Loyalist College suspends journalism programs indefinitely

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Loyalist college suspends journalism programs
Both the photo journalism and journalism communications programs at Loyalist College will be suspended next fall – Nov 6, 2023

Both the photo journalism and the journalism and communications programs at Loyalist College will be suspended next fall.

According to the college, these suspensions are the result of declining enrolment and changes within the industry as a whole.

The program’s current students may well be be among the last to graduate from the journalism program at Loyalist College as new admissions to the program have been indefinitely suspended.

“It wasn’t a surprise, it was a disappointment,” journalism and communications program co-ordinator Andy Clarke said.

According to the college, the writing has been on the wall for a while now.

“Over the last bunch of years in particular we can see that student numbers are going down and down and down and as you’re aware it’s very difficult to find positions in journalism these days,” Loyalist College president and CEO Mark Kirkpatrick said.

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Second-year journalism student Jessyka Maliksi said she believes one cause has been the change in how people consume news.

“A lot of younger people aren’t really consuming it how it used to be, like, no one really reads newspapers anymore, not a lot of people listen to the radio, so it is a lot through digital platforms,” she said.

However, she said she believes the program is still providing the skills needed for those pursuits.

“You’re still learning and learning how to write for digital and not just print journalism. You’re still learning how to do multimedia stuff, which is why this is a great program,” she added.

With the program only being suspended, the possibility still exists for it to return in some form down the line, providing an opportunity to create more journalists in the future.

“There’s never been a greater need for fact-based journalism than there is at the moment,” Clarke said.

The fact is also that with fewer and fewer young people seeking a higher education in journalism, schools like Loyalist are finding it harder and harder to train the next generation of those fact-based reporters.

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