College of the North Atlantic (CNA) has had many star pupils in its Journalism Post-Diploma program.
Anna Stafford, a native of Kingston, Ontario, is one of them. She recently accepted a position as Content Lead and Writer at CityAge, a media production company.
Prior to this, she completed a six-week internship at one of Canada’s most trusted newspapers, the Globe and Mail, which is considered the most read newspaper in the country and has a readership of 7.1 million.
Anna, who only had one course left to complete her Journalism diploma, says she was in shock when she heard she was accepted for the internship.
“It was a mix of excitement and nervousness,” she said.
Despite the initial trepidation, Stafford says she learned a lot and had a great experience overall at the flagship newspaper.
“I really do feel like they want to foster and support younger journalists,” she said.
However, starting an internship during a global pandemic was not without its challenges. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Stafford worked from home and was unable to physically be in the newsroom – often a hive of activity as reporters work on their news stories.
“The newsroom is such a huge part of the experience,” noted the Distributed Learning (DL) graduate. “Sometimes it felt like I was isolated, but I learned a lot.”
Anna credits her training at CNA in securing her internship coup and subsequent full-time job. She feels the knowledge and skillset will carry over into her future career.
Currently living in Montreal, Quebec, she says she enjoys the freedom of being able to write about a variety of different topics.
“I am grateful to the program for being so supportive,” she said.
For aspiring journalists
Frank Carroll, a Journalism instructor at CNA’s Prince Philip Drive campus, says he was happy for Stafford when he heard about her opportunities.
“I felt really proud and not surprised at all,” said Carroll. “Anna is a special student. She’s always out to make the next story better than the last one.”
Being a good journalist requires someone to have tenacity and a curiosity of the world around them, he added. All were qualities that he saw in Stafford.
Carroll has been with the Journalism program for more than 21 years, and he has some advice for those considering enrolling in this two-year program.
“Journalism can be a very fulfilling career. The job of the journalist is to provide accurate information, while minimizing harm in the pursuit of the truth,” said Carroll.
The Journalism program is one of the college’s longest-standing programs and has seen its graduates pursue careers in many different fields, including writing, reporting, photography and broadcast (radio and television), and also entering the fields of public relations and communications.
For more information about Journalism and other CNA programs, visit www.cna.nl.ca.