One of the joys of summer is watching keen and talented young journalists begin or advance their careers at The Globe and Mail. This year, there are 18 participants in the summer program across all branches of Editorial - 17 in Toronto and 1 in Vancouver. They will be working as editors, reporters, digital specialists, as well as in photo and in design, and they bring with them great talent and skills learned in other newsrooms and classrooms.
In keeping with Globe tradition, these 18 are the best of the best, chosen from more than 500 applicants. They have worked for other news outlets including CBC, The Canadian Press, The Toronto Star, CTV, the Yellowknifer and the Yukon News, and many for school newspapers as well. Some have a background outside Canada including from Spain, Italy, Honduras. Some have travelled extensively, including trips to Afghanistan, Paraguay and Europe.
They are an older, more experienced group of summer staff than in some years. They are not interns because they are expected to do - and are paid to do - the work of staff who are off on summer vacations.
Jim Sheppard, executive editor of globeandmail.com who is in charge of hiring for the summer program, says The Globe took a slightly different approach this year in two areas.
"We had a great team choosing this year's participants - Dennis Choquette, Gabe Gonda, Jen MacMillan, Sonali Verma and Martina Blaskovic. We decided early in the process that we would continue the annual quest for the best of the best but that we would also do the selection with specific assignments in mind for each of them. So, the best copy editors were hired to be copy editors etc., the best reporters were hired to be reporters, etc. When we made our selections and extended the job offers, we and they knew at that point what was going to be their primary assignment for the summer. Many of them used the time between accepting the offer and joining our staff to research our policies and guides to better prepare themselves for these tasks. In addition, we broadened our search to recent graduates from some schools that had rarely been part of previous programs, with very positive results."
The group is currently being put through training about legal issues, The Globe's code of conduct, the various databases and Editorial Research tools we use, basic editing techniques and standards, and video production. They will then be given training in our publishng systems as appropriate to their summer jobs.
By the end of this week, or early next week, the group pictured above will be phasing into their newsroom duties. Welcome to everyone.