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Trish Audette-Longo and Christine Crowther, Carleton University  – J Source

This fall, journalism schools across Canada – including ours – are grappling with a fourth semester of teaching emerging journalists how to be reporters in a pandemic.

COVID-19 has changed how we teach journalism, forcing us to explicitly navigate, model and share skills that, in the past, may have gone under-examined in day-to-day reporting classes: how to clearly advocate and plan for staying healthy and safe.

For the first time since March 2020, many of our students are back in classrooms, fully vaccinated, still distanced and now subject to daily health screenings. Nonetheless, we are sending these kinds of messages this fall: “You can choose to conduct interviews by phone or video conferencing, and wherever possible you should choose to monitor live streams of events that are scheduled to take place in enclosed spaces.”

And: “Where field reporting is possible, you should have a plan that includes how you will stay outside, wear a mask and ask your interviewees to do so, maintain a physical distance of two metres between yourself and others, and your exit strategies.”

And finally: “Journalists also have a responsibility to ensure we do not contribute to compromising the safety and well-being of community members whom we are interviewing or filming.”

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