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Village Media Scholarship recipients eager to bring a local voice to journalism

Three journalism students selected to receive $1000 scholarships toward their post-secondary education

They are from different communities and backgrounds but the three recipients of this year’s Village Media Journalism Scholarships certainly have one thing in common: their passion for local journalism.

A big congratulations to Tara De Boer (Kitchener), Anson Wong (Richmond Hill) and Andie Kaiser (Orillia) who are the three journalism students selected to receive $1000 scholarships toward their post-secondary education.

Each wrote insightful and inspiring essays on the impact and importance of local journalism as part of their submission for the scholarships.

Tara De Boer is a graduate student who will be attending Ryerson University in the fall to begin her two-year Masters of Journalism program. She recently completed an Honours Arts and Business Degree with a major in Speech Communication at the University of Waterloo.

De Boer chose the field of journalism as it complemented her passion for storytelling. With the foundational skillset obtained during her BA, De Boer is excited to further use her creativity to explore new approaches to journalism.

In De Boer’s essay, she discussed the importance of connection within a community and how that can have an overall impact on a community as a whole. 

“We are all super connected thanks to globalization and have access to stories across the world which is amazing and we can keep up-to-date with global issues and crises. Often we neglect our own communities which are actually unique places with characters and storylines. I think we need to pay more attention to local journalism and invest in it and prioritize it,” said De Boer.

Our second scholarship recipient is Anson Wong, a University of Toronto Scarborough student attending a Bachelor of Arts program and studying journalism. Wong will be attending the University of Toronto Scarborough campus this fall after completing the last three years of the program at Centennial College. 

Wong has worked with local news publications during his post-secondary career and values the opportunity to report on stories that are important to individuals locally. He believes that some stories would not be as prioritized or told at all without the work of local news sites. 

“Local news outlets take important stories that mainstream media may not be able to pick up. I like to see the individual’s side to each story which I believe local news sites include,” Wong said.

In his essay, Wong highlighted that without community media, mainstream news may miss important stories that can only be found from a local angle.

Rounding out the list of recipients is Andie Kaiser, a first-year University of Waterloo student who is taking the Bachelor of Arts Honours program and will be studying a variety of subjects, including journalism.

“Journalism is one of our most important forms of communication. As we move further into the digital age, I think it is really important to have that human piece within the news we are getting,”  Kaiser said.

“I think it is crucial to get a local voice because there are local issues that deserve to be shared and have that time or otherwise, those issues may not get the coverage that they need.

Although national news is important, having local journalism contribute to national coverage and exist on its own terms for local citizens ensures that all communities receive representation, have their stories told, and their concerns aired,” said Kaiser in her submitted essay.

The Village Media Journalism Scholarship program is made possible by our SooToday +members. The support of +members allows us to invest in the growth and sustainability of local journalism – which includes the next generation of journalists, like these scholarship recipients.

Interested in becoming a +member and joining our mission to help strengthen our community? Learn more about our +membership program, by visiting here.