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The Canadian Jeiwsh News

Saturday, July 12, 2014

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Learning at The CJN

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I’ve been at The Canadian Jewish News for almost four months now, and my time here is winding to an end.

I first came to The CJN as part of a school initiative to help students prepare themselves for the working world. Instead of learning in the classroom, we learn and experience first-hand what it means to be an employee, in office buildings, hotels and hospitals.

Coming to the office at 8:30 a.m. and leaving at 11:30 to go back to my afternoon classes, I spend my mornings at my desk, updating The CJN’s online blog, Heebonics, and working on articles I have been assigned.

At first, coming to The CJN, I was unsure of what to expect. I was nervous, and a little intimidated.

I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the other writers, or write articles that were good enough for the newspaper. I had no experience writing for a newspaper, and knew that I would be way behind the rest of The CJN staff.

However, when I arrived, everybody made me feel welcome and helped me with any problems that I had, so I was able to adapt very easily to the work setting.

The editor of the paper, Mordechai Ben-Dat, helped me immensely when it came to learning and improving my skills. Every week, he taught me something new about the paper, whether it was how to choose pictures for upcoming issues, how to arrange articles in newspaper format or how he responds to letters sent to the paper. I have learned a whole lot simply by listening to him.

I chose The CJN as my placement because of the Jewish component. Being from a family of avid CJN readers, it seemed obvious to me that I would want to choose it, and I especially liked the idea of being at a newspaper that was so community oriented. The main goal of The CJN is to keep the Jewish community of Canada connected and informed, and I wanted to be a part of that.

I’d like to think I made some kind of impact during my time at the newspaper, no matter how small it was. I realize now that I’ve had an opportunity that others would love to have.

I have spent four months at an award-winning newspaper, learning, and improving my skills with the help of newspaper professionals. I now know how to update blogs and turn rough notes into articles, and I was even lucky enough to interview the author of a book I reviewed. I have updated Heebonics and have seen the website read by people all over the world. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment to know that the words that I have written are being read by people across the globe.

These past four months have helped me realize that journalism is a career that I want to pursue. I love the feeling of being published, and knowing that your opinions are agreed (or disagreed) with by thousands of people.

I remember sitting in my classroom, and my teacher telling me that the time at our placements would fly by and be over before we knew it. I didn’t believe him then, but I guess he was right. My time here has passed by so quickly; I don’t know where it has gone.

I’ve learned so much in these short months and am thankful to Mordechai and the rest of The CJN staff for taking a chance on me, and allowing me to come to learn from them. It’s an experience that I will always remember, and I will certainly miss coming in to work at the paper.

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