From Jan. 9 to Jan. 12, more than 100 students from across Canada – nine of which representing Concordia newspapers, The Link and The Concordian – flew in Vancouver to attend the 82nd edition of NASH.
NASH is a four-day conference held by the Canadian University Press (CUP), which offers various workshops and lectures to journalism students. Whether the subject was global reporting, Indigenous coverage, hate groups in Canada or the climate crisis, the idea behind the conference was to provide tools for students to report accurately on issues that affect their university communities, but also to make the most out of their own newspaper.
“I think the best part of this conference is getting your head filled with all these ideas – maybe it’s just a spark from what a speaker mentioned or a conversation with other journalists – and try to spread that back out into the student journalism landscape,” said Jacob Dubé, vice-president of CUP.
The old NASH tradition enforces the idea that journalism across universities should not be a competition – rather, a collaboration. Dubé mentioned there is something quite powerful about seeing a community of aspiring journalists together in the same room, helping one another.
Indeed, the theme of this year’s edition, hosted by The Ubyssey – the University of British Columbia’s independent student newspaper – was empower.
Keynote speakers included Garth Mullins, host and executive producer of the Crackdown Podcast, who opened the conference Thursday night with a talk on how to properly cover the drug and overdose crisis in Canada. The second guest speaker was Dr. Candis Callison, an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, who addressed the practices and role of reporting on the climate crisis. The final speaker was Anishinaabe comedian Ryan McMahon, who used the stage to confront the colonial narrative in the media and share his view on key qualities and skills future journalists should hold.
NASH is also an opportunity to host the John H. McDonald Awards for Excellence in Student Journalism during the last night of the conference. While The Concordian left without any awards, Ireland Compton, editor-in-chief at The Link, won best Indigenous reporting for her piece: Protest Denounces Federal Decision to Appeal Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
“To be recognized for the work that I’ve been doing is a really great feeling,” said Compton. “I think that we all deal with imposter syndrome from time to time, I know I do, and an award like this is a reminder to myself that I’m on the right track.”
The Link also won the best cover/layout of the year for their gender and sexuality issue, published last March.
Photo by Alex Hutchins