year in the joint U of T Scarborough, Centennial College journalism program was a finalist in the recent Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ)’ annual awards for outstanding investigative journalism in 2006.

Wong, who was up for the CAJ/Canada NewsWire (CNW) Student Award for Excellence category, finished behind Sarah Boothroyd of Carleton University.  Nevertheless, his story, “Blinded by the Light,” written last year, impressed the judges and journalism program administrators.

“This is a very prestigious student award.  That one of our students was a finalist for it illustrates that we are attracting some of the best student journalists to our program and that they are benefiting greatly from both the academic and practical skills training they are receiving,” said Karen McCrindle, Senior Lecturer and Supervisor of Students for U of T Scarborough’s Journalism program.

The Canadian Association of Journalists, founded in 1978, has more than 1,500 members and promotes excellence in journalism and encourages investigative journalism. Wong’s story, which outlined the challenges that are being faced by U of T’s David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill, including the potential closure of the site, was published in the Varsity.

Wong, who is associate news editor of both the Varsity and the Underground student newspapers, saw the light of a journalism career when he started high school.  He hasn’t looked back since.  “I got the idea in my head in grade nine.  I chose U of T Scarborough’s journalism program because the concept of being exposed to two different types of learning environments—college and university—appealed to me when I was applying,” says the 21-year-old, who is also a staff writer for the East Toronto Observer.

The Scarborough native enjoys covering news stories and photo assignments.  “I really look forward to being able to work on investigative pieces, which I can really delve into and spend time working on.”

“Kwok has been a motivated and ambitious student from day one.  As a student embarking on his fourth year, he is an excellent role model for junior students,” McCrindle added.

The joint journalism degree program, now in its fifth year, combines solid academic education with technical and practical journalism skills. Academic courses at U of T Scarborough teach students analysis, research, writing and effective communication skills. The Centennial College courses prepare students for success in the field.  Students earn a four-year Honours B.A. degree.

-- By Amorell Saunders N’Daw

© University of Toronto Scarborough