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Vol 38  No 15
June 8, 2006


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Grenfell professor chosen as Gzowski intern

By Pamela Gill

Moving from academia to the fast-paced rhythm of radio broadcasting has been an eye opener for Kristin Harris Walsh.

The Grenfell College folklore lecturer was named the Memorial University candidate for the CBC Radio Peter Gzowski Internships. Created in 2003, the internships allow four participating universities across the country to submit applicants for consideration. Ms. Harris Walsh is currently completing her PhD in folklore at Memorial, which made her eligible for the internship.

The Gzowski interns receive a week of training in the basics of radio production at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre in Toronto. Each spends the rest of the internship in a different location learning about the craft of making great radio. Interns will get first-hand experience in contributing to radio programming in a variety of ways.

Ms. Harris Walsh has already been on the job for a few weeks. After her week in Toronto, she found herself among the On the Go crowd at CBC Radio in St. John’s. That environment is different, to say the least.

“It’s the day-to-day turn around,” she said. “It’s really fast-paced, highly charged. It’s a completely different kind of energy. And the learning curve is so steep. But it’s been fantastic so far.”

As part of the internship she’s been assigned a mentor ­ executive producer Kathy Porter ­ to help her whenever needed.

“When I need help, I can touch base with her; and Ingrid (Fraser) and Ted (Blades) are very helpful,” said Ms. Harris Walsh, referring to the producer and the host of On the Go (respectively). She added that working with Erin Noel, a former Gzowski intern now working at CBC radio in St. John’s, has been especially helpful. “She understands the challenges of working in this environment without a journalism background and it’s been a pleasure working with her.”

After her stint at On the Go, she will move on to “dabble” in another area.

“The experience is tailored to your interests ­ I want to work with at least one arts show,” she said, adding her work entails conducting research for the hosts and other journalists, as well as working on her own radio pieces. “I’ll save news for the end of the summer when I have more experience and can produce pieces for a news deadline.”

Ms. Harris Walsh’s previous experience as a reporter is limited to a two-year stint at the MUN Gazette, where she wrote about research at Memorial. As for her future career, she said the summer experience will complement her work both as a folklorist as well as an instructor at Grenfell College.

“I’m getting great experience from the perspective of interviewing people, finding the story and communicating interesting ideas to others,” said Ms. Harris Walsh. “These are the types of skills used by folklorists and other researchers. I’m looking forward to using my experiences in the classroom in the fall.”

To honour Peter Gzowski’s memory, in 2003 CBC Radio created the CBC Radio Peter Gzowski Internship for university students in their final year at McGill University, Memorial University, Trent University and Simon Fraser University. A total of four internships in radio production are offered from May 1 to Aug. 25, 2006. The internship is open to Canadian Citizens and landed immigrants.

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